Heavy fabrics and delicate structures: at first, most people consider this an irreconcilable contradiction. That’s until they see the works of Irene Maria Ganser. The Linz-born designer likes to play with contrasts. She casts filigree furniture out of metal and bronze.
Her speciality: reinterpreting coffee house classics. Her side tables are ‘art with a function’, and can be seen at places like the world-famous Milan furniture fair. Her work is also on display in her home town, more precisely at Motel One Linz-Hauptplatz.
5 questions for Irene Ganser
What is particular about your design work? I love handicrafts, especially old techniques like metal casting. I like the shine of brass and bronze: there’s something timeless and elegant about it. I’d be very sad if these centuries-old techniques were to die out. Since I come from the world of fashion and textile design, my focus is on structures and contrasts: matte and shiny, rough and velvety soft, light and dark. My design work usually tells a story.
How do you unite tradition and innovation? Tradition inspires me a great deal: I love the Wiener Werkstätte design movement. But there’s no point in just copying tradition. There’s no appeal in that. I wanted to make a coffee house table in Viennese weave, but in a way that hasn’t been seen before. My furniture works are niche products, like jewels in the room.
What connects you to Linz? I was born and grew up in Linz. The city has a very high quality of life and beautiful natural surroundings. I was a student at the University of Art and Design Linz for many years.
What projects are you currently working on? I always work on several designs at the same time. I just completed the sculpture GV Kollmütz, a 250-year-old piece of wood from a wine press, but I also find working with old blueprint designs exciting at the moment.
What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future? Very soon, a lamp from my ‘albeo’ series, and a vase. I also want to create a vase collection.