Todd Bracher is a breath of fresh air. An American designer invited by IMM Cologne to design for the annual Das Haus installation, one of our photographer’s first observations was that he reminded her of Keanu Reeves. (Who wouldn’t want to look like Keanu Reeves?)
He’s down to earth, with a soothing voice that carries a beautiful melodic intonation, probably an inherited speech pattern from America’s Irish forefathers, which is what made it easy to absorb Todd’s explanation of the concept behind his design.
“I was chosen as an American designer to interpret life today, or potentially tomorrow, from the eyes of an American,” says Todd. “But that’s an odd thing for me to say because I don’t really know what that means. America is a very big country and there’s a lot of culture, a lot of different diversities, so there’s no singular message. So I interpret that in a way of what’s meaningful to me as an American”.
“Life in New York is quite complicated. It’s quite fast as most cities are and I was questioning, ‘Do I live with my home built for my life?’. And I don’t think it really is. I don’t think many people live actually how they want to live, so the exploration we have done with Das Haus was to revaluate, to go back to the essentials of what life is at home”.
Todd’s design challenges architecture and interior design in that he’s come to believe our modern, Western lives have had to be built around homes that were built in another era for another lifestyle. Das Haus 2017 suggests that perhaps, instead of separate rooms for separate functions, what we need is a multipurpose space that can serve a variety of functions, based on how we would like to live our lives.
It’s this thinking that informed the huge space and its 7m Caesarstone Sleek Concrete multipurpose island. Is it a kitchen, is it a library, is it a playroom, is it a shed?