Good Design Lifts The Spirits
Karl Emilio Pircher and Fidel Peugeot are Walking Chair, and they’re famous when it comes to design in general and particular. Visitors from all around the world are drawn to their design studio in Vienna. No wonder, everything that goes through their hands makes life more beautiful and colorful.
Joint projects at the Lomography Society in Vienna brought together the South Tyrolean Karl Emilio Pircher and the Swiss Fidel Peugeot in 1999. One is a product designer and a technical tinkerer, the other a graphic and typography designer, illustrator, and musician. Back then Pircher worked for the Lomos, developed the Lomo Clip and new cameras, which were world novelties and won numerous design awards.
"Since years we have been welcoming travellers in our studio during their Vienna stay!"
Peugeot, who was born as Sebastian Rudolf Baumgartner in Basel and later studied communication design there at the School of Design, made stops as a graphic designer in New York and Paris before ultimately landing in Vienna, where he developed the first digitalized handwritten fonts, a complete dynasty of pixels fonts for the Internet, and not to mention the Lomo fonts.
In 2003 they founded Walking Chair Design Studio in Vienna. The namesake was their first design, the Walking Chair – Pircher was already twiddling away on the prototype in 1998. The Walking Chair – like the name says – can actually walk. The studio of the “young wild designers” (Peter Stuiber, Design & Wien, Metroverlag, 2007) soon created a furore internationally, collecting diverse prestigious design prizes along the way.
Wherever the works of Walking Chair turn up, it’s vivid, often downright poppy, or then even futuristic. Regardless what the duo designs – products, architecture, graphics, or typography – the results bring a whole lot of joy to life, however they often have a serious, sociopolitical background. Some pieces of furniture are intended for public space, like “YOU MAY”, a table-bench-lounge that could also pass as a sculpture. Or others thwart socially established forms.
The round table tennis table called “Ping Meets Pong” is a good example. To sum it up, the designs by Walking Chair have one thing in common: They bring people together. On their website there is a small showcase of their work in the form of a video, which they made with self-composed music and the poignant title “We make things and songs”.
In their design studio in Vienna’s 3rd district you will the Walking Chair Shop, where you can purchase one-offs or pieces from small series, and the Walking Chair Gallery, where they present new creative positions by designers from around the world.
The Walking Chairs also offer workshops: “Since years we have been welcoming travellers in our studio during their Vienna stay, be it curators or students, and we discuss our work and activities with them,” says Peugeot. “In the future we will offer more group workshops in which our studio will serve as a departure point for explorations of Vienna.”
In 2010 the 500-plus-page retrospective YOU DO DESIGN YOU — WE DO DESIGN YOU was published by the Viennese Metroverlag.
Where Walking Chair have left their design traces in Vienna:
Albertina, CI & logo, competition won in cooperation with Christian Satek/ Albertina Passage Dinnerclub, “Hammerschlag” installation of diverse objects/ Architekturzentrum Wien, A_show permanent exhibition, publication “Austrian Architecture in the 20th and 21st Centuries”/ CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, brand lounge interior design/ denkstatt GmbH, multifunctional meeting and conference furniture/ das möbel - das geschäft, diverse Walking Chair furniture and objects for sale/ Hofmobiliendepot - Imperial Furniture Collection, furniture in the permanent collection/ Kohlmaier GesmbH, producer of Walking Chair furniture/ MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, diverse objects in the collection/ Marien Apotheke Wien, interior design, CI & logo, and much more/ Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art, interior design/ Ottakringer Brauerei AG, bar, beer glasses/ Ploil Krepp Boesch Rechtsanwälte, interior design/ „Puff" die Bar, interior design/ Scheer GmbH, Animal Farm & Piano Table shop furniture/ Shiatsu-Box, interior design, CI & logo/ Vöslauer Mineral Waters AG, design development for diverse products, new sport and junior bottle, ReBottle Set, ReBottle Tree, bike mount, collection container, water pourer/ Wien Museum, represented in the collection.