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.