ic! berlin is excited to announce Werner Aisslinger has joined the crew as design director alongside Worldwide Sheetmetalglassessalesman Ralph Anderl. The Berlin-based architect, product designer and 2014 A&W-Magazine Designer of the Year will launch his debut collection for ic! berlin in September 2015 at the world’s largest and most prestigious optical fair, Silmo Paris.
Having conquered furniture, architecture and MoMA in New York the mastermind behind the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin is focusing on something a little more intimate: eyewear. Though notably smaller than a hotel, Aisslinger notes that designing eyewear is still “incredibly complex – not just technically, but because glasses are worn every day they essentially belong to the body; they should punctuate the wearer’s personality. The symbiosis between product, accessory and fashion object is extremely challenging.”
This is, however, not his first venture into eyewear design. In 2009 Aisslinger designed collection 04 for onono: the very few, ic! berlin’s exclusive brand of buffalo horn eyewear. Indeed, Aisslinger has held an affinity to ic! berlin since its founding in 1996, and over the years an even closer friendship with founder and CEO Anderl. Now, joining Anderl at the helm of the ic! berlin Design Team, Aisslinger is eager to develop new materials and production methods, interpret existing materials in new ways and take the collection and the famous ic! berlin screwless hinge system in new and exciting directions.
Werner Aisslinger is a multi-award-winning architect and designer whose works are exhibited in permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain in Paris and the Museum Neue Sammlung in Munich. His “Loft Cube” redefined mobile living and in 2014 he was named Designer of the Year by Architektur & Wohnen Magazine. Aisslinger has developed furniture for cappellini and zanotta and has worked on architectural and product projects with powerhouses such as Mercedes-Benz, adidas, Hugo Boss and ic! berlin.
“w. aisslinger for ic! berlin” is available from October 2015 in selected opticians and boutiques.
Q&A with Werner Aisslinger
What is your design philosophy?
For me, design is a profession that deals with developing visions, utopias, concepts and experiments that solve the problems facing civilisation and contribute to social evolution, not just projects and jobs. Design is not a cog in the industrial supply chain: design is culture which becomes part of the history of civilization.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
It’s an organic process; a combination of living in Berlin – one of the most inspirational cities in the world – and experiencing lots of travel, exhibitions, art, fashion and music. One must keep their eyes open and absorb their surroundings in order to find ideas and projects.
What makes ic! berlin unique?
It is quite rare to find a company which produces, markets, distributes and designs their product in the middle of a metropolis like Berlin. This means that everyone who works at ic! berlin carries with them a certain spirit – a spirit which is infused into the product every single day. That is the difference. That is the ic! engine.
Where can we see your signature in the Silmo collection?
Through the colours and material combinations, and through the new interpretations of historical retro models from the 70s which can be seen throughout the collection.
Who do you design glasses for?
For curious, cosmopolitan, inspired, easy-going people for whom the glass is half full.