Mark Wiesinger’s designs with individuality in mind

Salzburg knows best

After 20 years in the textile industry, a fairly spontaneous resignation led our Design Talk guest Mark Wiesinger to a turning point in his life. Having just met his future wife Bettina, he found himself commuting between Salzburg (where Bettina was based) and Vienna. After the birth of their son Raffael in 2003, Mark made the permanent move to Salzburg, where to this day he is busy keeping the legacy of his wife’s family business - Hotel Auersperg - alive and well.

Join us to learn about Mark’s design practice, best tips, and a collection curated exclusively for PAMONO.

Hello Mark! Where are we finding you today?

Well, to be honest, I'm sitting here in my office right now, thinking about redesigning the public restrooms of the Hotel Auersperg – sounds funny, but I also take care of important spaces like these.

Is this the place where you spend most of your time? The office we mean, not the bathrooms of the Hotel Auersperg of course!

Yes! I'm a one-man show with Mark’s Plan, and my resources are somewhat limited. The hotel is a family business and also my top priority when it comes to my work, but I'm always open to external challenges and opportunities.

The Auersperg is truly magnificent. Almost feels like you’re entering a movie set in the 70s. Could you tell us more about the inspiration behind your choice of aesthetic?

When Bettina asked me if I could redesign the hotel’s bar, an experience with my father immediately came to mind. The two of us went to Venice and he really insisted on me seeing Harry’s bar, a must-see institution. When I had my first look around, I knew that this was exactly what a bar has to look like. I carried the memory, smell, taste, and image of it for years to come, until I finally had the opportunity to pay my respect through my design, whilst also adding my own flavour.

With your hotel and family being your main priority, how do you manage to find the time to take some side projects for your interior business, Mark’s Plan?

Hotel Auersperg

Rule number one, our house comes first. The Auersperg has a long-standing cut of 70% of my full workload. This figure used to be lower because previously I also accepted orders for other hotels and restaurants, and my work in the beginning of my business was more in planning and supervision of refurbishment and reconstruction projects. In 2017, I started to reduce these big tasks in favour of smaller ones, and also began with private interior projects.

What draws your eye when you first enter a space? 

Where’s the bar? Seriously though, the first things I look at are colours and light. During the day I first notice the composition of objects. At night my focal point is lighting and how it interacts with the materials, colours, and shapes of a room. It can be truly magical.

Is there a set of rules you follow when it comes to design?

Firstly, get inside the space, object or whatever and stay there as long as possible - at least twice (ideally night and day) with a few days in between. Secondly, take plenty of pictures; and third, find out what the client absolutely doesn’t like.

If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Listen to your heart and your gut.

What is your best tip for distinctive design?

Wow – a very complex, intense and challenging question! A trained eye can see good design no matter what form it’s in. The element of collaboration with the client is extremely important. When mixed with the trial and error approach, it’s a recipe for a successful project.

One piece of furniture in your home you never want to let go?

My two stools from Mobili Pizzetti.

When curating your collection for PAMONO, what was the most essential thing you wanted to be represented in it?

I consider Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey to be one of the most defining films of the last century. Purely groundbreaking in its technical perfection and visionary design, it still hasn’t lost its importance and beauty to this day. Pieces I saw there, like the Djinn seats by Olivier Mourgue and the AP042 by Geoffrey Harcourt, brought me to my current enthusiasm for Mid-century and Space Age design. And then there were these chairs at the dining table in the house of my parents’ friends, which I used to see every day growing up. Those were incredibly beautiful pieces by Joaquim Tenreiro, which I accidentally rediscovered about three years ago on Google, which is also how I discovered PAMONO. So, my collection is a vision of my past and a vision for the future, merged in one.

Thank you for your time, Mark. It has been a pleasure talking to you.

Same, same!

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