The Austrian designer’s new collection draws on the traditions of both his home country and Britain, where he lives now
Georg Œhler launched his Æsh and Tweed furniture collection at the Detail exhibition in the Order of St John during Clerkenwell Design Week.
The range, which includes a coffee table, armchair and footstool, uses grey and purple fabric and light, durable wood – drawing on the design and manufacturing traditions of both Britain and Austria.
He spoke to Icon about his work.
Tell us about the collection
This is my first show as a solo designer in London and that’s why I chose a union between Austrian and British design traditions for this range.
I used tweed from the Isle of Bute in Scotland and ash wood sourced and processed in Austria. The collection was designed in London and handcrafted in a small town in the middle of the Austrian Alps using traditional carpentry techniques to create complex, interlocking mortise and tenon joints.
There are wonderful design traditions in both countries and bringing them together for me is a personal thing – I moved to the UK two years ago and, through this collection, I’m bringing a piece of my old life to my new home country.
How would you describe your approach to design?
In one sentence: sustainability, high quality and storytelling.
Storytelling in design is important to me – for instance, the Æsh and Tweed range emerged from a personal story about changing my home country. Stories help to connect people and bring a piece to life – it’s how people connect to objects.
Using natural and traditional materials, such as wool and wood, is also very important to me. I feel there is a luxurious quality to natural materials – being able to touch something and know where it comes from is great.
I also think designers should be aware about using materials that are sustainable – for example, I chose the tweed line that I did because it holds an Ecolabel.
What is your professional background?
I trained as an architect, but I’ve been working in furniture and interiors since 2006. I’ve always felt that I got all I know about solving creative problems from my education as an architect.
If I take a step back, I have to admit that my products, with clear and clean lines, look a bit like an architect designed them.
What have you enjoyed in particular at Clerkenwell Design Week?
The Campana brothers: I’m in love with their Shark and Dolphin Banquete chair.