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Furniture designer Frederik Fialin: On playfulness, experimentation, and never being categorized


In 2021, he was tasked with furnishing the entire terrace of Slow’s HQ, a hospitality collective based on the River Spree in Rummelsburg. As well as heavy dining tables in the tropical hardwood wengé and low lounge tables in steel, Fialin created the rest of the pieces – minimalist lounge chairs, daybeds and stools – out of an anthracite-gray recycled plastic reinforced with fiberglass. “The recycled plastic was a new thing for me at the time – and a bit of a pain in the arse to work with,” he says with a laugh. “But now, it has become one of my staple materials. It’s normally used for walking paths over sandy beaches, because it is long-lasting and UV-proof. You can even put it underground and it won’t break; it’s pretty hardcore.”

While he admires the qualities of plastic for durable designs, Fialin says he finds it problematic that recycled materials usually cost a lot more than new ones, because the processes are not standardized. “What I do is fundamentally long-lasting, so that is the biggest point when it comes to sustainability for me,” he says. “I have no leftovers from what I make, and my pieces are made with builders’ materials, so people will potentially have them for life. Nothing can change that… except maybe if they’re set on fire!”

Much of Fialin’s furniture is also highly multifunctional, and suitable for indoor and outdoor use. While this adds another sustainable dimension, versatility, he insists, is not always intentional and happens more by chance, given the durability of his chosen materials: “It’s nice, though, because it opens a lot of possibilities and a broader range of clients. The more I learn, the clearer I can be. So, I will be able to set more specific end goals at some point, but I think it’s beneficial for me to work this way. It’s kind of random, but not really.”



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