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Introducing Walter & Wassily—Our Homage to the Bauhaus Era

Learn more about the iconic art and design movement that inspired this special edition collection.

Art. Design. Fur­ni­ture. Archi­tec­ture. Geom­e­try. Reduc­tion. Through­out the halls of neubau eye­wear, you’ll find plen­ty of Bauhaus fans with a per­son­al affin­i­ty towards the icon­ic design school’s for­ward-think­ing graph­ic lan­guage and principles. 

And as the cen­ten­ni­al anniver­sary approached, we col­lec­tive­ly decid­ed to cel­e­brate the her­itage and hon­or the world’s most influ­en­tial art and design insti­tu­tion with Wal­ter & Wass­i­ly, a spe­cial edi­tion uni­sex sun­glass­es collection.

Roland Keplinger, our Head of Design and Daniel Lik­tor, our Glob­al Brand Direc­tor shed some light on the inspi­ra­tion and cre­ative process behind our newest 3D-print­ed launch.

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In Wal­ter & Wass­i­ly, we hon­or two out­stand­ing per­son­al­i­ties of the illus­tri­ous Bauhaus move­ment: found­ing father Wal­ter Gropius, and painter-pro­fes­sor Wass­i­ly Kandin­sky,” says Lik­tor, pic­tured below right wear­ing Walter&Wassily at the Mido Eye­wear Show this Feb­ru­ary.
Talk­ing about his per­son­al con­nec­tion to the design lan­guage that inspired these spe­cial pieces he adds, I adore the Bauhaus look! As a chair col­lec­tor I have some real­ly nice pieces at home, like my Wass­i­ly Chair by Knoll, some S 32 din­ing chairs designed by Mar­cel Breuer and pro­duced by Thonet and oth­er Bauhaus influ­enced beau­ties, like the Eier­mann Chair pro­duced by Wilde & Spi­eth. I real­ly like the sim­plic­i­ty of the design lan­guage, not just in fur­ni­ture design, also in architecture.” 

Sim­i­lar­ly, Mart Stam’s can­tilever chair played a key part in the design of Wal­ter & Wass­i­ly for Keplinger, pic­tured wear­ing his designs below left. The clean, sup­port­ing bend­ed pipe struc­ture was my start­ing point,” he explains. 

Craft­ed with a bold tita­ni­um base, our 3D-print­ed Wal­ter & Wass­i­ly frames are designed with the sim­plis­tic com­plex­i­ty of Bauhaus’ typ­i­cal visu­al lan­guage in mind: graph­i­cal­ly com­bined geo­met­ric shapes cou­pled with con­trast­ing col­ors, like black and white + sil­ver and brass. 

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For the lens­es, we tried all kinds of shapes, but cir­cle looked best,” said Keplinger (pic­tured above). The ribs on the front and the slits on the side of the three-dimen­sion­al eye rings rep­re­sent the geo­met­ric inter­sect­ing ref­er­ences that were influ­enced by Kandinsky’s paint­ings and Bauhaus posters.”

It wasn’t a quick and easy process, though, says Keplinger. We want­ed to pro­duce extra­or­di­nary frames with an excel­lent back sto­ry. There­fore, the design devel­op­ment took rough­ly four months, with all of the var­i­ous iter­a­tions and prototypes.”

A total of 10 pro­to­types were pro­duced before our stake­hold­ers — brand man­age­ment, prod­uct man­age­ment, and the design depart­ment — signed off on Wal­ter & Wass­i­ly. The tech­ni­cal engi­neer­ing and adap­tions were par­tic­u­lar­ly tricky,” adds Keplinger. We had to con­tin­u­ous­ly fine-tune for shape, size, ergonom­ics, and all of those types of details, like nail­ing the per­fect cur­va­ture of the met­al frame, and col­or combinations.”

The end result? Three ultra-cool col­or­ways that embody the inspi­ra­tional mood of Bauhaus in every way: clean lines, round cor­ners, and extrav­a­gant yet min­i­mal­is­tic ele­gance. It’s clear for me from the start that we should pro­duce frames that are direct­ly inspired by the icon­ic Bauhaus chairs,” says Keplinger. The Wal­ter & Wass­i­ly frames are a very strong graph­i­cal, mod­ern, wear­able inter­pre­ta­tion that tell this clas­sic story.”

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15 Apr 2019 · neubau eyewear