Willy Guhl: Thinking with Your Hands
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, Renate Menzi (eds.)
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich & Lars Müller Publishers, 2023
As a pioneer of modern design, Swiss designer Willy Guhl(1915-2004) created world-famous furniture such as the Eternit garden chair or Europe’s first plastic shell chair. In the tradition of modernism and against the traditional “Heimatstil”, he developed a holistic design approach oriented to human beings and their needs. Functionality and reduction to the essential characterize his everyday objects. For companies such as Dietiker, Eternit and Aebi, Willy Guhl designed seating furniture, planters and mowing machines.
Willy Guhl’s designs and his teaching methods bear witness to the innovations of the booming design industry of the post-war period and the changing professional image of the industrial designer. As a teacher, he influenced generations of Swiss designers. This first comprehensive monograph illuminates Willy Guhl’s legacy in the context of this design and teaching practice as well as current theories of the design discipline. As a thematically structured catalog of works, it offers a complete index of all design projects.