Having successfully negotiated the Kotze am Kotti, secured a fresh juice from Fatima and mothballed his clothes, Peter Fox finally reached his dream future home, his Haus am See, complete with garden and 100 cricket playing grandchildren.
Werner Aisslinger’s Home of the Future looks “somewhat” different and until June 9th can be viewed in the Haus am Waldsee in Berlin-Zehlendorf.
Loftcube am See, as seen at Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future
Having constructed such a complex introduction, the first thing to say is that the exhibition title is somewhat misleading, the exhibition isn’t about the Home of the Future.
Or at least not directly.
While one or the other object on the ground floor is about direct solutions for future domestic arrangements, the majority of the exhibition is devoted to materials, how materials are used, how materials could and should be processed into domestic objects but for all how Werner Aisslinger approaches, uses and process materials.
And indeed what is a “material” in the context of furniture and home furnishings.
A fact that doesn’t make the exhibition any less interesting: far from it, for all the display on the first floor is a veritable treasure trove of innovative thinking and fresh approaches to accepted solutions.
We just feel it’s important to clarify the situation for any visitors expecting a replication of the “Ideal Homes” exhibitions of the 1950s and 60s with their representative examples of the living room of the future or indeed those of the 70s and 80s with their futuristic, robot heavy, worlds.
Werner Aisslinger’s Home of the Future is much more conceptual, theoretical and expects that the visitor thinks a lot more about what is on show rather than just staring disbelieving at the designer’s interpretation of the Brave New World.
And is all the better for it.
We don’t find it all good, but it is all definitely well worth showing and discussing.
Books, as seen at Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future
The highlight for us is probably the shelving system presented as part of the installation “Books”. Largely because before seeing it we didn’t have Werner Aisslinger down as a “readymades” designer.
Just to be clear, we’re normally the last people to be impressed by “readymade” design and normally avoid such objects as if they were a group of students gathered in a city centre trying to make us join some global charitable organisation.
But a shelving system made of books makes perfect sense.
Not least because having recently moved flat we are all to aware of how many superfluous books there are in the world, books that no one knows what to do with.
In his essay for the “Kaufhaus de Ostens” exhibition catalogue Jasper Morrison noted, “Marcel Breuer seeing a pair of bicycle handle-bars decided to make chairs using the same industrial process. The new world constructor seeing a pair of bicycle handle-bars decides to use them as they are and save himself the trouble and expense of bending the tube”.
Similarly where the “traditional” industrial designer sees a pile of old books, pulps them and creates an object from the resulting recycled paper, a Werner Aisslinger takes the books, devises a simple connection system and creates a shelving unit.
Thus negating the need to invest energy and other resources in an ultimately unnecessary material transformation process.
And at the same time reminding us that we possibly buy too many books that we ultimately don’t need and that not only should we consider our consumption patterns but publishers their production strategy.
Chair Farm, as seen at Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future
Similar to Books, if from our perspective less developed and refined, is Werner Aisslinger’s Chair Farm project – an attempt to “grow” furniture in situ and so save the later processing and transportation costs and inputs. As we’ve noted earlier, sensible and ingenious as the concept unquestionably is, we just don’t see it as process the world is ready for. At least not yet. And not in its current form.
Sentiments that we would also apply to Werner Aisslinger’s Living Kitchen concept.
Over the years we have seen numerous systems of the Living Kitchen type, and having seen Werner Aisslinger’s approach remain as convinced as ever that while such an integrated system is both desirable and practical, in order to be accepted by the vast majority of the public it will have to look less rustic.
Almost all systems that we have seen look like a collection of open tanks connected by tubing; and while a majority of us would claim to be in favour of bringing a little more nature into our domestic worlds, the majority of the majority are actually looking to bring references to and a general sense of nature into their domestic worlds.
Not your actual wet moss. Or twisted willow.
And pressed hemp? Not a problem!
Premiered as a concept piece as part of the 2011 DMY Berlin curated Poetry Happens exhibition in Milan, it only took Moroso about 5 minutes to unveil Hemp Chair as a commercial product to an adoring global public. OK Hemp Chair still isn’t actually listed in the Moroso price lists but the speed with which Moroso moved to secure the license, the reaction to the piece, and the enthusiasm with which it is discussed, underlines the ready willingness of the public to accept such a material – if it is presented in a form that fits with our pre-defined understanding of “domestic”.
Mesh Vases, as seen at Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future
Slowly but surely the world is understanding that we don’t need ever new products, we need better products that make better use of better materials.
Or to misquote Mies van der Rohe “Less is More”
And slowly but surely designers are understanding that they are the ones who will have to lead the process and who will have to come up with the solutions that help guide society in new directions. To create solutions consumers want.
Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future doesn’t provide answers as to how that could be achieved, it merely shows how one designer approaches this challenge, how one designer understands and works with materials, how one designer interprets his responsibility – and in doing so it makes clear that the solutions are there, the transformation is possible, and with real, accessible, products we can all identify with and relate to.
Which is all very comforting to know.
Viewing Home of the Future won’t make you go home hating your furniture and wishing you could throw everything out and start again, but it will, hopefully, lead you to make more careful, individual decisions in the future about how you organise your home environment and how you source the required objects.
Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future can be viewed at Haus am Waldsee, Argentinische Allee 30, 14163 Berlin until Sunday June 9th 2013.
Full details, including ticket prices and information on the accompanying fringe programme can be found at www.hausamwaldsee.de
- Loftcube am See. Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future. Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
- So close to nature trees grow through it......
- Nic Chair for Magis. Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future. Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
- Chair Farm and Living Kitchen. Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future. Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
- Living Kitchen. Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future. Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
- Loftcube im Wald. Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future. Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
- Textiles Badbiotop. Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future. Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
- Network. Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future. Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
- ...a little more detail.
- Mesh Vases. Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future. Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
- ....and an example of the result of the process.
- Books. Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future. Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
- .... the connection system.
- Some of Werner Aisslinger's sketches.
- Chair Farm. Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future. Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
- Nic Chair. Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future. Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
- Hemp Chair and Juli Chair. Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future. Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
- Werner Aisslinger: Home of the Future. Haus am Waldsee, Berlin