BIC: The title of the project is “The Weight of Lightness”. Was it fixed at the outset or does it subsume the completed work?
AH: It’s actually the case that the title often emerges during the process, through an intuition that you can’t control. For this project, too, the title came only after I had come to terms with the quality of the sculpture. I asked myself: How do I bring this model into the here and now? In the process, I realized that weight, or lightness, used to be one of the most important issues with Porsche, but over the years it has been forgotten. For me, it was important to think again about how light the 356 is – and how fast. It’s an exemplary car that drives like it’s new, even 75 years later. But I have to admit that I felt the weight of history on this iconic project.
BIC: You have designed clocks, furniture and many other objects. Why is it that cars, of all things, trigger such strong emotions?
AH: Not all cars touch me, only those that have a soul. Maybe it’s also the moment of freedom when you’re alone on the road: the breeze, the complexity of sounds, the scent of sensuality. With cars it’s like with good art: I go to an exhibition and certain paintings and sculptures touch me, others don’t. I don’t even have to know why, but something happens inside me. I demand the same from my own designs. Not goes out until I say: now it’s true, the design communicates. Something happens, it inspires me to ask a question, it touches me – or I just find it beautiful. This is what I mean by soul. Whether it’s lights, watches, furniture or even cars.
BIC: The Art Car you designed will be auctioned off at the end of the year and find a new owner. Do you see your work more as a utilitarian object or as a work of art?
AH: I don’t make a big distinction between art and commercial art. A picture also has a function, it must touch me, it must enrich my life. The same applies to a car, even if it is an industrial product. The big difference is that in car design, there are many industry-related restrictions.
BIC: Which car do you drive privately?
AH: I drive three. A new Porsche 928, a 1977 911 and a Saab 900 convertible.
BIC: That already answers the question of whether you choose your cars based on design or functionality. The Saab 900 is in a way also an icon, the two Porsches anyway.
AH: The Saab 900 is fascinating because it is also very functional. I’ve had it since the 1990s, so one of the last models made.
BIC: In which color?
AH: Black in beige. A four-seater that drives great, winter or summer. A passe-partout that polarizes. The Porsche 928 also has fantastic sculptural qualities. It was designed in 1978 and remains avant-garde to this day.
BIC: What color is the 911?
AH: Platinum diamond, simplistic I say golden, inside cork, natural leather and suede, super Seventies so. The color choice came from the previous owner and I must say it took courage to buy it in this color combination. Today I can not imagine anything else, because with this platinum diamond it fits both in nature and in the city. The car is interesting and at the same time suitable for everyday use, also in terms of its dimensions. The phrase “weight of lightness” therefore also fits the 911. The Saab is also narrow – yet wide enough. I feel comfortable, have enough space. A car not only has to appeal to my emotions, it has to be suitable for everyday use, especially since I’m rather tall. The 356 also offers a surprising amount of space. Unfortunately, with Italian cars, it’s often the case that I hit my head. I have to say: emotionally sensational, but sorry, that’s where the fun stops.