About us

SHAPES iN PLAY works at the exciting interfaces of product design, craftmanship and digital technology

We focus on the following areas of activities that offer valuable synergies and inspire new ideas


of high haptic quality.

We design products that are inviting to touch and use: industrial products, handcrafted limited editions, 3D-printed objects of digital origin or an innovative combination thereof. Our work is characterised by an original and contemporary aesthetic that goes hand in hand with the novel use of digital design tools, such as programming and CAD.

Using authentic materials and incorporating high haptic qualities turn our designs into a sensory and sustainable experience. We are convinced that well-designed products can balance the immateriality of digital culture and thereby have a vital function.


with intelligent behaviour.

Starting with classical product design, we have continuously focused on the topic of what is called `Creative Coding´: We design intelligent algorithms at the intersection of product and programming that can create parametric and interactive products. This new design approach inspires us aesthetically and offers new conceptual paths.

Users can, for example, be integrated in the design process or a product can be parametrically adapted to specific needs. New technologies such as 3D printing help us bridge the gap between the virtual and the `real´ tangible product.


to comprehend complex data.

We design forms of information visualisations that offer structure to complex data and help us understand abstract correlations. The results of this are 2D graphic visualisations, interactive data tools as well as 3D data sculptures.

Our unique focus is on combining 2D and 3D visualisations to offer comprehensive insight into the data of a specific topic. These concepts can be implemented to illustrate content in the context of campaigns, publications or exhibitions.


in theory and practice.

To responsibly contribute to the future as designers, we focus strongly on the impact of digital technology, the importance sustainability and the influence of design history. Which impact can good design have? What is our role and our task as designers today and tomorrow? Which tools do we need and how can we create them?

We actively integrate this discourse in our practice as designers, for example within the context of experimental and speculative projects, by teaching design, or by participating in discussions, exhibitions or activities at design museums. The interplay between digital – analogue forms an integral part of our work. Many of our projects spotlight systematic and process-oriented design.

In 2011 we, Johanna Spath and Johannes Tsopanides, founded our collaboration under the studio name SHAPES iN PLAY

Johanna Spath, Dipl. Des. (FH)

Graduate designer, lecturer, modeller for porcelain

Johanna’s passion lies in combining craftmanship and new technologies of digital culture. Working with porcelain was the springboard for her creative career. Before founding SHAPES in PLAY, she worked as an assistant at FRONT in Stockholm. In addition to her design assignments, she regularly gives lectures at universities.


Johannes Tsopanides, Dipl. Des. (FH)

Graduate designer, programmer, guest lecturer

Johannes´ design focus is in the field of creative coding. Combining programming skills (Python and Java) with his background as a graduate product designer, he takes on complex challenges at the interface of analogue and digital, 2D and 3D. In addition to applying these skills in projects for SHAPES iN PLAY, he also passes on his specific knowledge as a guest lecturer.


Aside from working on self-initiated projects, the Berlin-based design studio cooperates with companies and organisations in order to develop design solutions

The aim of our design process is to identify very specific qualities for every project and elaborate them in a novel and consistent manner. We start our design process by researching and analysing the topic to create a basis for new ideas. From there, we visualise our concepts using drawings, mock ups, renderings and CAD constructions. These tools help us design coherent products that are ready for the market.

Great curiosity and energy motivate us as designers to explore new paths. Authentic materials, traditional methods of production as well as design history are as just inspiring as applying new digital technologies and critically challenging the status quo. This range of influences has enabled us to develop our own design philosophy that is contemporary as well as sustainable.

SHAPES iN PLAY´s work is regularly presented at design exhibitions and can be found in print and online publications

Selected exhibitions

We are gladly presented in the permanent collections of Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, Stadtmuseum Berlin and at DHUB – Museu de les Arts Decoratives Barcelona.

  • 2019 Stadtmuseum Berlin, Permanent Collection
  • 2019 FOOD - Bigger than the Plate, Victora&Albert London, London/UK
  • 2018 Design Views, Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, Berlin
  • 2017 Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, Permanent Collection, Berlin
  • 2016 Keramikpreis Westerwald, Keramikmuseum Westerwald, Höhr-Grenzhausen
  • 2016 The Wall - Design Biennale, Kortrijk/Belgium
  • 2015 Salone del Mobile, Milan/Itlay
  • 2014 Hit the Future, MCBW München, Munich
  • 2014 Design Injection, imm Köln, Cologne
  • 2013 Internationale Design Biennale Saint Étienne, Saint Étienne/France
  • 2013 3D - Dreidimensionale Dinge Drucken, Museum für Gestaltung Zurich, Zurich/Switzerland
  • 2013 Berlin Trails, DMY Berlin at Ventura Lambrate, Milan/Italy
  • 2013 Arts Gallery, 3D Printshow, London/UK
  • 2013 What you get is what you give?, SWING Gallery, Benevento/Italy
  • 2013 Talents, Ambiente, Frankfurt
  • 2012 Moving Materials, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven/Netherlands
  • 2012 Design Relations, Bio.23, Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana/Slowenia
  • 2012 Full Print3d, Aufnahme in Sammlung, Museu de les Arts Decoratives de Barcelona/Spain
  • 2012 Taste Festival Berlin, Direktorenhaus, Berlin
  • 2012 DMY, Berlin
  • 2010 - 2011 Fabrication Laboratory - Full Print3d, Disseny Hub Museum, Barcelona/Spain
  • 2009 Hidden Heroes Superstudio Piu, Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milan/Itlay

Selected Publications

Our projects are published in design magazines, newspapers, blogs as well as in professional literature on design and 3D printing.

  • 2018 Tagesspiegel Berlin
  • 2017 Art Aurea
  • 2017 Food Futures, ISBN
  • 2016 Elle Decor Netherlands
  • 2016 AD
  • 2015 Spiegel Online
  • 2015 Dinge Drucken, ISBN
  • 2015 Wohn!Design
  • 2014 Süddeutsche Zeitung
  • 2013 FRAME Magazine
  • 2013 Elle Decoration Italy
  • 2013 Blueprint Magazine
  • 2013 Financial Times
  • 2012 DAMN Magazine
  • 2012 Designreport
  • 2012 Fastcodesign & Fastcoexist
  • 2011 Creative Applications