Portret of Kathrin
Kathrin is a founding member and partner of the London based artist/architect collective public works, and she's also a founding member of myvillages.org.
She grew up in Höfen, a village of 200 residents in Upper Frankonia, Southern Germany.

In 2004 she started, together with the "Höfer Frauen" (an informal group of around 30 women from the village), "Höfer Goods".

"Höfer Goods" derive from stories, skills, materials and ambitions amongst the group, and are launched annually during the village fete on the first weekend in October.
A product designer from outside the village collaborates with the group on shaping ideas and developing new produce. Angelika Seeschaaf from eeaa Design has been involved in 2006 and 2008.
"Höfer Waren" is ongoing.
Spitzen Besuch
11 April 2014





I invited for a "Spitzen Besuch". Spitze can be lace, but it is also a peak. A Spitzen Besuch is normally a visit by a world leader.
The invitation to the Höfer Women was to go and visit Ernst's and Conny's loom in Rattelsdorf (0.8km away) and to understand a bit more about the lace production that's still going on here, and is somehow viable. The Hofers kindly opened the doors to their factory where they are still running small scale lace production on a 1914 machine from Plauen.
I didn't expect more than 5 women to come along, but we were 18! A highly enthusiastic group and into all sorts of technical details. We are going to make some Höfener Lace next.


Visiting Lace
29 March 2014



We're going to visit the truly amazing lace making factory that everyone kind of knows about - but has never been to. It's less than one kilometer from Höfen and we'll be having coffee and cake afterwards at the community hall. All in preparation for a new Höfer Frauen Höfer Ware.
Thanks to Conny and Ernst Hofer for showing us around.

On Friday 11 April at 2pm.
Meet at the Community Hall in Höfen.


European Lace
05 March 2014




I knew that there was a weaving mill in Rattelsdorf, and I would chat with the owners when we meet in the beergarden, but I had no idea what a great machine was behind those non-descript 1970ies yellow walls. It's a 1915 Plauen design loom which has been modernised a good decade ago but still runs on a card-to-tape converter. Their family story is even more amazing. About European lace centres, Cold War, global export and settling with the business in Rattelsdorf.
There will be more weaving stroies soon, since we're slowly preparing a new piece of lace for the Höfer Goods series. A first workshop will take place in early April with the Höfer Frauen.


Universal clay
05 January 2014



One of the beauties of clay is that it is so local and ever so universal!
We've done quite a bit around clay in Höfen - from tile making to group brainstorms, medial applications and talks. Overwhelmed with so much action and ideas I simply canned the remaining clay at some point, and it s selling in the International Village Shop.
However in 2014 we'll tackle our clay again. This time together with Gabriele Götz who is a construction biologist and runs the nearby clay factory and building supply. She has started to develop a series of eco non-fired clay products, and there is significant interest and demand for more. So a more cross-disciplinary group with clay knowledge from Rumania, Holland, France and Southern Germany will come together to have a go at some ideas. The market is quite creative when it comes to shaping clay (see photo). In preparation, some more clay from my father's field has been cleaned and stored away.


There will be more Eco Nomadic School
05 August 2013

I'm now linking most of what I'm doing in the village to the Eco Nomadic School - as a support and exchange framework, but also in regards to some minimal funding that mainly allows for travel and some fees. We've just heard that a continuation of the project has been granted and we are looking forward to working again with aaa in Paris, FCDL from Brezoi and the Peasant Museum Frensdorf as official partners.
All activities will be logged on the Rhyzom website. Rhyzom preceded the Eco Nomadic School as a pro-active and collaborative research project.


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