Interview with Connie Hüsser and Jörg Boner: Stylist meets designer

Connie Hüsser and Jörg Boner have shaped the design scene for two decades, inside and outside Switzerland. Hüsser as a stylist, interior designer and editor of the magazine “Annabelle”, Boner as a designer, lecturer and chairman of the Federal Design Commission, which awards the Swiss Design Awards every year. While Hüsser fearlessly lets shapes, colors and aesthetics collide in her collages and scenographies, Boner’s products appear calm and balanced. Although the two have been friends for years, they have only recently worked together for the first time. Under Hüsser’s brand “Objects with Love”, they put together a collection of candlesticks for an exhibition. They met in Boner’s studio in Zurich for the video interview.

Mrs Hüsser, Mr Boner, as a creative duo, you surpass all gender clichés: the woman is stylist, intuitive, emotional, arranges colorful objects and decorates rooms beautifully; the man is designer, designer series products for industry, manageable and reduced. A clear division of roles – or is it actually completely different?

Jörg Boner: Connie is the man, and I am the woman – and vice versa. But first and foremost, we are human beings. I have noticed a very tolerant and open view from my home in this regard.

Connie Hüsser: It’s exactly as you described it – but also completely different. That’s not how I think in woman-man drawers. We are first and foremost people with strengths and weaknesses. This cliché about the man who is rational, clear and reduced does not suit Jörg at all. He is an emotional, soft and sensitive person to me.

Jörg Boner: What is industrial design really? Does industrial design mean that more than 100 pieces of a product are produced every year? Of course we draw street lights for Ewo. But even when I design them, there are hundreds of the most beautiful books on art, architecture, photography and history on the shelves behind me. Everything we do, we do in a cultural context. Whether it is a small stand-alone or something with a larger circulation. Connie and I appear very different to the outside world, 180 degrees opposite. But in terms of content, we are quite close to each other, which is why we get so good out of it. There is a lot of trust and a good long term friendship.

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Connie Hüsser: Well, I might as well be the man in our relationship.

Jörg Boner: I understand that this gender issue is asked from the outside. When I look in, we are just two people coming out of it well. Not that we do not care about any of it. But when we work together, it’s not a problem.

How did you meet each other?

Connie Hüsser: I can not remember exactly that anymore.

Jörg Boner: I still remember exactly. I was in my studio one Saturday morning before I had any commission. Then Connie called as the editor of the magazine “Annabelle” and said you made such a light chair. Can I print it?

Connie Husser: That’s right! I took the first step! Typical man.

Jörg Boner: That’s how we met.

Connie Hüsser: That was a long time ago. 2000? Crazy, we’ve known each other for 22 years.

what was that for a chair?

Jörg Boner: I designed a chair called POF 1, “furniture 1”, with the N2 design group for a competition. It was about doing something with the Classic chair from the Swiss manufacturer Horgenglarus. The starting point was that a chair in the bedroom is often used to put clothes on. It would be good if he would shed some light. We built a candle into the seat so the chair became a bedside lamp and clothes rack, and it’s a shame it’s never allowed to be a chair.

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