Designer Christian Haas on clothes, favorite names and superstitions

Ein a house with garden in the middle of Porto’s old town: this is where the German designer Christian Haas has lived and worked since 2014 – after stays in Paris and Munich. The 48-year-old successfully designs furniture and products for brands such as Vitra, Classicon, Villeroy & Boch, Karimoku New Standard and Karakter. The side table program Pical for Interlübke is one of the most recent works by the native of Middle Franconia (Erlangen). It consists of laminate (HPL) pressed under high pressure and consists of stencil-like semicircles and their positive counterparts.

What do you eat for breakfast?

During the week either porridge, granola or banana pancakes, with fruit. Classic continental on weekends with eggs, ham, cheese, avocado and tomatoes.

Where do you buy your clothes?

I’m an impulse buyer. I do not buy anything for half a year, and then I think: “I need new things.” I like Andreas Murkudis’ store in Berlin – even if it’s expensive. I’ve had some of his favorites in my closet for eight or ten years that I still carry. That’s how it pays.

What are the oldest clothes in your closet?

A mottled gray sweatshirt that I bought in Munich at the beginning of my studies in a thrift store.

When was the last time you wrote a letter by hand?

I always do that at Christmas. I do not write letters during the year.

Which book has impressed you the most in life?

I have to admit, I do not read that much. I am a very active person, also in my spare time. When I read, it often relates to work. As a Japan fan, I read about Japanese aesthetics, titles like “In Praise of the Shadow” or “In a Japanese Garden”.

How do you find out about world events?

About Portuguese news and the “Heute-Journal”. I also get the New York Times newsletter every morning with the most important international events.

What is your favorite small talk topic?

I’m not trying to talk about my job in smalltalk. I’m bored of that. My themes tend to be a result of what I have experienced, ie. concerts, exhibitions, restaurants, meetings. Japan is always a good topic, as is gardening or hiking.

What was the last movie that made you cry?

I recently saw the Belgian film Girl by Lukas Dhont, a transgender story. Insanely emotional.

Are you superstitious?

No not at all.

What can you laugh at?

Accident when someone slips. Hidden camera moments, weird situations, this is where I laugh the most. Also about myself.

your favorite first name?

None. I think that is an absurd question when you do not have children.

Are you having a lunch break?

Yes always! That’s what I started here, the lunch break is kept very high in the southern countries.

In what country would you like to live?

I have always moved to where I would like to live. And Portugal is the ideal place for me in Europe. It is close to the production, to the craftsmen I work with. I have a house that I could never afford in Bavaria.

What is never missing in your refrigerator?

There is always cheese in the fridge, Portuguese and French. And homemade jam. Eggs, fresh herbs, salad.

Do you feel freer with or without a car?

100% in car. Even if it is not politically correct. But I like to go out on the weekends, go for a walk to the sea or hike in the mountains.

What is your greatest talent?

My greatest talent? I’m brilliant for nothing! I do not deserve an A + on anything. But I’m good at a lot of things. I have a healthy business sense, I am confident, persistent and tough. People like to work with me. I am a very communicative person I like when everyone around me is feeling good.

What do you do when it is unreasonable?

Now I can no longer say: smoking. I smoked up until a year and a half ago. What I am rediscovering now is traveling. It gives me so much input, just to get out, to be somewhere else for a few days. I can limit it, but I will not completely give up flying.

Which historical person would you like to meet?

I would have liked to have met Isamu Noguchi, the Japanese sculptor. I have always been impressed with his work, have been to his sculpture garden in New York and his studio in Japan.

Do you wear jewelry? And a watch?

Neither clock nor dial. What I have a soft spot for are sunglasses.

Do you have a favorite scent?

Everything that comes from nature. I prefer earthy and woody notes.

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What was your best holiday experience?

It was in Iceland in early March that we did small walks. When we went to the bottom of a river, the ground was to the left and right, and above us the river was frozen to ice, an inland ice of about two meters. A magical moment!

What concert were you at last?

I quite often go to the Casa de la Música here in Porto, the building designed by Rem Koolhaas. I have never been interested in classical music before, but now I have been to concerts with the symphony orchestra and the baroque orchestra a few times.

Fortunately, what are you missing?

I am an all happy person. I am healthy, life means good to me. I also had private setbacks, my mother died, my partner died after three years of partnership. But I came fine from there. I noticed that I have a very stable character, I walk openly and sensitively through the world. I’m happy with what I have. I’m not missing anything thankfully. And I do not take it for granted!

what do you drink for dinner

When there are guests, Portuguese white wine. Otherwise water. Or quite revolutionary here in Portugal: juice syringe! That was what I infected my Portuguese friends with.

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