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Product designer Dimitri Bähler: "As an artist, my work is dependent on so many uncertainties"

In our interview series “Creative Fighters” we ask Swiss creative professionals about the current situation. The Biel-based product designer Dimitri Bähler tells what he is currently working on and which radio station he listens to continuously.

NZZ Bellevue:To what extent do the guidelines of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) affect your business?

Dimitri Bähler: Actually, some of my products should have been launched in Milan by now. A good aspect of the deadlock is that I can catch up on various projects that have been delayed in the past. Soon I will also have time to start new projects, which I am really looking forward to.

What are you currently working on?

I'm currently working on a glass clock, vases, lamps, a stone table and a new porcelain collection. Hopefully these projects will come to life when the virus lets us take a deep breath.

Dimitri Bähler

Product designer

Dimitri Bähler studied at the ECAL (University of Art and Design in Lausanne) and the DAE (Design Academy Eindhoven) and opened his studio in Biel in 2014. He took part in various residencies, such as the EKWC (European Center for Ceramics) in Holland, the “Hors Pistes” in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso or the “Ishinomaki Laboratory” in Japan. In 2013 he was a finalist in “Design Parade 8” in Hyères and was nominated twice for the “Swiss Design Awards”.

What is the biggest challenge at the moment?

As an artist, my work depends on so many uncertainties anyway. At the moment, however, my future prospects are even more uncertain than before.

How can your customers best support you now?

By informing me more about your perspectives, interests and wishes. It would be nice to use this situation to communicate a little more with each other.

Which tool is currently indispensable for your work?

My intern started working for me shortly before the new federal instructions. Even though we have a fairly large room, I decided to send her to the home office. Fortunately, she is very familiar with 3-D technology and rendering, the creation of an image from raw data.

In this situation, are you thinking about new things in order to survive?

This has only to do with the Corona crisis to a limited extent, but I have registered on Agrix, a platform for the placement of vacancies in agriculture. I can then help with the harvest, for example, if farmers need more workers.

What will help you to stay creative and optimistic during this time?

Not that much changes in my everyday life. On the weekends it looks a little different, of course, when you can't meet up with friends or go to the restaurant or the cinema.

Fortunately, I share the studio with a friend and I am glad that we are in this situation together. The current situation reminds me of my stay at the EKWC, the European work center for ceramics in Holland. For three months I only ate, worked and slept in an almost closed environment - but of course on a voluntary basis.

What reading and music do you recommend for the moment?

I've been quite addicted to the radio station “RTS la première” for a long time. I hear it even more intensely now. I am also currently reading the book “Un Roi sans Divertissement” by Jean Giono.

Do you still consume certain things yourself?

I am a very bad consumer. I hardly buy anything for myself except organic food.

What is your favorite room at the moment?

I generally enjoy being in the studio. I particularly like our kitchen in the studio. The warmer the days, the nicer it is to be there.

Interview series

Creative fighters

In our new series of interviews, “Creative Fighters”, we talk to Swiss creative professionals about what is happening, how they are coping with situations - and certainly also about the great things that they normally produce.