Words Alessandra Albarello
The beauty in simplicity, the development of new materials. Founder Markus Temming tells us about the genesis of a creative path over 20 years long
You established your brand in 1999. What was your initial vision or challenge and what are now your current philosophy and target?
I have always been driven by the challenge of making things simpler, more beautiful and better. Visually reducing them to the essential and at the same time optimising them both technically and functionally. Spectacles have always been ideal for this challenge. We have been producing exclusively in Gütersloh Isselhorst, Germany, for over 20 years now. This means that we have the quality in our hands and can be very flexible in the development of our products.
Invisible and visible. Individualisation and brand identity. What are the boundaries (if there are any) between them in your eyewear collections and how did you overcome them?
For the understanding of our Markus T brand, a pair of glasses should blend harmoniously into the wearer's face. In addition to their function as a visual aid, they should underline the wearer's personality and be as comfortable as possible, instead of just serving as an eye catching accessory for example. Since personalities are very different, we offer a wide range of frame shapes and models in a wide variety of colours.
What are the genesis and essential starting points of your creations?
When we develop a new collection - like the currently launched MIO - of course we always keep our ear to the market. Technically sophisticated eyewear is our focus. That's why we don't hide the technology in our eyewear; instead, we deliberately reveal elements such as well thought out screwless hinges - which is typical Markus T.
In your east Westphalia factory you are set up for new techniques and unique materials. Could you tell us about these innovations and why you do not use standard materials or techniques?
'Standard' is a no-go word for us. We are constantly trying to improve what already exists. Or to develop something new if certain materials, processes or techniques do not yet exist. We don't let up, and keep on fiddling until something works reliably. One example of this is our lightweight synthetic material TMi. We deliberately do not work with common plastics because they do not meet our requirements and purposes. The synthetic material we use should have the properties of our favourite material: titanium and should therefore be light, anti-allergenic and unbreakable. As there was no such synthetic material available on the market, we developed TMi a few years ago and use it successfully in various collections. This is also the case in the semi-transparent version in our new MIO collection.
What are the highlights of the new collection you are introducing at Mido?
The slogan of our new collection MIO,,feeling light" actually expresses three things: of course a lightweight frame averaging around 5 grammes, the colourful variety we offer with different shapes and exciting colours, shades that express their beauty best with the natural sunlight and a positive lifestyle. The collection comprises 17 shapes and currently 8 beautiful colours. Take a look at our website markus-t.com
You have been awarded many international design prizes such as the Red Dot Award and IF Design Award but you have not ever rested on your laurels. What are your future projects?
We always say - we do not count the design awards but the happy Markus T faces. We keep going, although over 40 awards within the last 20 years are a nice confirmation of our work. I think that's what makes us: we don't stand still. There are many ideas and projects in the pipeline that are waiting to be realised. Because whether it's eyewear or completely different products such as furniture or lighting concepts - we think our brand triad 'Simple. Beautiful. Intelligent' can be applied to many topics.
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