German architect-designer Michael Schoner was born in Giessen, Germany in 1977. He studied Architecture at the Technical University in Darmstadt, graduating in 2004. As part of a European exchange program, he spent a year of his degree program—from 2000 to 2001—studying in Barcelona at the Esquela Technica Superior de Arquitechtura. Even prior to his graduation, Schoner began conscientiously acquiring industry experience through a number of internships, including at Fritsch & Ruby Architects in Darmstadt, Mario Correa Architects in Barcelona, and Meixner Schlüter Wendt Architects in Frankfurt, amongst others. Following graduation, Schoner moved to Amsterdam and took up a position with NL Architects in 2005, where he continued working until 2011. He founded his eponymous studio in Amsterdam in 2010. Schoner has held teaching positions at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam as well as the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam and has taught workshops at the Finnish Alvar Aalto Academy and other locations around Europe.
Schoner’s practice encompasses 2D and 3D design across a broad range of scales, incorporating architecture, interior design, furniture design, and set design. The architect-designer’s over-arching aesthetic retains clear echoes of his architectural training and is focused on simple forms and a clearly defined object identity. Pieces like the Chop Carafe (2013) highlight Schoner’s graphic, geometric approach to product design, sprinkled with a good dose of humor, and always impeccably crafted, creating objects that are not only visually engaging but also highly functional. Another example is the Quetsch und Tube (2015) series of vessels, which transforms PVC pipe, ubiquitous in architectural projects, into a fluidic form; a thing of beauty and grace but also thoroughly tongue-in-cheek.
Schoner’s client list includes Onitsuka Tiger, Frame, Group A, Droog Design, Basematters, G-Star and more. He has long been involved with the Dutch Invertuals collective of influential designers in the Netherlands and has participated in a number of the group’s exhibitions. In 2012, Schoner was awarded two first prizes at ARC 12 Design, including for the Z-Step (2012) modular display system that he debuted at Depot Basel that year. In 2016, he was named one of Germany’s top 50 designers by AD Magazine. Schoner’s exhibition list is impressive, encompassing shows at the Salone del Mobile (2016, 2015); Galerie VIVID in Rotterdam (2018); Museum für Kommunikation in Frankfurt (2016); Object Rotterdam (2015, 2013); Contempo Gallerie in Eindhoven (2012); Depot Basel (2012); Saint-Etienne International Design Biennial (2010); and numerous projects with Boombench throughout Europe. Michael Schoner lives and works in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where he moved in 2015.