What is Open Furniture Culture?

Open Furniture Culture is an initiative in appreciation of more than 3500 years of furniture making, its techniques, tools and knowledge.

Apart from this, it particularly considers the state of craftmanship and furniture making in the 21st century and paths into the future.

It's intended as a platform to connect a network of people from varying disciplines, with their own perspective on the topic - while also being a project space, document archive, knowledge pool as well as a pattern and design collection.


Woodworking is a cultural technique that has been passed down through many generations. Both in terms of technique and style, it is firmly based on knowledge sharing.

An increasingly important aspect of contemporary furniture culture is sharing product designs and build them independently in local craft tradition, using regionally sourced raw materials.

Thus Open Furniture Culture also contributes to an alternative approach to industrial serial production that values traditional crafts and helps preserving craftmanship techniques and cultural heritage.

What it is not

It's explicitely not a complement to movements like Open Design Furniture, Open CNC Furniture or marketplaces like Thingiverse.

The primary goal of these projects is to provide designs for manufacturing objects via computer-aided equipment like CNC mills or generative techniques (3D printing, laser sintering).

While these are approaches in their own right, their principal objective is to overcome the knowledge and manual mastery of traditional craft by technology.

Heute ist die gute, alte Zeit von morgen.
Karl Valentin

Today is the good old time of tomorrow: A witty pun by Bavarian icon Karl Valentin, who was a carpenter himself.

Looking at thoughtfully handcrafted furniture from centuries past, it becomes obvious that their quality has a reason.

Emphasizing key elements - such as century-proven joining techniques as well as a thoughtfully decent style beyond extroverted design - sets the foundation for the antiques of tomorrow.

Craftsmanship is a deeply rooted heritage of humanity that must be responsibly nurtured.
Markus Schatzl

For Markus Schatzl as a third-generation carpenter, furniture and its design, as well as wood as a working material, have been present ever since.

Open Furniture Culture as a platform is motivated by many conversations about the significance of craftmanship from various perspectives.

It was launched in 2020 and intends to contribute to the preservation and open proliferation of traditional woodworking knowledge.