“For us, design is a poetic discipline”, says Gernot Bohmann, one of the triumvirate who with Harald Gründl and Martin Bergmann is EOOS. From their base in Vienna, Austria, these three have been making poetry in the form of furniture, objects and spaces since 1995, for brands from A to Z, literally from Armani (cosmetic stores) to Zumtobel (LED lighting).
While their oeuvre is varied, the designers of EOOS approach each project from the same perspective. “We call our design process ‘poetical analysis’”, explains Bohmann. “As soon as we find a word, a strong intuitive image or a ritual, the process starts. The idea lives its only life, and we just have to follow. At the end everyone, EOOS and our industrial partner, is surprised by the result.”
Surprise is a key element in Crosshatch, the chair EOOS designed for Geiger International, a Herman Miller company. With Crosshatch, EOOS uses parachute cords to supply the necessary seat and back support. “We have designed a wooden structure”, explains Bergmann, “with a floating basket made from parachute cords. The cords are an integral part of the construction. They are pulled down and the chair becomes a system of internal tension. Without them the chair would be unstable and would collapse”.
Use of a common material, such as parachute cord, reflects the practice of a designer who continues to influence Geiger: Ward Bennett. “His exploration of how far you can go within an existing typology and his use of industrial components in his work is very fascinating for us”, notes Bohmann. Surprise takes another turn in the experience of sitting in Crosshatch. An object that appears light and transparent, it actually delivers what EOOS describes as a “nest” feeling, a sense of being comfortably enveloped.
A playful twist on expectations is part of the EOOS ethos of working on “authentic objects”. According to Bergmann, “This means for us that we want to achieve a synthesis of construction and poetical expression. We are fascinated by how much emotional quality comes out of rationality”.
Best of NeoCon Gold Award for Geiger Rhythm Casegoods (Geiger), 2016
Red Dot Award for Isanka seating (Walter Knoll), 2014
Best of NeoCon Award for Juxta chair (Keilhauer), 2013
Red Dot Award for Discus Evolution lighting (Zumtobel), 2013
Wallpaper Design Award for Gordon sofa (Walter Knoll), 2013
German Design Award, IF Award (Gold), and Red Dot Award for OpenSpace shower (Duravit), 2012
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Special Recognition for Outstanding Design in the Redesign the Toilet Challenge, 2011
Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany (Gold) for b2 the mobile workshop kitchen (Bulthaup), 2010
Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) and Die Presse, Austrians of the Year in the Creative Industries, 2007
Associazione per il Disegno Industriale Compasso d'Oro for Kube seating (MatteoGrassi), 2004