Hannes Wettstein

October 2011, Zürich

With formally reduced, functionally thought through designs, Swiss designer Hannes Wettstein (1958–2008) has gained great international renown. His permanent search for the typological essence of everyday objects is exemplarily perceived in one project that the famous designer has pursued for almost three decades: the piece of furniture called «Spider», which first appears in Wettstein’s work as early as in the mid-eighties. Since 2011 the Franziska Kessler Gallery posthumously presents the last version of «Spider» – an Ultimate Edition, so to speak, newly interpreted by Hannes Wettstein for the Franziska Kessler Gallery in 2007, which he couldn’t «bring to life» anymore. Together with Studio Hannes Wettstein, which closely accompanied the realization, Franziska Kessler has resumed the project.

Stools are archaic furniture pieces, which were built and used for sitting long before the emergence of civilized living culture. And stools can serve as side tables too. It is this very archaic casualness, the involvement with the essence of sitting and the multi-functionality that appealed to Hannes Wettstein and led him to initiate the project Spider. Starting from a hexagonal seating surface, the designer drew an orthogonal object that, balancing on spider-like legs, rests on just three points – sitting furniture, coffee table and storage place all in one. The design construction was causatively derived from the envisaged production principle to create the Spider from planar material that was joined at the three corner points of the seating surface. Over the years, this principle and the desire to try new materials inevitably led to a formal progression of the project.