New Artist at Direktorenhaus: Volker Haug

In conversation with the German designer Volker Haug. Haug works in Melbourne, Australia.

What fascinates you about light?

I’ve always been a bit cranky and i like to create products that don’t fit into every scheme. I have always been fascinated by the mystery of light and how it influences consciousness.


Do you have a creative guideline that runs through your projects?

The man-made is more important to me than nature. In the cities, identity is a fleeting matter. A modern building stands next to a theatre from the 1920s. I think it’s the tension that I find attractive. I want to combine materials in a surprising way to create something new.

What do you produce?

My team and I design lights and make them by hand. We also produce room-specific unique pieces. To achieve this, we work closely with architects and interior designers from our Melbourne region. We are currently working on two new collections and are looking forward to presenting them at Milan Design Week.

Since the light bulb has always been the source of my inspiration, we always try to stay as close to it as possible and ‘around’ the light source. Each idea is reduced to its most basic form and then pushed to its limits through modern manufacturing and technological processes.

What would you design if you had enough budget?

I would like to design the lighting concept for a club.


Are there cooperations with certain partners that are particularly important to you?

As a studio, we are always very curious to discover new materials and work processes. With our new selection of glass parts, we have brought the expertise of US artist John Hogan on board.

Do you have a favourite lamp?

The most innovative luminaire I’ve ever designed is probably the OMG luminaire. Coincidentally, it’s also the one that’s the most fun to produce. Although it shines like a jewel, the OMG is actually a “patchwork object”. Almost 200 cm in diameter, it is made up of 19 old aluminium lamps, flattened with a forklift truck and a sledgehammer and finally anodised in dazzling colours. We screwed them together to create a new lampshade. The OMG lamp hangs in the foyer of the National Gallery of Victoria as a permanent installation.

That sounds complicated. Do you have any role models that inspire you?

Ingo Maurer is my personal German design guru — he has a wonderfully playful and courageous approach to lighting design.

How many employees do you employ?

I employ 13 very talented people. About seven of them focus on manufacturing, the rest are the core design and administration team. The team is made up of many different nationalities (Germany, Japan, Spain, Morocco, Australia) and many different original disciplines (sculptors, artists, jewellery designers, project managers, psychologists, linguists, IT specialists, electrical engineers, interior designers, neuroscientists and industrial designers).

What role does Australia, the place where you work, play for you?

We manufacture almost exclusively in Australia and work very closely with the craftsmen in the region.

Where can one buy your products?

At the moment we mainly sell here in Australia. This works well for us and our customers because it also allows direct quality control from design to the finished product. Last year, 2018, we decided to exhibit our designs internationally for the first time, exploring specialist dealers in Europe and America.