Esch2022 - European Capital of Culture and the national brand initiative "Let's make it happen" have joined forces once again to develop locally designed products that tell the story of Luxembourg's Minett region.
Together, they aim to showcase the diversity and creativity of southern Luxembourg (as part of Esch2022) in a sustainable way. Recounting history and shaping the future are an essential part of many different projects, like the wall clock "Time leaves traces" by Olaf Recht and the "Bottle Opener" by Raoul Gross. These two designers were selected in a call for projects, which consisted of creating useful, aesthetic and sustainable objects from the old parquet floor of the meeting room in the town hall of Esch-sur-Alzette. However, other products are also part of the LuXembourg Collection, such as a mug and postcards with Minett motifs by Alain Welter for Esch2022.
The two designers agreed on the fact that the parquet floor in Esch-Alzette has been walked on by quite a few people. Consequently, it was an easy task for them to breathe new life into the old oak floorboards.
The Luxembourg object designer Olaf Recht was inspired to use this durable material, which has already survived 100 years and whose marks reveal a myriad of stories, to create an object that would attract people's attention every day. Consequently, he designed a wall clock with the slogan "Time leaves traces" - just like the many people who have walked on the parquet and left their marks on the wood, time leaves its mark too, every minute, every day. Olaf Recht has already designed many everyday objects, including furniture, lamps, refrigerators and children's toys. He learned his craft mainly in Switzerland and the United States. When he returned to the Grand Duchy, he became involved not only in classic product design but also in interior design projects.
Raoul Gross, who grew up in Esch-sur-Alzette, wondered how many stories people had shared with each other when opening a bottle in the meeting room – or afterwards, when they continued to debate over what they had discussed. His "Bottle Opener" is made of metal and the wood of the parquet floor. It comes in a box, which is made of a piece of raw wooden plank. Raoul Gross studied in Germany, before working in Vienna (Austria) and now in Luxembourg on a number of different projects for institutions and private clients. He also passes on his passion and knowledge to the students of the Lycée des Garçons in Esch-sur-Alzette, where he teaches 3D design.
Both of these objects are handmade and limited to 200 pieces. Their engravings and packaging indicate that they were created in the framework of Esch2022 - European Capital of Culture.
Moreover, mural artist Alain Welter has already left his mark in the southern region of the country, for example on the cooling towers of ArcelorMittal in Differdange, which is one of the Esch2022 municipalities. For the launch of Esch2022, he created typical Minett motifs to decorate ten buses of the TICE transport network with the help of the family-run company Lettrage Langehegermann. On the basis of this creative bus design, the artist was also commissioned by the European Capital of Culture to artistically apply typical graphic elements of the Minett region to a series of fine ceramics.
All items are available online at luxembourgcollection.lu and at the Esch2022 Visitor Centre in Esch-Belval, as well as at the Infofabrik in Esch-sur-Alzette, the Annexe22 souvenir shop (Brillplatz), the Diderich bookshop and other points of sale outside the Esch2022 region, including the Luxembourg House.
More joint products are also in development, including document pouches and toilet bags made from Esch2022 advertising banners from the exhibitions in Esch-Belval.
It was important to the Esch2022 team to create souvenir products in line with the 20 criteria of the Sustainability Charter, which was developed in cooperation with Luxembourg's Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development and presented in 2020. From the beginning, the aim was to develop products with an attractive design that could be used over a long period of time and make nice gifts, instead of producing classic mass-produced items with a very short lifespan.
"The brand initiative 'Let’s make it happen' follows the same goals in the area of sustainable development as Esch2022. This issue plays a very important role in the communication department for both of our brands, and products like these are helping to spread the idea of sustainability to the outside world", explained Thierry Kruchten, Head of Tourism, Mobility and Sustainable Development.
"Synergies play a crucial role in strengthening Luxembourg's brand image in the long term", added Beryl Koltz, who is in charge of "Let’s make it happen". "This is why we have partnered with the European Capital of Culture Esch2022 from the very beginning".