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June 25, 2013
Horst Wittmann, one half of the German designer wonder hansandfranz, has recently given the large visions of democratic design a hiatus and turned his philosophical vision to bespoke art pieces in a solo venture named after his middle name, Carl.

The first design "from A to B", features a limited edition of 19 canes, originally commissioned for the group show "7kilo aluminum" at gallery Filser & Gräf in Munich, Germany.

“Being asked to exhibit art has given me an opportunity to explore design from a more daring perspective. Creating thought-provoking pieces in this niche way means I can think more about the emotional value of each piece,” says Wittmann.

The cane, for example, a centuries-old emblem of masculine power, monarchy and erotic assertion, which has come to signify the weak and the old. In the hands of Wittmann both these motifs are transformed into a contemporary object with new meaning. “My proposal with the cane is to recast an archetypal symbol as a symbol of our time in the context of accessory, fashion and product design, to exalt it as a freshly conceived life-style object”. The result is a compelling collection of artesanally crafted anodized aluminum canes in a color scheme that references the iPod.

Limited Edition Canes by German Designer Horst Wittmann

“My initial inspiration was my great-grandfather’s wooden walking stick, which I cross-referenced with images from pop culture,” says industrial designer Horst Wittmann. The Carl canes are anodized in colors that echo the Apple iPod color range.

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Limited Edition Canes by German Designer Horst Wittmann

“The title "from A to B" refers to the functional aspect of transportation, whereas the object itself deals with the complexity and the many definitions of the word "function". Stefan Sagmeister used to say ‘Beauty is part of the function’, I agree.”

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Limited Edition Canes by German Designer Horst Wittmann

Each cane weighs 369 grams and is handmade by folding and bending a piece of 3mm sheet aluminum. First, outlines and engravings are cut via CNC, then the upper end of each single sheet is bent by hand to form a hook-grip, while the lower part is folded 70° to enforce the main structure. "V" engravings serve as cutting lines to customize the cane to each user’s personal body measurements.

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Limited Edition Canes by German Designer Horst Wittmann

The grip-structure consists of 19 slots, each slot represents one cane. The serial number is made a feature by a stainless steel pin.

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Portrait of German Designer Horst Wittmann

 

Says Wittmann, “One of my philosophies in this new venture is the idea that individualism needs to be confronted with individual pieces.”

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Limited Edition Canes by German Designer Horst Wittmann

“My initial inspiration was my great-grandfather’s wooden walking stick, which I cross-referenced with images from pop culture,” says industrial designer Horst Wittmann. The Carl canes are anodized in colors that echo the Apple iPod color range.

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