They are called Archille Castiglioni, Arne Jacobsen, Ettore Sottass Jr., Gunnar Aagaard Andersen, Poul Henningsen, Philippe Starck or Studio DDL – just to name a few examples – and have gathered in the TAGWERC Design STORE because they all combine respectively designers and visionary pioneers in interior design.
Designers are the framer of our everyday life. Sometimes their designs are simple, almost simple, at other times eccentric, formal or functional and always somehow special and a reflection of her individual personality. In the field of interior design, the development of design concepts is often in the context of certain styles. Bauhaus, Pop Art, Functionalism, Radical Design are some of those design styles that influenced designers in their work. A special designer in the development of lighting was Poul Henningsen. Using mathematical formulas, the Dane, who had completed his architectural studies without a degree, calculated a so-called three-screen lighting concept, which provided an absolutely glare-free light and could be operated for the first time with almost all, then common bulbs.
A light is something different for everyone. The demands on lighting can really go far apart. Some use them as functional basic lighting or orientation light, as functional light, purely for aesthetic purposes or as an eye-catcher in a room. Designers, in turn, create luminaires that take all aspects into account and are much more than mere light sources. As described in the film “The Devil Wears Prada” using the example of fashion design very nicely, it is the designers who bring a vision to the world for the first time, which is later found on the garbage tables of the mass market. Take, for example, the rope system “YaYaHo” by Ingo Maurer. The lighting designer developed a cable system equipped with a low voltage technology. The special feature: The most diverse light objects could simply be placed on this particular cable system. At that time an absolute novelty. Over time many copies came up until today.
Of course, a simple ceiling spotlight or any folding chair fulfills its purpose. But design usually wants much more. Designers look beyond the ordinary and give objects a special design language, a unique style: aesthetics in everyday life.
Verner Panton said, that it would be better to sit in a chair whose colour one likes, incorporating the insights of colour psychology into design of whole restaurants, living spaces and office spaces – mostly commissioned works. The best example: the Visiona 2 material exhibition for the chemical company Bayer. Gunnar Aagaard Andersen had long before discovered the colours and shapes for himself, but was more of a free spirit, an artist whose work came out of him and experimenting with new materials. So he developed on the basis of a polyurethane foam in the early 1960s, as he called it, a “portrait of the Chesterfield chair of his mother,” a from brown foam layers constructed armchair. Unusual, unique, each chair unique and admired in the permanent design exhibition of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
But where do designers get their inspiration from? Sometimes it is the art, a cultural context, an everyday experience, perhaps also favors industry and technology achievements that make production as a mass product possible, even though the creative form is no longer new. Because design never emerges detached from time and space, but “is sometimes in the air” or is the logical consequence of a particular epoch and is embedded in a cultural context. Sometimes simply jobs or competitions that promise jobs that produce design. Because even designers have to pay electricity bills, need a continuous income and should not die in beauty.
Therefore, Ray and Charles Eames did not see their design mandate during lifetime as an outfit of elites. Rather, the American design
(marriage) couple wanted to make the crowd happy with their design ideas. “The role of the designer is that of a good, considerate host who appreciates the needs of his guests,” Charles Eames was convinced. And so the designers approached the process of redesigning, for example, the Lounge Chair or the Fiberglass Chairs, now known as the Plastic Sidechair and Plastic Armchair, in a very classic way and taking into account and concretizing the problem definition and the customer base. At the end a model or prototype with all its details was created. Charles Eames: “The details are not just details. They make up the design.” Perhaps the design concepts of Ray and Charles Eames have become so popular because of their general and everyday approach and thus are still at home in many households – albeit in the slightly better paid ones. Because now you have to spend for the entry level model of a Plastic Side Chair after all 200 Euros. The price for a Lounge Chair is even in the middle, four-digit range.
Design has long since become a new investment, whose boom will no longer benefit many deceased designers of legendary design classics. And yet, designers continue to live in their design drafts – even if these are sometimes changed or adapted in size and colour to the needs of a changing society. However, these adjustments do not seem to detract from the actual design the designer has created. “Good design is like the opportunity to fly to the moon. Few will ever be able to do it directly, but awareness of this possibility has changed the lives of millions of people”, Ettore Sottsass Jr. summed it up.
At TAGWERC, some special designers have got a living room. Here you can experience your ideas and provide inspiration for your own home. So we close this little essay with a quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “Perfection obviously does not come when you have nothing left to add, but when you can not take anything away.”