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“Life is more dynamic outside”: An interview with Prof. Mark Braun

Mark Braun © Sonja Müller

Mark Braun is a renowned German designer and university professor. As a member of the jury, together with other experts, he selected the furniture for this year’s Trend Show at spoga+gafa. We spoke to him about his demands for the design of outdoor areas, aspiring young designers and about his expectations for the future of outdoor design.

Mark Braun, which basic developments are you observing with regards to the design of outdoor areas?

They are becoming more homely. In the context of the functional demands for outdoor furniture, this is a real challenge – but it is possible.

Miami sofa for Conmoto © Studio Mark Braun

Which qualities do you especially appreciate for outdoor design?

Flexibility and the intuitive handling of products are especially important, for example in the case of sunshades or the combinability of seating arrangements. Life is more dynamic outside – this has to be taken into account.

Hama chair for Echtstahl © Studio Mark Braun

Among others, you teach at various universities. Which trends are you observing with regards to young designers?

The theme outdoors impresses young designers, because it is very accessible both in terms of aesthetics and functionality. We recently worked on themes for outdoor products in the compressed living-room at the Saar University of Fine Arts, such as for instance the improved usage of balconies or ideas in the context of urban gardening.

Louise pendant for Meisenthal © Studio Likeness

What do you expect with regards to outdoor design for the future?

Personally, I hope that more emphasis will be placed on durability and quality. Short-lived products are pretty common in the outdoor design area and are a threat to our resources. A new approach has to be taken here, in the sense of: We can’t afford cheap. Of course, the end consumer also has to rethink the situation.


Mark Braun has been running his own design studio in Berlin since 2006. He designs products for famous companies, which have received many awards. In addition to his studio projects, he has been working as a Professor for Industrial Design at the Saar University of Fine Arts since 2015.


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