Clemens Auer
photo: Leonhard Hilzensauer

Clemens Auer is an Austrian product designer based in Vienna, working in the fields of product design, lighting design and industrial design. As a designer he is searching for the simple yet astonishing. Within poetic design he is interested in the essence of something, of its nature or a gesture, trying to learn and transfer it into something new. His work approach can be outlined as interest in “Rethinking typologies” through investigating the “Character and behavior of things”.

Rethinking typologies

“My interest as a designer is not to design the 1000th chair or lamp, to design as-is, but to truly create new approaches. To do that, you have to look beyond, to rethink the typology of that certain piece of design you are working on. The result is more likely to challenge your view on things and to create innovation.

Character and behavior of things

“Our minds go round in circles. To escape from these routines, you have to leave and go into a different field in order to learn. If you found analogies, you have to transfer them into your field of origin to create innovation. The thus created value is aesthetic sustainability.

As a designer, to contribute to the discussion of sustainability, I think I am obliged to a certain aesthetic or formal sustainability. Creating a product of such beauty, elegance and wit, you just do not want to get rid of. To create such, you have to create something beyond trends, a piece of long-term significance. I guess you can call it a design classic. Deep down within every designer, he or she wants to have a piece of design of his or hers, called a classical one. According to my observation, every classic has a certain sculptural quality, and a sculpture is the frozen state of a being, an existence, a gesture, the essence of some character. That’s what interests me when working as a designer.”

Questions are tackled like: What is the essence of a serving gesture and thus how is a serving lamp – aka reading lamp – accordingly supposed to look like? What is the gesture of pinching and thus how is a pair of tweezers supposed to look like? What is the character of climbing something and what effect will this have on a ladder? What is the character of a vessel for pouring water like an electric water kettle and what can be learned and transferred onto a watering can – another pouring-out-vessel?

Clemens furthermore believes – following the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein – that every problem first of all is a linguistic problem, a problem of language, an inaccuracy of a sentence’s meaning, poorly chosen set of words, misunderstanding etc.  A closer look into language – which also is a kind of form – opens up a solution even closer and much more accurate than you might think.

During his career Clemens had the chance to work with clients such as: Artweger, AHT, Bayer, BP, Doppelmayr, Hansgrohe, Hauser, MAM, Nike/Bauer, Otto Bock, Rolf Benz, Vöslauer, XAL.

A graduate from FH Joanneum Graz Industrial Design course, Clemens’ work appeared on blogs like Dezeen, Designboom, AD, minimalissimo, form, AZURE or Yankodesign and was showcased at SaloneSatellite Milan, Light+Building Frankfurt and Blickfang Vienna fairs, on exhibitions in Milan, Vienna, Madrid, Budapest, Zagreb, Linz and Warsaw. He has been a Good Design Award 2018 Winner, German Design Award 2017 Nominee, NWW Design Award 2017 Nominee, German Design Award 2016 Winner, MINI Award Winner 2016, Wallpaper* Design Award 2015 Winner, NWW Design Award 2014 Nominee, Index:Award Nominee 2009 twice and received the Magna Moving Emotions Award 2006. He recently received an MBA scholarship from MCI Innsbruck.