Moritz Waldemeyer, Designer and Engineer

When the New York Times profiled the German-born, London-based designer-engineer Moritz Waldemeyer back in 2007, it took great pains to point out that — despite his studies in mechatronics and his background in R&D at Phillips — he was no pocket-protector-sporting, Coke-bottle-glasses-wearing “techno-wizard nerd.” But the amazing irony of those assertions turned out to be that in the four years since, Waldemeyer has gone on to rub shoulders with the kinds of people most designers would scarcely dream of being in the same room with. Having crossed from hard science into pioneering his own niche, marrying engineering and experimental lighting technologies with design and performance, Waldemeyer has seen his robotic dresses sashay down Hussein Chalayan’s runways, his laser-sprouting jackets worn onstage by Rihanna and Bono, and his light-up guitars and mic stands in the grips of Kylie Minogue and OK Go. He’s a techno wizard, alright, but by proxy alone, and certainly by virtue of his pioneering work, he’s cooler than the vast majority of the population. Having rubbed shoulders with Waldemeyer ourselves, we decided to invite him to kick off another new column we’re launching this week, called “The Essentials,” in which we’ll invite important and intriguing personalities to share the things that have become indispensable to their work and home life. Read about his picks below, then visit his newly updated website to check out more of his projects.

Moritz Waldemeyer’s Essentials

“In the studio I have a simple electronics workshop that includes a high-quality solder station, a bench power supply, an oscilloscope, and various programmers for micro-controllers. This allows us to do electronic prototyping and development for all our projects.”

“Leonardo Da Vinci is my biggest idol, because his curiosity was universal, not limited by categories or scientific disciplines. I try to do the same in my work, allowing all the creative disciplines, engineering, and science to influence and inspire my projects. In honor of the genius of Da Vinci, my wife and I named our son Leonardo.”

“One of my very favorite contemporary designers and artists is Tokujin Yoshioka. I love the simplicity and poetry in his installations and the way he uses light-refracting materials.”

“I currently have two cameras in regular use: A Canon 5D MkII for high-quality photography and experimentation, and a GoPro HERO HD for unusual video footage, extreme snap shooting, and time lapse photography.”

“A Fenix PD10 LED Flashlight is the most low-tech thing in my toy box. An amazing piece of lightweight design that fits into your pocket, I always carry one with me.”
Tailored LED video jacket for the Black Eyed Peas’

“We’ve developed a system that allows us to place LEDs on clothing and run video effects across these. This was designed for the Bombay Sapphire sculpture and then adapted to wearable applications. Since then, it has been seen by 1.5 million people during the Take That tour and many more during the Black Eyed Peas appearances this summer.”

“London is my city. I feel totally at home here after 16 years, and I wouldn’t really want to live anywhere else.”

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“London is a complete desert for DIY stores, so my favorite one is an 11-hour flight away: Tokyu Hands. It’s a DIY paradise, and every major city in the world should have one. It’s not just an amazingly well stocked DIY super store, it also offers a glimpse into Japanese craft and tradition, so it’s a cultural journey as well.”

“The ultimate musical experience is the DMZ night at Mass in Brixton. It’s the birthplace of dubstep, a club night where all the founding members of this young musical genre appear in one night. It’s a tribal experience taking you back to our roots as cavemen, with bass so thick you could slice it with a blade.”

“Night” by Benga & Coki“Fantomes” by Khan, and “28g” by Loefah & Skream

A still from Ellie Goulding’s “Lights Music” video

Custom runway fashions for Hussein Chalayan