Hannes Wettstein

Hannes Wettstein

Hannes Wettstein was one of the most innovative and influential designers in Switzerland.

Hannes Wettstein was one of the most innovative and influential designers in Switzerland. His background alone did not follow a standard pattern: born in 1958, Wettstein completed an apprenticeship as a structural engineering draughtsman and then trained himself as a designer and architect. He was fascinated by technological developments as well as art history and architecture, and somewhat alchemical and ingenious, his unique way of developing ideas never disappeared. In his words, he questioned all norms, social, industrial, cultural and ritual, to discover something new. This absoluteness was not an attitude but a methodology. His willingness to always rethink everything determined by design – everyday actions, an organization of rooms, the purpose of things – led him to create surprisingly simple solutions that outlasted time. Technology transfer from design-resistant fields, years of scientific work on an idea or a material and a fine sense of brand quality – Hannes Wettstein shaped a world in which he sought to comprehend the essence of things that surrounded him. Pure, unspectacular, functional design was the stamp of his lights and furniture. Again and again, he returned to sleek forms and classic modern lines. These suited his vision of the world and society in that, even before his time, he knew that only self-evident design could be endurable. Hannes Wettstein designed elegant and perfect objects for daily use that maintained their identity and remained timeless even in the changing flow of fashion. Also in room design, he created archetypes: complete and sensitive solutions for specific locations, interior fittings or set designs. The comprehensive way in which he helped designed the world lives on today in the company he founded in 1991, Studio Hannes Wettstein.