This year, BMW released the BMW Concept 8 Series, which combines peerless design with breathtaking speeds for an unparalleled driving experience. This unabashedly modern and athletic model is slated for a 2018 release. To celebrate, SLEEK will be profiling a series of innovative designers and artists who work with the idea of speed. In this installment, we’re interviewing the graphic design collective Sucuk und Bratwurst.
Today, Rhineland town of Mainz is a small, pretty cathedral city. But 600 years ago, it was the birthplace of the ultimate accelerationist – Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press. It’s also home to Sucuk Und Bratwurst, a fearsome group of four young graphic designers that might be the most exciting new surface designers to emerge in the last three years.
Their work, interestingly, is fixated with archetypical objects of speed. Sport’s twin fast-companies Nike and adidas have hit them up. For the former, they made a series of images riffing 90s rave visuals, and for the latter, they placed the technologically advanced trainers on cyborg models for the Adidas Originals Future Issue. They even made motocross-inspired graphics for Berlin magazine and fashion label 032c. We spoke with them over Skype.
Does the idea of speed inspire you?
We are really inspired by tuning and speed aesthetics and tuning and speed go hand in hand, I guess, so that’s the origin of our interests in speed and acceleration. Like Monster logo energy drinks, we’re adapted to this in our work. This is how we get into this.
Monster Energy is a mass market accelerant. What other things are you inspired by in terms of contemporary design discourse?
When we started, we did all those kind of “manly” sort of things like weapons, air crafts, and tuning. Now I would say it’s a mixture of online culture and the news and fashion.
Are you attracted to elements of design that aren’t classically tasteful or classically beautiful?
I don’t know. Sometimes we try ugly things, I guess. We always try to research ways and designs that are not that present in contemporary design and try to focus on something that was never there before in our designs.
How do you relate to sports generally? I read that you’re really into working out. How does that tie into this Sucuk and bratwurst practice?
We try to work out and remain fit. I don’t know if that connects to our work directly. Sure, but not in a conscious way, I think. If you see the guys in the gym, you see some trends, with what is interesting to them, and cool to see what they’re interested in.
When we think about sports, maybe it’s not just sports but maybe when we think about football, we have also the connection to hooligans. It’s not that obvious thing. Our last project for Nike was with a subcultural look at the rave culture of the 90s which is really great thing, and we are really inspired by. Subcultural aesthetics and influences are there.
Both the shoe and the culture was a very futuristic moment. Did you go about working with Nike and these 90s rave aesthetics?
It was for the Air Max 97, and this shoe especially was an iconic shoe for the 90s rave culture; everyone was wearing them back then, so the connection from the shoe to the techno and rave culture came really quickly and this was even a mood for Nike. It was interesting for us to transform the old aesthetics of the rave in our own language. How do we see the rave aesthetics now, with using 3D programs.
What kind of influences did you bring to the adidas editorial?
The adidas one was for the future issue and the mood was very futuristic. How could Adidas look in about fifty years or so? We tried to build a world around the products and really integrate them into the futuristic world we thought of. That went very well. It was the idea of future technology and stuff having an influence on culture, especially clothes.
Are you inspired by futuristic ideas or aesthetics?
Of course, yeah! It’s one of our more constant and main interests. We really like sci-fi stuff and all that. Adidas approached us with this project for a lookbook, which was printed, and the idea of the future thing was in our minds. We built something, we tried to imagine the world in the future and mix the clothes and the way we thought.
When you talk about being inspired by the future, do you mean the aesthetics of the future as we see in sci-fi, or is it more the abstract idea of the future?
I think it’s also how the objects look like because of the function. Some functions are not really – some of objects are just changing because of their function and this is the part that interests us too. If there is technological development, stuff changes because it’s not used or not needed anymore, because the technology is so advanced. For example, the home button on the iPhone, maybe it will disappear because everyone’s using finger print scanner or face scan so the home button disappears and it changes the look of the iPhone. With more advanced technology, the look of things change and that’s what we’re inspired by, and would be really nice to work with.
Do you work quickly?
We try to work quickly. It’s not always the case, but we try to be as quick as possible and always try to get new software that makes work easier or faster. We are always in search of new ways to approach things, in a better and optimise things and work. To set up a process which is most efficient or a certain task or project. We are four people and we distribute our work. “Can you do this for me, can you do that”? We’re constantly helping each other out. It’s a lot of fun to work with four people; we are a great team. So, we are trying to be fast, yeah.
Stay tuned for the next installation of SLEEK x BMW’s SPEED series, in light of the ultra-fast BMW Concept 8 Series.