Visiting Swiss designer Alfredo Häberli for Falke footprints Zurich
With more than 37° C we experienced one of the hottest summer days in Zurich. Josef, Sabine and myself humped our equipment from Alfredo's design work 25h Hotel to his office at the other end of the city.
Häberli’s workshop overlooks Lake Zurich. It’s housed in a sober 1970s building: concrete, glass and little spurts of green peeking out between the cracks in the brittle asphalt. He answers the door himself. He’s only got an hour for us – that’s all he can spare, he says. Too much to do. Just like everyone else, designers have to make money – sometimes, for others. For years he has had six people working for him. He glances at his watch. There’s always time for an espresso though.
We follow him into his studio, where a breathtaking scene awaits. Steel shelves are cluttered with memorabilia and objects collected over the past twenty years: plastic spoons, comic figures, plenty of junk, and childrens’ toys everywhere. There’s an old scooter and tricycles, some of them over fifty years old. There’s fabric and plastic contorted into different shapes hung on the walls, none of which serves any discernable purpose. Lamps in all shapes and sizes, as well as an eclectic assortment of dishes, glasses, cutlery, eyeglasses, divers’ masks. A prop collection? What for? Who is this man?