“In these ever-changing times, I long for durability” says Stephan Hürlemann
Dezeen promotion: architects and designers have a responsibility in shaping the future according to Stephan Hürlemann, who discussed the importance of designing for longevity in an interview with Sky-Frame.
“If we are to secure the future of our planet, we have to change,” said the designer. “I am convinced that the move towards a more sustainable world is happening right now.”
“As architects and designers, we can be part of this change,” he continued. “It’s a huge opportunity to develop new products and new architecture.”
In a bid to actively contribute to this change, Hürlemann has positioned sustainability at the forefront of his work.
The Swiss architect and designer aims to make products and interior designs that will last and stand the test of time instead of creating things “for the sake of it”.
“[Design in the past century] was all about bringing products into the homes of as many people as possible and making these affordable to the broad masses,” he explained.
“Today the situation is completely different. The greatest challenge we are faced with today is climate change, and therefore sustainability. We should not simply develop another chair just for the sake of it.”
“In these times, to me, there needs to be a good reason to produce something,” he added. “The concepts need to perform better. Aesthetics alone is no longer sufficient to me.”
“In these ever-changing times, I long for durability,” he added. “It is important to me to design products and spaces that accompany people for a long period of time.”
For Hürlemann, this can be achieved by treating projects holistically – taking the context and purpose into consideration before beginning a design to ensure it fulfils “a genuine need”.
“There needs to be a good reason to produce something,” he said. “The concepts need to perform better. Aesthetics alone is no longer sufficient to me.”
“When I look at the bigger picture from different perspectives, I can see how the individual parts relate to one another,” said the designer. “I see the connections and can assess where there is perhaps too much of something or if something is missing somewhere.”
Hürlemann practiced this approach of looking at the bigger picture to achieve more clarity in his collaboration with Sky-Frame at the 2019 edition of Milan design week, where he created the art installation A Piece of Sky.
The installation comprised a mirrored hexagonal funnel that projected gradually changing colours. Viewers could step inside to see themselves reflected at different angles as if in a void.
“Upon entering the small space of the funnel an infinitely large space opens up in front of you,” explained the designer.
“It feels as if you were looking at the earth from space and glimpsing your own existence on this planet,” he continued. “Ideally this dramatic distance will lead to a magical moment of clarity.”
“I really enjoy working with Sky-Frame as they are willing to rethink things. As such, innovation is possible.”
Hürlemann studied architecture at the ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich before working alongside Swiss designer Hannes Wettstein at his studio for six years.
After Wettstein passed away, Hürlemann became the creative head of the studio, which has seen him complete more than 60 design concepts with his team over the past 12 years.
Sky-Frame is a Swiss brand known for its sliding window systems founded in 1993, with many products now seen in several thousand properties across all continents.
Find out more about Sky-Frame products on its website.
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