Willy Guhl: Thinking with Your Hands

A pioneer of modernist design in Switzerland, Willy Guhl (1915–2004) created world-famous furniture such as the Eternit garden chair and Europe’s first plastic shell chair. In the tradition of modernism and against the traditional “Heimatstil,” Guhl developed a holistic design approach, designing seating furniture, planters and mowing machines for companies such as Dietiker, Eternit and Aebi. Guhl’s designs, teaching methods and image archive bear witness to the innovations of the booming postwar design industry and the changing image of the industrial designer. As a teacher and later head of the class for interior and product design at the Zurich School of Arts and Crafts, Guhl influenced generations of Swiss designers.
This first comprehensive monograph illuminates Guhl’s legacy in the context of his design and teaching practice, as well as current theories of the discipline. As a thematically structured catalog, it offers a complete index of all his projects.