Max Berger is an uber-talented designer. His products and sculptures interact with users in exciting new ways, while blurring the line between function and fine art.
In just past the couple of years, the Westporter has created a coffee table a bit higher than most, so folks can eat comfortably at it. The back panel is missing, providing 8 square feet of storage that can be accessed while sitting on a couch.
Max has made a handsome water bottle with a sophisticated style that monitors and displays how much water you’ve drunk throughout the day.
He’s designed a 3-part steel candle holder that allows fire to dance between each level, while reflecting off the rusting metal.
The collection is remarkable for its breadth, depth, creativity and curiosity. It’s even more remarkable because Max is just a college junior.
At Staples, he was influenced by Carla Eichler’s graphic design and Camille Eskell’s art courses. For college he chose the University of Michigan, because it combined a great art school with many other academic opportunities, along with Big Ten spirit.
En route to his BFA, Max spent 3 months at Copenhagen’s Royal Danish Academy of Design. That solidified his desire to work for an industrial design firm.
“That field is “multi-disciplinary,” Max says. “You use art, architecture, graphics and a lot more to create physical solutions to human problems. There’s business involved too. It’s messy, and fun.”
Max’s greatest creation so far — The Cube — combines many of those elements. As part of the Integrative Product Design competition — a Michigan grad course in business and engineering that’s been featured on CNN and in the Wall Street Journal — he helped lead the winning team.
Max’s group designed and marketed the “Unit.” It’s a combination stool/storage solution.
Users buy a file online, and take it to their local maker space’s CNC machine (most colleges have one). The Unit requires no glue or nails; it takes 1 minute to build from plywood.
Once assembled, the stools stack into a multi-fuctional shelf. The top unit is customized with hooks for backpacks and coats; the bottom units are customized with shoe racks.
Max is always looking ahead. This summer he hopes to intern with an industrial design firm in New York or San Francisco. As a senior next year, he’ll work on his thesis.
And then — well, remember the name Max Berger. You read it here first.
(To see more of Max Berger’s multi-faceted work, click here.)