Essay • Baden

Forever on the cutting-edge

The Wogg collection is a steadily growing assortment of strong individual pieces that could hardly be more different from one another. United by their simplicity and sophistication, and untethered by modernity or fashion, the stand-alone pieces give off an air of casual wordly elegance.

Each piece of furniture is always clever in function and versatile in use, represents interesting technological solutions and exudes that special something. The guiding philosophy for every new project: to radically rethink things in craft and design and, in doing so, discover unimagined solutions – in terms of construction, typology and aesthetics. This intrepid attitude has enabled Wogg to regularly add new and extraordinary narratives to the history of design. 

Every number in the entire collection is rooted in two core skills that Wogg has mastered over time. The first: the development of new materials or novel reinterpretation of existing ones. Without innovative production methods, without “Swiss engineering” in the precise processing of aluminum, plastic, HPL, wood and textiles, many of the products that are icons today would never have existed. 

The second: the company builds on creative collaborations with experienced architects and carpenters, established designers and young talents. Time and again, the company’s dynamism has inspired auteurs such as Trix and Robert Haussmann, Ludwig Roner, Benny Mosimann, Jörg Boner, Christophe Marchand, Atelier Oï, Frédéric Dedelley, Stefan Zwicky, Adrian Meyer, Hannes Wettstein, Franz Polzhofer, Marco Zaccheo, Richard Wassmann, Johann Munz, Masayuki Kurokawa, Alfredo Häberli, Loris & Livia or Matthieu Girel to come up with new typologies. The results of these collaborations are classic furniture pieces like the pillar box, the sliding-door cupboards, the ellipsis towers or the stackable chairs. 

Dazzling visionaries and masters of their trade – such as the sculpturally and architecturally minded Ubald Klug, the visual propagandist and brilliant advertiser Alfred Hablützel, the enthusiastic inventor Willi Glaeser, the demanding champion of quality Hans Eichenberger or the silent shepherd Gerd Lange – put their heart and soul into the first Wogg pieces and built the foundation of the brand. The modular shelves, multifunctional bed, ultra-lightweight table, practical suitcase and convertible bar are all designs with a 1980s zeitgeist; but in their intelligence, ambition and user focus, they are timeless. 

It takes courage and a spirit of adventure to forge new paths. Ideas can afford to be fantastic and wild, but the answers to them often need to be worked out in long development processes; setbacks have to be dealt with, failures recognized and things rethought. The simplest things are often the hardest.  

The strength of Wogg as a company comes from all the aforementioned people and their wish to be a part of developing the culture of design and industry. As a driver for a new awareness of quality, they have shaped aesthetics, form and function in the design scene here and elsewhere, and become an avant-garde group with an international way of life. Fundamental to this was and is the ongoing, constructive and critical exchange between the owners and external creatives. Wogg opted for collaborations at a time when respectful collegiality in product development was not the norm. Today they can look back on many years of fruitful shared experiences.

Unusual ideas await in the future, and the search for innovative ways of using or reusing materials – for rare surfaces, for clever links and for unseen shapes – will continue as well. In Wogg’s early years, starting in 1983, the founders wanted humanity, naturalness, emotion or individuality to be reflected in the furniture. All four values are relevant as ever. And it is in their spirit that the company, as a design brand strives to work locally and long-term with the right production partners all over the world – on par with Swiss quality.  

The seductive motto of the makers at Wogg is: “To experiment is to learn”. And, naturally, the result of this is that each new project follows the old inner calling: to continue mastering new things and fill our products with soul. 

This text by Stephanie Ringel was originally published as the introduction to the collection catalogue of Wogg Furniture Ltd.

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