The Magazine: How do you keep your work relevant, yet also retain the traditional qualities your companies are known for?
Piotr: Gaggenau made nails at the very beginning, which you can’t compare to what we do today. Now, we’re very technology driven, and there comes a time when you need to decide if you want to keep up with the pace, or stay as you were. I’m really lucky in that I’m allowed to challenge the things that Gaggenau creates.
Ingrid: Actually, we’re also really lucky here at Nymphenburg in that we’re allowed to be very open, too. We take on very complex things.
The Magazine: Such as?
I: We always made things that were very cutting edge, but we continue to pay tribute to the beautiful old artisanal ways and mix them with new modern thinking. We didn’t make them disappear, we let them converse with each other.
The Magazine: Can you describe the journey from single idea to product?
P: It’s a very classic approach from our research to sketches through to the mock-up of ideas. There’s the constant questioning of what we do. The design process is where you allow yourself to make mistakes, but often that mistake might lead you to something new. Sometimes the smallest most naïve prototype – something just made out of paper – can take you a step ahead.
The Magazine: So, do you make mistakes?
P: I think that’s the reason for my being [laughs]. I want to make mistakes, because then my role is fulfilled.
I: That’s very refreshing to hear! I think we should celebrate mistakes more often because you can learn a huge amount from them. Usually, I’ll quickly sketch something with the material, as it’s the easiest way to react to something. Drawing helps me, but it’s not what I need to make the next step.
The Magazine: How much creative freedom do you both have?
I: That’s a really interesting question, because my colleagues and I are the ones that do the sketch and often we then go to another studio to materialise it. They don’t like to see us doing that.
The Magazine: Why?
I: Because, quite often they feel they’ve become experts with over 40 years of experience and then all of a sudden, a young person comes in and knows nothing about what they’re doing – and is brazen enough to try something new.
The Magazine: What about you, Piotr?
P: I’m not in such a closed environment, so I have the freedom to pursue projects that challenge the existing landscape. I still don’t know exactly what the engineers think about some of the work I do, but I can’t always have their reassurance at every step, especially as I am a conceptual designer.
I: Do you ever talk to them?
P: Of course, and of course I know more or less how things are done. The beauty comes in producing something that’s reproducible. However, on the other hand, when you try to create something that’s not meant to go into production immediately it still can challenge a world that needs to be challenged passively.