U.K.'s Chic Geeks: Moritz Waldemeyer

With his unshorn hair and disarming facial scruff, Moritz Waldemeyer doesn't look like half the geek he professes to be. Although, looks and professions aside, the man is clearly a genius. Since decamping from his native Germany ("It was East Germany growing up," he notes) for London, Waldemeyer, 33, has created such mind-blowing contraptions as dresses that play videos and mechanically change shape (for fashion oracle Hussein Chalayan's past two collections); an LED-embedded chandelier (LED stands for light emitting diode, which in layman's terms means an electronic component that allows electricity and light to pass through a surface in one direction) that receives and displays text messages (design star Ron Arad's 2004 Lolita chandelier for Swarovski); and a deceptively simple white Corian table that, once switched on, becomes a touch-activated surface for an LED-based game of Ping-Pong. "I love bringing technology into design in constantly new ways," says Waldemeyer, who has formal training as an engineer.

Since his earnest, cold-call entry into the design world (in 2003, Waldemeyer rang up Ron Arad out of the blue and evidently was given the time of day), the genius-cum-geek has set out to humanize technology, dissolving the distinction between objects as they are and objects that respond and do. And despite a portfolio packed with high-caliber, high-tech collaborations -- including those with designer Yves Béhar and architect Zaha Hadid -- Waldemeyer manages to do some dazzling solo work, too. Recently, he's constructed a white Corian mirror that reflects images through an LED grid hidden beneath its surface, as well as furniture made from a new type of carbon fiber (the latter does not involve electronics, a departure for him). And on top of that, he is apparently in progress with something he promises will be "very different from anything you've seen." Given his track record, you'd better believe it.

To see more of Waldemeyer's work, visit www.waldemeyer.com.

(top) Waldemeyer's collaboration with Zaha Hadid on her Z-Island kitchen; (bottom right) Waldemeyer's roulette table, the Pong table and his Corian mirror; (bottom left) a detail of the electronic illuminator inside the roulette lamp shade


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