“For us, design is a poetic discipline,” says Gernot Bohmann, who along with Harald Gründl and Martin Bergmann heads up EOOS. From their base in Vienna, the three have been making poetry together in the form of furniture, objects, and spaces for client partners including Alessi, Armani, Adidas, Carl Hansen, Lamy, and the Gates Foundation, since 1995.
While their portfolio is varied, the designers at 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 then lives its life, and we just have to follow it. At the end everyone, EOOS and our industrial partner, is surprised by the result.”
Surprise is a key element with Crosshatch, the family of seating EOOS created for Geiger International, a Herman Miller company. With the Crosshatch Lounge Chair, EOOS used parachute cords to supply the necessary seat and back support. “We have designed a wooden structure with a floating basket made from parachute cords," explains Bergmann. "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 collapse.”
Use of a common industrial material, such as parachute cord, reflects the practice of visionary designer Ward Bennett, who continues to influence Geiger, and EOOS. “His exploration of how far you can go within an existing typology and his use of industrial components in his work are fascinating for us,” notes Bohmann. There’s surprise again in the experience of sitting in the Crosshatch Lounge Chair. Despite appearing light and transparent, it delivers what EOOS describes as a “nest” feeling, a sense of being comfortably enveloped.
That playful twist on expectations is part of the EOOS philosophy of “authentic objects.” According to Bergmann, “This means we want to achieve a synthesis of construction and poetical expression. We are fascinated by how much emotional quality comes out of rationality.”