Book Reviews

Alfredo Häberli - A&W Designer of the Year 2009

«When I came with my family to Switzerland at the end of the ‘70s, it was only to settle for a limited time of three years. The hope being, that within that time the economic and political situation in Argentina would calm down. Today - 32 years later - I still am in Zurich.

For myself I could take only a shoebox full of personal things with me. I had decided for my little «Matchbox» toy cars, even if at fourteen I had stopped playing with them long ago. All my childhood was in them. They had been carefully kept in a felt bag since I was three. When later, fascinated by the products of Achille Castiglioni (A&W’s first designer-of-the-year!) and the car design of Giorgio Giugiaro, I began my studies of industrial design, all their shapes and colours, proportions and details, their materials and moves came back to me.

No, there was even more: My favourite car - the Iso Grifo - had been designed by the same, very young Giorgio Giugiaro, who was at Bertone then. With this exhibit I took the opportunity to show a part of my «Matchbox» collection (designers are hunter-gatherers anyway) and juxtapose it with my own designs.

The model photographs were enlarged to a size that approximates the real vehicles. Thus wear and tear, details, colour combinations and proportions are exaggerated, even caricatured, yet the seriousness of the real designs is picked up playfully. By their imprint on transparent film and application to the windows the show opens towards the outside, and the outside is coming in. I am myself curious - after several decades - to see these toys once again, especially at this size.
»   |  Alfredo Häberli

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Alfredo Häberli was born in 1964, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He moved to Switzerland in 1977, where in 1991, he graduated in Industrial design at the Höhere Schule für Gestaltung in Zürich. He received the Diploma Prize, SfGZ in 1991.

From 1988 onwards, he worked in Zürich for the Museum für Gestaltung, where he was responsible for numerous exhibitions.

In 1993 he set up his own studio, and subsequently worked for firms such as Authentics, Bd Ediciones de Diseño, Classicon, Edra, Driade, Iittala, Luceplan, Moroso, Offecct, Ruckstuhl, Thonet, Vitra, Volvo, Wogg, Zanotta.

Currently Alfredo Häberli is developing products for Alias, Camper, Kvadrat, Lapalma, Quodes, Schiffini.

Alfredo Häberli's work and designs have been shown in numerous exhibitions throughout Europe. He has received many awards for his work over the years. 2002 a personal monograph «Alfredo Häberli - Sketching My Own Landscape» was published by Frame Publishers in Amsterdam.

In October 2006 he was guest of honour at the 20th Biennale of Design in Kortrijk, Belgium. In this context the book «Alfredo Häberli Design Live» was published by Birkhäuser - Publishers for Architecture, Basel.

In summer 2008 was a monographic exhibition about Alfredo Häberli in the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich. «Alfredo Häberli Design Development - SurroundThings», 27 June to 21 September 2008.


Alfredo Häberli Design Development
Seefeldstrasse 301a
CH-8008 Zurich
phone +41 44 380 32 30 | Fax +41 44 380 32 39  |

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