Christian Haas, Design Visionary
The Porto-based designer's oh-so-covetable homeware innovations upend traditional notions of home furnishings.
German-born, Portugal-based designer Christian Haas has worked his precise magic on countless forms and materials over the years. Table tops resembling Japanese folded paper, LED lights inserted into dangling ropes, compact yet surprisingly ergonomic chair seats: Haas has reinvented the everyday objects that punctuate our homes.
Andreas Murkudis met Haas 14 years ago and was one of the first people to stock his innovative designs. Uninterested in fleeting trends, the two share an intuition for timeless, good-quality design, as well as a similarly dry sense of humour. Since meeting in the early aughts, they have gone on to work together several times, notably on the temporary Andreas Murkudis store in Munich in 2006, and on an interior line for the Community Project Geisberg Berlin, unveiled during Gallery Weekend in 2016. Here, they muse on their project for Geisberg:
When asked whether I could develop a furniture line for Geisberg Berlin, I thought immediately about Christian Haas — I needed somebody who is creative, experienced and who is always in a good mood! Christian has a different approach to most classical furniture designers. He has a high knowledge of design and taste, and is the right partner when it comes to knowledge of manufacturing methods and construction principles.
There is a basic consensus of good taste between us: longevity of the products, but also longevity in the creation. The sofa, for example, has to function on all sides, it must be made by hand, it must be comfortable. We have been developing together how the line should be, and a certain amount of tranquility in the design was important to us.
"We have shared values in terms of what quality means."
From our side it was pretty much clear: designs for Geisberg Berlin mustn’t be shrill but rather timeless, the pieces must fit the house, they must be of a high quality, and they must be long-lasting.
The pieces of furniture should emit rest and solidity, but with elegant and affectionate details — we try to produce subtle elegance. The models are not prototypes, but ready, mature products that are made on inquiry. Specialists from small firms in Portugal, whom I know personally, then create the pieces of furniture. One can call this manufacturing, but it is rather an example of good, traditional craftsmanship. We coordinate and bring together the crafts.