Werner Aisslinger, who is one of the biggest product designers in Germany, privately tells us 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
Haus von Eden: Mr. Aisslinger, what do you see as the future design trends?
Today, at the beginning of the 21. Century, design is no longer limited to sheer form. Neither the stylish minimalism of the late 20. Even today, the unified look of a modular, schematic interior design can still be the goal of sophisticated product or interior design today. Much more important are atmospheric aspects. As a designer, I see myself less as a mastermind with a finished design plan in mind than as a DJ who knows how to sample a variety of material; 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
House of Eden: What importance is attached to 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.
House of Eden: What do you understand by the terms beauty and aesthetics?
Beauty and aesthetics are difficult words. We have become accustomed to think that things we like are beautiful and that aesthetic equals what immediately seems to be beautiful. But it is not that easy. If only that is beautiful, what pleases, we reduce beauty to the familiar. Shapes, colors, haptics - If something breaks ranks, our judgment is quickly negative.
Of course, there are design classics and archetypal designs which do not lose their 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
Haus von Eden: To what extent is your personal life reflected in your design?
Of course my personal life is also reflected in my design. Whereby, especially in the interior sector, a design philosophy has developed for some time, to which the whole studio contributes, which is therefore no longer bound to one person. But the vibrant heterogeneity of the collage also determines my personal living environment. Neither my office nor my private apartment are 'designed'. Both are more reminiscent of ever-evolving organisms or modern chambers of wonder, in which curious objects are assembled with scientific exhibits, found objects, prototypes and so on. This enthusiasm for unscrupulous, uncontrolled emergence is also important to my approach to ecology and sustainability issues. 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
House of Eden: In your opinion, what are the key challenges of 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