Few young designers can boast a more impressive list of collaborators than technical wizard Moritz Waldemeyer. He has worked with 3D designers Ron Arad, Zaha Hadid, Yves Béhar and Fredrikson Stallard, as well as with fashion designer Hussein Chalayan, and the fruits of the collaborations have been very high-profile. His collaborative triumphs include Arad’s Lolita chandelier for Swarovski and the interactive Z Island kitchen by Hadid for Corian.
The problem is that you might not know of his input: while Waldemeyer’s profile has recently risen, many of the projects are very closely associated with his superstar collaborators. ‘I was very much seen as an engineer to begin with – a supplier, someone coming to the scene with a skillset that wasn’t very well understood,’ he says.
With the exception of the initial approach he made to Arad, all his collaborators have sought him out, rather than the other way around. The extent of the collaborations has varied enormously, as has the input from the named designer. ‘Sometimes, I have had a lot of freedom – for instance, with the Hadid kitchen. Other times, as with the work for Chalayan, there was very little,’ he says.
The Z Island kitchen was the result of a client – DuPont in this case – bringing two parties together, rather than any existing chemistry or empathy between the designers. In fact, Waldemeyer never actually met Hadid in person. ‘I was working with one or two people in her studio. I’m not sure of the extent to which she was involved,’ he says.
‘While the shape was a given, perhaps dictated by Hadid, a lot of the ideas for the rest came from me.’ While the project was a big hit and garnered a lot of coverage, the supporting PR machine at the time failed to mention Waldemeyer’s involvement. ‘This is one case where I was a bit upset not to get any credit. At other times, I have had to calm things down and point out that I haven’t done that much on a project,’ he says.
The intimate knowledge of the various design collaborators has been invaluable to Waldemeyer, both creatively and professionally. ‘I love collaboration,’ he says. ‘It has given me such an amazing insight. I’ve been able to see the processes of the other designers, and the networking was very important.’
Have there been collaborations that haven’t worked? ‘No,’ he says, somewhat diplomatically. ‘Just a few projects that started and then didn’t progress.’
And while he says he has enjoyed the collaborative process and wants to continue working with other designers, for now at least, Waldemeyer has only got solo projects in the pipeline. Is there anyone in particular he would like to work with? ‘Yes, [racing car designer] Gordon Murray, but I can’t see how that would happen,’ he says.