It takes some special furniture to get me inspired, I’ve seen so many different pieces over my lifetime that it’s got to the point where it’s hard to spot something new out there. Usually they have to be handmade and crafted, or have a quality backstory, ie be offering something unique and different. A lot of the time you have this contemporary furniture that isn’t really ‘designed’ as such, it’s just been made with the concept of being ‘trendy’, which isn’t something I appreciate personally. In my opinion function and quality are grouped under the same heading, it just so happens that when you get to the essence of an objects meaning it usually looks beautiful as well. It’s almost like a byproduct.
As a designer who appreciates the skill behind handmade objects, I also have an equal interest in manufacturing and the current ‘field of play’, so to speak. I guess my passion is rooted in the earlier stages of the process, drawing plans and making models, hence the handmade part, but it’s intriguing to see things effect the mass market and play a role in the wider scope of peoples lives. Often little tweaks here and there in certain designs can really make the world of difference, a chair is quite a big one where it can actually change a humans posture and give them back injuries if not carefully thought out (or tested for that matter). So you can see as you scale up the more important these little details become and the bigger task it is for designers, also the responsibility that comes with it.
One such designer who’s been designing classic furniture, and has been implementing classic shapes for some time, is publicist and architect Werner Blaser. Werner has been influenced by his encounters with Alvar Aalto, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and classical Chinese and Japanese architecture. His buildings and furniture designs are an expression of his acknowledgement and intense engagement with the works of Mies van der Rohe, which is pretty obvious when you look at the designs up-close and compare. But what I like is that even though he’s used Mies as an inspiration he’s pushed it onwards to a new direction, using a mixture of materials and different techniques. And at the end of the day, what better designers to pick than Mies van der Rohe and Alvar Aalto?
Werner Blaser’s original furniture items are part of the LÖFFLER collection, and he’s been working with LÖFFLER to produce his WB series and other items since 2011. This collaborative effort has produced contemporary interpretations of his furniture designs, which can be seen before you above and below. There’s plenty more on the LÖFFLER website for you to gawk at, so I’d recommend having a browse and also viewing other pieces by the likes of Marc Newson and Günter Beltzig.