London based Product Designer Mathias Hahn was born 1977 in Germany, and graduated from Essen University, Germany, as Diplom Designer for Industrial Design in 2004. Two years later he received a MA degree from the Design Products course at the Royal College of Art under Ron Arad. During his studies in Germany he worked as a freelance designer on several projects with industry and gained experience in the Product Design department of Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, Germany. Since his move to London he worked as a freelance designer for Tom Dixon and in 2006 became one of the founding members of OKAYstudio. From there he is working on diverse projects in the field of industrial and furniture design. His work has been exhibited in numerous international exhibitions and was featured in many major design publications and newspapers worldwide. As part of YDMI, organised by the German Design Council, Mathias became Young Professional 2008, and received the 2010 German Design Price as Newcomer/Finallist. In 2011 he received an IF Award and the Interior Innovation Award for his light ‘Lantern’. Recently Mathias Hahn has also been a guest lecturer at the Institute of Arts ArtEZ in Arnhem, Holland.
Through his background in Industrial Design, Mathias is often working according to production and manufacturing processes, using production sites and his own workshop as a laboratory for testing and exploring. Always trying to understand material and use in a broader cultural context, he has a natural desire for designing towards use and functionality. Describing his process, he further referes to an intuitive approach that introduces experimental curiosity to his way of working. He pictures his work as having two sides. One is based on the idea to create objects that have a place in everyday life and solve a particular problem, the other one is more playful and related to the narrative side of the design process which often functions as a starting point. Depending on the project these two aspects come together and form useful commodities that show a slight layer of humor, social context or even naivity. In a sense Hahn’s work is a combination of playful approach as well as functional reduction towards utility.
Mathias is attracted by the material integrity and longevity of everyday objects - in opposition to fast, ephemeral product consumption. His recent work explores traditional technologies and materials, while introducing basic mechanical principles and applications.
Transforming these into simple but useful objects he takes a twisted angle at familiar object categories, in order to find new fields of application.