DESIGN HANG OUT #1:
THE INTERVENTION OF THE PAST, an interview with interior designer
Design Hang Outs is an online destination to source inspiration, discoveries and stories about the power of contemporary design. We will introduce exceptional pieces and products and celebrate the creative minds behind them. We want to encourage, connect and motivate you to dive into the beauty, fun and pleasure of design.
Thinking of contemporary interior design might intuitively lead you to the imagination of posh, futuristic and minimal interior objects – designer Philip Hohenlohe bursts this bubble with his entirely different approach following the sense that all art (and design) has been contemporary within their own period, he casts a new light on historical design, reinventing the past.
We met him at his studio in Vienna to discover more about his perfectly composed balance of crossing boundaries of classic eras with a great mix of fresh formula aesthetics.
9 and ½ questions go to Philip Hohenlohe:
Q1: In the 80ies you studied film and filmdesign in New York, how much does that influence your work?
Film design is, of course, different from Interior design, since it refers to a specific character in a film, his or hers background, aspirations and the specific stage in this person’s life. If, however, the design should imply a special mood, it might relate to some extent to interior design.
Q2: So how does it work, your intervention of the past?
Interiors should always reflect the whole person. Without his memory, meaning his cultural memory, the person loses his identity. If this memory is sacrificed for utmost originality ore utmost novelty, one is cut off from ones roots. So the past should be considered in form of objects or works of art. Only then the whole person is represented in his ore hers surroundings.
Q3: Chronologically describe your feelings when starting a project
Hope, despair, reluctance, hope again and in the end, if I am lucky, everyone will be happy.
Q4: There is this quote, that design can make you happy – how?
Well done interiors can have a great impact on your day to day mood. Today people go to the psychiatrist, to explore their inner lives. I think we have been analyzed to death. The neuroses seems to have moved in to the exterior world, into the ugliness of buildings, apartments and works of art.
This ugliness has a much more profound effect on the psyche then we realize. Good design makes the person feel at home in the rooms he lives in. He can retreat from the stressful world into a private haven. At the same time, if the apartment is only there, to impress and to show off, the true function is forgotten and nobody feels well in such a environment.
Q5: 3things that set good design apart from bad design?
Calm, clear, elegant.
Q6: If you would have to describe your approach with 3 words, what would they be?
always the next one
Q7: Your favorite Design object ever?
antiquity, the roots of our civilization, If we forget our roots, we float in a aesthetic vacuum.
Q8: Best decoration advice for interior design rookies?
Do what YOU love! Forget fashion, trends, forget what’s in, In is out!!
Q9: Functionality or Aesthetic?
Functionality can be aesthetic. Or it can be ugly and pretentious. Depends on the context. These ideas are not mutually exclusive.
Q9 1/2: Why in the world…?
…have we forgotten the concept of beauty and have substituted it with ideas of originality, coolness, slickness and pretence.
Philip Hohenlohe studied film and film design at New York University in 1980. He was active in renowned interior design firms in New York and from 1984 he began to work as production designer for independent film projects. In 1985 he founded the interior design firm Philip Hohenlohe Design New York and became involved in international building and design projects, when he returned to Vienna in 2001 and founded Philip Hohenlohe Design. AT