Matthias Gruber: the Young Future for Eco Design Watches

Born in Alto Adige, this smart guy has recently won the German Design Award. Thanks to his wooden and marble watches


Before creating wooden watches, eco friendly, has created more 'classic' collections?

For two years I work as a product designer with the brand LAiMER woodwatch, a project thanks to which I am developing a very special know-how of the sector. At the same time, I deal with branding and sustainable mobility as a designer for a company in Bolzano, which deals mainly with visual communication and strategy. My creative experience began already during the university, with the realization above all of furniture. This is my first experience in the field of watch design.

What gave rise to the idea or the need to produce wooden clocks?

The idea was born in 2012 from the company, they were to contact me because they had the need to introduce a ‘creative hea’ in their team. Their philosophy is based on reinterpreting one of the most used natural resources by man, adapting it to the charm of an object such as the watch.

In your near future, do you have any other eco-friendly design projects?

In my opinion, both in product design and in visual communication, there is a need to respect certain values. For me, a very important one is sustainability, which I try to respect in everything I do. Unfortunately, sometimes it is not so simple and you have to compromise, but every step towards a more sustainable product or society is a step in the right direction.

What other new or alternative metal materials would like to test in watchmaking?

Nature is so rich in extraordinary materials that can be combined with each other that it is almost impossible for me to choose one. Just keep your eyes open when you travel around the world to discover new materials and new combinations. But surely, in the next tests I would like to use different types of rocks, above all because in our territory and in the Dolomites there are particularly precious stones, whose peculiarities are surely to be explored and exploited.

You are a multifaceted designer, who works in various fields. What would you like to achieve?

It's hard to say what I'd like to accomplish but I'm sure how I want to do it. I am of the opinion that for the success of a project it is necessary to involve more specialized people in different sectors. The part that stimulates and favors my work most is to be able to find innovative solutions to the problems that confront me and test new materials and methodologies. It is in practice the principle of ‘design thinking’, that is to go beyond the concept of the product itself, but to think about the needs of the market and above all of the human being.


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