Julia Lohmann

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Julia Lohmann (born 1977, Germany) is a multidisciplinary designer living and working in London. She is a visiting lecturer at a number of UK design schools.


Born in Hildesheim, Germany, Julia Lohmann came to the United Kingdom in 1998 to study on the BA (Hons) Graphic Design course at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design, University College (now the University for the Creative Arts). She graduated in 2001 and won several prizes for her graphic design and product development work. She subsequently completed a two-year MA in Design Products at the Royal College of Art (RCA), London in 2004.

Upon graduation, Julia Lohmann’s work was selected for the ‘Design Mart’ exhibition at the Design Museum, London, by then director Alice Rawsthorn. Since then, Lohmann’s work has been shown as part of the ‘Great Brits’ touring exhibition organised by the British Council and numerous exhibitions in galleries and museums in the UK and abroad, as well as The Culture Show (BBC, 2007), in books, international magazines and newspapers.

Lohmann set up her own design studio in London in 2004.


Lohmann thinks that the design industry truly has power and it should not support the status quo, instead moving forward in a socially responsible and sustainable way. She is constantly asking herself questions and design is her way of figuring out how she views the world.

Some of her design focuses on animals and dead animals; concentrating on the moment when humans mentally remove themselves from an animal’s death. Her goal is to break the mental gap that people have when considering what’s on their plate and how it got there. Therefore, she has focused on the nastier features of the production of food in some of her work. Some examples are a ceiling made from the stomach of sheep, a gutted carcass cast in resin, vessels made from animal bones, and porcelain jewelry made by casting frozen baby mice. Her best-known piece is a couch shaped as a headless cow. This was based off the waste that occurs when a typical couch is made–six or seven hides are used so that the creased parts of the cow don’t show.[1]Whether her starting point is leather or seaweed, Lohmann’s interest lies in finding capabilities in materials that no one else has. She says she finds it way more challenging if a material starts as something ‘typically’ beautiful. [2]

Lohmann thinks that you are never too close or removed from the system to really make change. She sees museums as a place where new ideas can be planted and grow. She thinks these spaces should focus on stretching forward–and be a place for research and development.[3]

Notable works[edit]

  • Kelp Constructs, lighting objects made from seaweed, 2008

This project is based on the idea that dried strips of seaweed could replace typical materiality in the creation of everyday objects. This is shown in the laser-cut lampshades. They were cut and then stretched or sewed into new shapes while still wet. Lohmann thinks that seaweed is an undervalued material, and that we consume it in things like toothpaste everyday without realizing it. It could potentially be a substitute for materials such as leather and parchment, among others. She also wants to promote seaweed’s use in communities that could combine the material with their local artisanship. For example, the use of kelp on fish farms as water filters could provide extra income for struggling fishing communities.[4]

  • Resilience, a series of concrete and wool tables, 2008

This project was in reaction to research into man-made constructions that are conquered by nature and destroyed by humans; it’s based on the effects of natural disasters on built structures. The series is a reversal of what qualities are normally associated with certain man-made and natural materials. The concrete is cast onto a wool backing and subsequently broken up. This design process harnesses the effects of deterioration and the wool holds the concrete together. The resulting series is a range of unique pieces based on a single mold.[5]

  • The Catch, an installation on the over-fishing of the oceans, S-AIR/ICC, Sapporo, Japan, 2007

The Catch shows how much the ocean has been depleted by over-fishing and vast consumption of marine life. Those visiting this installation are confronted with towering waves created from empty fish boxes. The visitor is led into the core, a room also made from fishing boxes and lighted by candles held in tuna vertebrae. This piece challenges the way many assume there is a limitless supply of marine life, and the lack of action as a response of scientific research.[6]

  • The Lasting Void, resin and fiberglass stool, 2007

This cast is based on the internal cavity of a calf. The reasoning was that when an animal is slaughtered, the internal organs are removed and a purposeless negative space is left. It only exists for the short period in time between when the animal becomes seen as meat.[7]

  • Erosion Series, furniture objects made of soap, 2007
  • Cowbenches, leather benches in the shape of a cow’s body, 2004 [8]
  • Ruminant Bloom, lights made from preserved sheep and cow stomach, 2004
  • Flock, a ceiling installation made from 50 preserved sheep stomachs, 2004


  • 2008, 'Designer of the Future', Design Miami Basel
  • 2007, Artist in Residence, S-AIR/ICC, Sapporo, Japan
  • 2004, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation grant
  • 2004, Selected as a ‘Great Brit’, for the eponymous British Council touring design exhibition
  • 2004, 1st Prize Qatar Logo Competition, ‘Qatar Costume Museum’ identity
  • 2001, 2 IF Design Award, ‘Best of Category’ for Ecology and Product Design
  • 2001, Red Dot Design Award
  • 2001, 1st prize, D&AD student award, Product Development
  • 2001, 1st prize, Inaugural John Gillard Award, Best Design Student on Show


  • ‘Twenty-first Century Design – new design icons, from mass market to avant-garde’, Marcus Fairs (Ed.), Carlton Books, London, UK
  • ‘&Fork’, (100 contemporary designers selected by 10 curators) Phaidon Press, London, UK


  1. ^ Kennedy, Gabrielle. "Julia Lohmann on What Design Can Do". Design NL. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  2. ^ Dunmall, Giovanna. "Julia Lohmann – The Anatomist". Giovanna Dunmall. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  3. ^ Kennedy, Gabrielle. "Julia Lohmann on What Design Can Do". Design NL. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Chalcraft, Emilie. "Kelp lampshades by Julia Lohmann". de zeen magazine. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  5. ^ Etherington, Rose. "Resilience by Julia Lohmann". de zeen magazine. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  6. ^ Lohmann, Julia. "The Catch, 2007". Julia Lohmann. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  7. ^ Lohmann, Julia. "The Lasting Void". Julia Lohmann. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  8. ^ “Waltraud” Cow-Bench. 2004

External links[edit]