Maximillian Eicke is Max International Design NY. His showroom, warehouse and workspace are located at 1 Tradesman Path, in Bridgehampton. Here you’ll find the works of this 24-year-old international designer.
Eicke was born in Germany but was raised on the East End. He attended Sag Harbor Elementary and Pierson Middle School before his studies at the Ross School in East Hampton—where his design future began. The seniors at Ross are given a thesis project. This six-month program is tailored to the students’ major interests and Eicke’s was interior design and architecture. He was especially focused on the works produced by the Bauhaus, the school founded by Walter Gropius in 1919 Germany, known for combining fine arts and design.
Eicke’s senior year project produced a stainless steel and glass coffee table and began his obsession with furniture design. After the Ross School he went on to continue his education at Griffith College in Dublin, Ireland, where he studied interior architecture. It was here that Eicke began learning how to make furniture from concept through production. After early graduation he got an internship with the German company Polenz, a manufacturer dedicated to the design of exquisite metals. Polenz’s high quality fabrication of furnishings and architectural elements caters to clients such as Hermès and Louis Vuitton. He worked beside master metal workers and upon leaving his apprenticeship Polenz gave Eicke his first Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welder.
With his TIG welder in hand, Eicke began the next phase of his ever-evolving furniture designs. He started with materials and forms that he could fabricate himself. This led him to a sensibility of expression, that, even now, when working with others with much broader fabricating capabilities, his early geometric and minimal sensibilities can still be seen. His early work most often employed solid teak, stainless steel and high gloss lacquer. Didactic in manner, each component is individuated and identifiable, as expressed in one of his dressers composed of lacquered drawers, read as blocks, sliding within a solid teak-supporting frame.
Expanding with new manufacturers and new materials, and with the added skills of Indonesian craftsmen, Eicke began branching out into other materials like marble and experimenting with more organic forms, previously beyond his skills and equipment. The scale of his furniture also began to expand as with some of his tables made with broad and thick slabs of teak and large, intersecting three-foot supporting cylinders of marble, cut into with organic lattice-like work, which engages the slab for stability and the heart and mind for its show of skill and evidence of a hand.
MAX IDNY now manufactures in Indonesia and Germany and its materials include several different types of stone, carbon fiber, stainless wires in a series of tension/compression tables and even wicker. Eicke is currently working on a commission for a table whose expansion mechanism has been designed with help from a German racecar manufacturer. The center of his showroom hosts a massive 9-foot-6-inch-diameter table, made to seat 14 or perhaps to grace a hotel lobby. It’s made of glass and highly polished solid stainless steel folded plates, weighing in around 3,000 pounds. The glass top was designed in four pieces so it can be moved. Eicke is also working on a 2-meter-long marble sofa and his novel bright-colored woven beach chair, Sloth, from last year’s collection, is being expanded to include a larger version for this spring.
A great part of Eicke’s success is due to his very special parents, Michael and Elfi. They were art dealers in London and Germany before they came to Long Island 20 years ago. They are the owners of Christy’s Art Center at 3 Madison Street in Sag Harbor where they sell paintings, antiques and architectural elements. Growing up in a family whose business is art and aesthetics has cultivated this young and promising designer.
MAX IDNY was founded in 2009 by this talented young entrepreneur/designer and he has more to come. He currently produces indoor and outdoor seating, tables, bookcases, chairs as sculpture, and commissioned works. And next season he will introduce, not only 10 new pieces, including more Sloth beach chairs, but also a new passion, his first ceramics and tableware, starting with a tea cup and a tea pot.
Dan’s Papers readers are invited to a holiday open house at Eicke’s studio at 1 Tradesman’s Path in Bridgehampton on Saturday, December 14 from 5 to 8 p.m.