HEXAGON Interview; The Making of a Modern Classic
First launched in 2018 the HEXAGON series a relatively new addition to the MÜHLE Collection however it’s quickly becoming something of a classic. Winner of both the Red Dot Design Award and the German Design Award, the series is a collaboration between renowned Berlin designer Mark Braun and MÜHLE. Managing Directors Christian and Andreas Müller caught up with Mark Braun, discussing the origins of the product and its wider role within the collection, in this interview transcript.
@Mark Braun: What attracted you to the challenge of designing a product for MÜHLE?
MÜHLE stands for cutting-edge shaving culture and for a high standard of quality – having a modern impact here as a designer is a particular challenge. How can I manage to come up with a contemporary design that isn’t short-lived and which underscores this DNA? Creating a modern classic was the objective.
@Andreas Müller: Why did you commission Mark Braun to design the series?
The existing MÜHLE brand design plays a major role in the way in which our products are designed. The products and their design have a history that we respect. On the other hand, we shouldn’t stand still. It’s very important to us in this regard that our product design is contemporary while also having the potential to become a classic. A product design that’s very catchy often quickly loses its appeal. Mark Braun aims to develop products that stand the test of time. His products often exude simplicity but are sophisticated upon closer inspection. Moreover, his unbiased viewpoint from outside was most helpful. So working with him was a particularly enriching experience.
@Mark Braun: What gave you the initial idea for the design?
The initial idea occurred to me when studying hand tools of diverse kinds, and also as a result of research at MÜHLE’s very own museum and historical archive. I was on the lookout for memorable shapes that fit well in your hand without being exaggerated ergonomically speaking. Ultimately, the inspiration came from an archetypal pencil – this hexagonal shape is simply perfect for fine and precise work.
@Mark Braun: Which values do you intend to convey with this design?
Tradition meets design, durability meets zeitgeist. These are the dualities that reinforce one another here. HEXAGON is pure in formal terms, with a memorable appearance at first sight, yet it is subtle in many different ways on closer inspection. If you discover the coordinates engraved in it, they’re not only reminiscent of specifications for tools, but are also the coordinates for MÜHLE’s location itself. Figuratively speaking, this is a reference to the brand’s DNA, which brings together values such as quality with performance and classics with zeitgeist under one roof.
@Christian Müller: How have customers responded to HEXAGON so far?
HEXAGON clearly stands out from the rest of the MÜHLE range. After all, the aim was also to try something new. A number of customers were certainly surprised, but the feedback has been very positive overall. Moreover, we’ve been able to reach many new customers with the product.
@Christian Müller: What obstacles did you have to overcome during development and production?
Supposedly simple products with larger surfaces are much more difficult to manufacture than products with multiple components. This is also true of HEXAGON. Creating a homogenous surface free of defects is therefore the biggest challenge. It took quite a bit of time until the process became established.
What’s more, the fine edges and engravings require a great deal of attention during production.
@Mark Braun: Many MÜHLE series feature a range of shaving systems, but HEXAGON is only available as a safety razor. Why is that?
We wanted to make a consistent statement. The classic safety razor is totally convincing in terms of performance, avoids waste and is, in a way, gender-neutral. Moreover, the design, which is, formally speaking, only a safety razor, was a genuine ambassador for the design idea of combining tradition with zeitgeist.
MÜHLE HEXAGON in Pure and Graphite
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