Werner Aisslinger, one of the largest product designers in Germany, tells us in private about future trends, the transformation of the designer and what beauty and aesthetics mean to him
Product designer Werner Aisslinger, image source Rolf Benz
Werner Aisslinger in conversation with Haus von Eden
House of Eden: Mr. Aisslinger, what are the future design trends in your eyes?
Today, at the dawn of the 21st century, design is no longer limited to sheer form. Neither the stylish one Minimalism In the late 20th century, the uniform look of a modular-schematic interior design can still be the goal of sophisticated product or interior designs today. Atmospheric aspects are much more important. As a designer, I see myself less as a mastermind with a finished design plan in mind than as a DJ, the most diverse Material knows how to sample; it's not about the “total look”, but about the surprising collage.
Studio Aisslinger follows this motto in its various projects. Through "storytelling" objects become more than just cool factual products; they carry their own story. Like everyday life, as the world itself is collaged from various elements, studio aisslinger replaces the homogeneous monochrome style world with a mixture of vintage, flea market, classics and archetypal new design; The result is a grown-up mish-mash that blends a variety of details into a vibrant, inspiring atmosphere.
Rolf Benz ADDIT designed by Werner Aisslinger and Tina Bunyaprasit
How important is sustainability today?
The issues of sustainability and ecological design are crucial. From what kind of production do the used materials come from? What is your CO2 footprint and what is your relationship to the finite resources of our planet? Do you come from afar or are you local? Do you also tell in your own story the story of the place we are trying to reshape?
Sustainability and environmental awareness are no longer secondary attributes. They become constitutive for a design that does not simply understand itself as a shell or appealing packaging. Design in our sense is more a kind of subtle sensitization to the diverse aspects of the world in which we live. Only if we allow ourselves to be surprised in our perception, only if we learn to perceive again at all, will we be able to understand and preserve this planet.
What do you understand by the terms beauty and aesthetics?
Beauty and aesthetics are difficult words. We have become accustomed to finding what pleases and liking aesthetics with what seems to us immediately beautiful. But it is not that easy. If only that is beautiful, what pleases, we reduce beauty to us familiar. Shapes, colors, haptics - If something goes wrong, our judgment is quickly negative.
Of course, there are design classics and archetypal design that does not lose its attractiveness over generations. And of course, the goal of a product designer is to create such archetypal furniture and spaces. It is crucial, however, that such design never just pleases, but always includes a small irritation. Only through the irritation does the object unfold its special attraction. Everything else is average.
Aesthetics, a word that goes back to the Greek 'aesthesis', which simply means 'perception', means to me: opening up our senses through irritation and friction. If something only pleases, it is pleasing.
CIRQL collection 2019
To what extent is your personal life reflected in your design?
My personal life is of course also reflected in my design. Whereby a design philosophy has been developing for some time, especially in the interior area, to which the whole studio contributes, which is no longer tied to one person. But the vibrant heterogeneity of the collage also determines my personal living environment. Neither my office nor my private apartment are 'fully designed'. Both are more reminiscent of organisms that are constantly evolving or of modern chambers of curiosities in which curious objects are put together with scientific exhibits, found objects, prototypes, etc. This enthusiasm for what is self-surrendering, what is not emerging in a controlled manner is also important for my attitude towards questions of ecology and sustainability. They are less of a burden than an opportunity to take on different perspectives and rediscover the diversity and magic of the world.
Work process Studio Aisslinger
In your opinion, what are the main challenges for the future?
In my installation called "Incubator Island" for an exhibition at the Gropius Bau Berlin 2019, I tried to present the challenges of the future in a sculptural thesis. It combines the unique, through consciousness and history shaped relationship of the person to himself and his environment with his ability to cooperate and collective intelligence.
From this mixture, a future can be imagined that does not have to be either the dark dystopia of a destroyed earth or the glorification of a technoid-cold world of androids and artificial intelligences. Only for such a humane future, in which nature and technology come together in peaceful coexistence and perhaps even productive community, is it necessary to sensitize all of us, even today. Not least by appropriate design.
Thank you Mr. Aisslinger!
Further to Studio Aisslinger