Christoph Strohfeld, a 3D designer and art director from Germany, defines his style as a blend of refined aesthetics, focusing on light, composition, and intricate details to create surreal and uncanny landscapes. He views light not just as a functional element but as a dynamic force shaping emotions and aesthetics, seeking its seamless integration into design. Inspired by his past trip to Iceland, Christoph shares his perspective on Fragile’s diverse geometric shapes and how they blend harmoniously.
Christoph, as a 3D designer and art director, how would you define your style?CSI’d say my style is a blend of clean, sophisticated aesthetics. The cynosure of my work tends to be light, composition and detail to produce dreamy landscapes and uncanny worlds.
What inspired you to become a 3D creative, and when did you first realise your passion?
CS 3D design has always captivated me. I started experimenting with 3D design tools even before I completed my A-levels. Once those were finished, I decided to take some time to travel and live in different countries. By then, I’d built a solid arsenal of 3D design skills, and I continued to pursue my passion for 3D design throughout my travels. Eventually, I landed an internship at SEHSUCHT Berlin, where I spent nearly four years as an artist and designer. That experience provided me with a strong foundation in the industry and exposed me to a variety of techniques and tools. It was an invaluable opportunity to grow and evolve my practice as a digital artist. Now, I'm grateful to be working in a career that allows me to continue pursuing my passion for 3D design. I'm always looking for new opportunities to learn and improve my skills, and I'm excited to see where my career will take me in the future.
Christoph, could you share with us where you found your inspiration for this proposal?
CS For this proposal, my inspiration was directly drawn from the exquisite lamp, Fragile. I found Fragile delicate yet sophisticated design to be captivating. Additionally, the lamp brought to mind my memorable trip to Iceland two years ago, which shared a similar theme of contrasts—embracing the raw materials, the strength conveyed through those materials, and the simultaneous presence of fragility. Both the unique qualities of Fragile and the lasting impressions from my trip served as the driving force behind the creative choices in my proposal.
What is the conceptual meaning of light for you in your work?
CS The conceptual meaning of light in my work holds profound significance. Light, to me, is not merely a functional element but a dynamic force that shapes the emotional and aesthetic dimensions of a space. It serves as a metaphorical expression, symbolising clarity, inspiration, and the transformative power within design. Light has the ability to evoke mood, highlight details, and create a narrative within a given environment. In my work, I strive to harness the inherent symbolism of light to elevate the overall experience, allowing it to interact harmoniously with the design elements and contribute to the intended atmosphere or story.
What challenges have you faced as a creative working with natural and artificial light? How did you overcome them?
CS In the realm of 3D design, one of the key challenges lies in capturing the perfect angles and mood to present a product distinctively while introducing an unexpected yet comprehensible lighting scenario. Striking the right balance involves meticulous exploration of angles that showcase the product's features effectively while adding an element of surprise through nuanced lighting. Finding a lighting situation that is both unexpected and clear enhances the visual impact, ensuring the product stands out in a captivating and memorable way.
How did light influence your artistic vision and storytelling for this collaboration?
CS Light played a pivotal role in shaping my artistic vision and storytelling for this collaboration. I endeavoured to craft a lighting situation that gives the impression it emanates solely from the lamp, creating a captivating and self-contained ambiance. Simultaneously, I focused on integrating parallax and depth to highlight both the environment and Fragile, ensuring they are showcased in the most favourable light. This approach aimed to not only emphasise the uniqueness of Fragile, but also create a visually engaging narrative that underscores the interplay between it and its surroundings.
During this process, which features did you find important to highlight about Fragile?
CS In showcasing Fragile, I found it crucial to highlight the intricate interplay of diverse foundational shapes. Its design is characterised by a precise balance between contrasting geometric forms, and despite these pronounced differences, they come together in a remarkably harmonious manner. This emphasis on the meticulous arrangement and interaction of distinct shapes underscores Fragile’s unique aesthetic appeal, making it a standout feature in its overall design.