The Swiss interior designer and industrial designer Wilhelm Kienzle completed a carpentry apprenticeship in Basel and learned the metal craft before he founded his own design office in Munich in 1908. After long stays in Rome and Paris, he worked in 1914 together with Peter Behrens at the AEG in Berlin. For the Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich, where he taught interior design from 1916 to 1951, Kienzle designed international exhibitions in 1925 in Paris and in 1928 in Stockholm.
As a furniture designer, Kienzle was extremely versatile and created telephone desks, wooden toys, the xylophone “Sound Dove”, kindergarten tables, removable frames and a shoe tip. His “Bookshelf” dates back to 1930/32, later rewritten by Wohnbedarf AG in Basel. It has black sprayed steel supports and natural maple rims, which are silky polished and slotted so that the bent sheet steel supports can be inserted. As a result, the shelf is easy to assemble and extremely stable. One of Kienzle’s last works is the design of the communion table utensils for the Basel St. Thomas Church.