Project Type

Middle Term


Prof. Nina Juric


Gerd Mies

Area of Expertise

Image and Motion


In a joint project with stilwerk and design studio Letters Are My Friends, KISD – Köln International School cordially invites to pay a visit to the spatial installation “The Shelter of Love“ in the cities of Berlin, Düsseldorf, and Hamburg. Here, the respective entrance foyers of stilwerk design destinations are the setting for the Christmas campaign of ”Shelter of Love“ and its artistic performance and implementation. “The Shelter of Love“ – a nativity scene in and through design.

The ”Shelter of Love“ campaign translates the Christmas story religiously neutral into a big scale spatial installation. On content level, it reflects the typecast within the shelter and questions the relationships of the characters of Jesus Christ, Maria and Joseph, Angel, the three Magi, Shepherd and Sheep, the Donkey and the Oxen, in order to transfer them into present day. The idea and the concept was designed by Berlin studio Letters Are My Friends, who were asked by stilwerk to creatively direct the crossmedia campaign. One core element became staging a room-filling installation through interior design elements. The idea was born to deliver a contemporary interpretation of the traditional nativity scene and to realize it together with KISD. What is a shelter exactly? What has to be protected in these and modern days?


In a KISD-project supervised by Prof. Nina Juric and Gerd Mies, 12 students discussed these issues, conceptualized and finally drafted six tangible and spatial areas constructed with materials such as aluminium profiles, foam, window blinds, industrial bags and cushions. The derived design spaces and artistic positions thereby refer to currently highly debated topics such as home, solidarity, and freedom. “Our installation is aimed at reminding the observer of the importance of active participation and action with regard to protecting fundamental human rights. Today, everybody can be a ‘whistleblower‘ and can be involved in a kind of protest that defends and safeguards our ideals and values,“ KISD students Max Brückner and Monique Holthuizen indicate in describing their installation dealing with the role of the Shepherd and the Sheep.

“Design has to claim space“

Professor Nina Juric, responsible for the area of expertise Image & Motion, describes the project as a huge opportunity for participants: “When I was a student, I was pleased when it came to conceptualizing and implementing joint projects with artists and designers under real-life conditions. Not a simulation for your portfolio, but efforts that really head outside and receive the viewer‘s attention and his reaction. One of the most important objectives of design and art is to claim space. Space to open up communication and debate. The Shelter of Love could be installed at three architecturally intriguing venues, in three big cities, in three different editions. Over the course of seven weeks! stilwerk offered ideal conditions for undertaking something courageous and different from the usual Xmas agenda. This is extraordinary.”

A Different Approach to Christmas

stilwerk-proprietor Alexander Garbe says: “With this design installation and setting, we take a different perspective on traditional Christmas. A perspective and approach that stretches beyond the surface and fosters discourse and debate on current values and, at the same time, supports young talents. In Nina Juric and the students of KISD – Köln International School of Design, we could find creative and open-minded partners who enabled us to take this approach.“

Interested visitors can attend “The Shelter of Love“ in the entrance foyers of stilwerk design destinations in Berlin, Düsseldorf, and Hamburg until December 30, 2019.

Credits “The Shelter of Love“

Concept, Creative Direction
Letters Are My Friends

Art Direction & Design – Print & Motion
Bärbel Bold, Leon Schniewind, Ashley Nicole Morgan

Project Management
Paul Claussen

A Research and Teaching Project at KISD – Köln International School of Design
Area of Expertise: Image & Motion, Prof. Nina Juric & Gerd Mies

Teaching Assistant
Carolin Schabbing