Dezeen Magazine

Echos by Pour les Alpes

Swiss designers Tina Stieger and Annina Gaehwiler of Pour les Alpes have designed a collection of furniture called Echos.


There are three pieces in the range, all created in collaboration with traditional, local artisans in the Swiss Alps.


Neugierde (top image) is covered with hand-cut spruce shingles, referring to a local roofing technique, while the inside is coated in luminescent red paint.


Ehrfurcht (above) is covered in ebony and opens to reveal a jagged, hand-carved interior made of Swiss pine.


The third piece, Sehnsucht (above), incorporates hand-woven lace in blue, grey and white tones, supported by a fibreglass panel.


"Our vision is to create products in close coorporation with the traditional crafts from the Swiss alpine culture," explain the designers. "The idea focuses on creating strong and unique objects of desire, which have a recognisable cultural identity."


"In a time of global mass production we consider the need for individual products as essential," they add.


Neugierde and Ehrfurcht are on show at Gallery Franziska Kessler in Zurich, Switzerland, until 31 December.


Photographs by Till Forrer.

Here are some more details from the designers:


Collection 'echos’ from 'Pour les Alpes’

'Pour les Alpes’ is cooperation between artisan craftwork and contemporary product design. Based on that concept, the two designers Tina Stieger and Annina Gähwiler create products which are inspired from the Swiss Alps. 'Pour les Alpes’ is looking for individuality with the main focus on creating unique objects with a strong originality.

The furnitures 'Ehrfurcht’, 'Neugierde’ and 'Sehnsucht’ are part of the collection 'echos’ from 'Pour les Alpes', which has won an award in 2007 announced by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.

The concept of the objects is based on the themes reverence, curiosity and desire, which describe the designers personal point of view of the alpine surroundings. They have been created in close cooperation with traditional artisans such as a carver, a shingle-maker and two lace-makers; artisan techniques which are still rooted in everyday life in the Alps.

The unique objects are a tribute to the Swiss Alps and are, in a formal and symbolical way, referring to a in the alpine culture rooted identity. They are telling exceptional new stories, which awake familiar memories but still offer enough freedom for own interpretations.

Prototype of a limited edition of 6 pcs. + 2 A.P.

The furniture 'Ehrfurcht’ is inspired from the raw and unpredictable nature of the Alps. Archaic and heavy in its design, an inner hidden space is vaguely perceptible only through a crack, which draws through the whole object. The ebony coating of its outer skin contrasts to its raw inner space, which is hand-carved from precious Swiss pine.

Swiss pine, hand-carved
2-K multiply coated
680 mm x 810 mm x 350 mm (wxhxd)

Prototype of a limited edition of 6 pcs. + 2 A.P.

The various wooden layers of the furniture symbolise the rich variety of the Alps, which can be explored. The narrow gaps enable a glimpse into its inner space which is vaguely perceptible behind its shingled facade. The caverns of the furniture surprise with a luminescent red color, which refers to the alpine glow.

Spruce, origin Appenzell,
Shingles all hand-split
2K-multiply coated
Luminescent color red

680 mm x 935 mm x 350 mm (wxhxd)

Prototype 1 pcs.

The furniture 'Sehnsucht’ catches one’s eyes with its unfamiliar use of lace, which winds along the leg in a playful way. The pattern and the colors are inspired by the glaciers of the Alps. Various tones of grey and blue are mixed with light white tones. The delicate lace, which was made within 200 working hours, lies on a half transparent glassfiber construction and gives the required stability to the leg.

Fiberglass, epoxy resin coating
Lace silk and cotton

680 mm x 1000 mm x 350 mm (wxhxd)