The Icon 20/20 Designers: Moritz Waldemeyer 01.05.09

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Collaboration with OK GO alternative rock group, 2008

Moritz Waldemeyer has been the design world's engineer-for-hire for five years. He has produced his own work - a touch-sensitive interactive gaming table in Corian, and a chair that reads and projects the colour of the sitter's clothes - but it's fair to say his best has been with others. The engineering graduate has collaborated with Yves Béhar and Ron Arad in the design of their interactive Swarovski chandeliers, with Zaha Hadid to make her Z Island kitchen and with fashion designer Hussein Chalayan on his most show-stopping pieces.

So when his name looks set to remain in small print, why is it on our list? Because Waldemeyer fulfils a new role - he's the Cecil Balmond of the design world. Architects need engineers to get their visions configured and as the desire for interactive products increases, designers will seek out the expertise of Waldemeyer.

But the engineer-cum-designer can also be seen as a figurehead for the next generation of designers. He represents a shift from the single discipline to the plural, and has made himself entirely at home in a grey, fuzzy area that makes most people feel lost. He's collaborated on art, interaction and fashion projects - he's currently working in healthcare helping to re-think a medical procedure - as well as designing and collaborating on products for Italian lighting super-brand Flos. His greatest joy comes from combining all of these disciplines. Waldemeyer's ambition is to build and art-direct a practice of people from all walks of life, to make products, installations - or anything - that interact with us. "It's time to be multi-disciplinary - almost to the extent of the Renaissance," says Waldemeyer. "The classic discipline can only be pursued so far, otherwise we will just be designing the same chairs into infinity."

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