Designer Interviews

09.02.2015 - 18.03.2015

In ten film interviews, ten younger and older protagonists of Swiss design talk about where they come from, their ideas and about working together with manufacturers.

Interview with Aurel Aebi, Armand Louis and Patrick Raymond (Atelier Oï)

The three founders of Atelier Oï represent a transdisciplinary approach to design. They design architecture, scenography, furniture and products. Their special interest in materials and their high-quality processing leads to cooperation with luxury segment brands such as Louis Vuitton and Bulgari. At the same time, Atelier Oï carries out research of its own in this area and maintains an archive of materials. The trio talks about designing luxury goods and of the problems involved in transposing an idea when working with a company.

Interview with Jörg Boner

After studying, Jörg Boner founded Gruppe N2 together with other product designers in 1997. After a spectacular appearance at the Milan Furniture Fair, the group broke up again. Since 1999 he has been running a studio of his own and designs furniture, products and lighting – mainly for Swiss manufacturers. Jörg Boner talks about the transition from the pictorial object to a “super normal” product. In his view, there is still a great deal to be done in the field of Swiss design.

Interview mit Linus B. Fetz

Linus B. Fetz was given responsibility for communications by the firm Eternit AG Niederurnen and it was in this capacity that, in the 1990s, he contacted product designer Willy Guhl (1915–2004) with the aim of launching a new production of the legendary Beach Chair of 1954, this time without the asbestos. Willy Guhl’s specific approach to the task of designing is manifest in classic designs such as the Beach Chair and Elephant Ear and it is this approach that he has handed down to his students. Fetz talks about his encounters with the Swiss pioneer designer and explains the designer’s drawings and photographs.

Interview with Daniel Freitag

In 1993, Daniel Freitag and brother Markus stitched the first Freitag Bag. Still today, the brothers continue to make their design ideas part of their commercial strategy. They spent 20 years building the Freitag brand on an international scale and have unfailing confidence in Switzerland as a manufacturing location. Daniel Freitag talks about the pros and cons of owning a factory and about the struggle to produce something new without losing sight of the fun this involves.

Interview with Alfredo Häberli

Although he first had to learn German, Alfredo Häberli managed to acquire his diploma as a product designer at the ZHdK as best student in his year. Already as a student, he was designing exhibition architecture for the Museum für Gestaltung and forging contacts with the international design world. His designs for companies like Alias, Driade and Zanotta combine systems thinking with emotion. During an interview at his Zurich studio, Alfredo Häberli talks about his first visit to the Milan Furniture Fair in 1985, about friendships with designers and his experience with manufacturers.

Interview with Christian Harbeke (Nose Design)

As co-founder of Nose Design, mechanical engineer and product designer Christian Harbeke is responsible for the design of industrial products – with a spectrum ranging from pitons for Mammut through to designing sleeping cars for the Azerbaijan railway company. Designing the interior and exterior of a train involves not only interpreting the corporate design specifications of the client but also satisfying technical and economic requirements. Christian Harbeke shows how complex this task can be in the course of a presentation and explains what “Designed in Switzerland” means.

Interview with Trix and Robert Haussmann

With their interiors, furniture and products, the architects and designers Trix and Robert Haussmann made an abiding impact on the critical debate around modernism. While studying, they were introduced to the design principles of Bauhaus and International Style, later they started to challenge rigid conventions. During a conversation, they discuss the seriousness in irony and their preoccupation with utilitarian function and illusion.

Interview with Verena Huber

After studying to become an interior and furniture designer under Willy Guhl at the ZHdK, Verena Huber worked as project manager for Expo 64 in Lausanne. She had no wish to design interiors for wealthy home-builders and so developed an advisory service on homes for everyone, occasionally working with the Swiss Werkbund to pursue a concept of homes as specified by those who would later live there. Verena Huber talks about her family home – a prime example of avant-garde modernism – and about her views on homes as being part of an open process.

Interview with Simon Husslein and Stephan Hürlemann (Studio Wettstein)

After the death of Hannes Wettstein in 2008, his colleagues carried on running Studio Wettstein. In designing new products and furniture, Simon Husslein and Stephan Härlemann aim not to copy Hannes Wettstein’s radical approach but to continue to develop the studio in the spirit of its DNA. Simon Husslein and Stephan Hürlemann talk about the outstanding designs of Hannes Wettstein and about their new projects for Nomos Glashütte and horgenglarus.