Wandering Sol Sessions- Christof Mayer, engineer of The Wanderer
This series is called SOL Sessions. What is it that you do that makes your SOL sing?
Family and friends, building things, wilderness, getting into the water.
Tell us about your career path. How did you get to where you are now?
Call me crazy. I’m attracted to challenges. Becoming an engineer was inevitable.
What does living a Soulful life mean, or look like to you?
Something like “Love, liberty and craft”. Probably supposed to be said in Spanish but it seems to translate well.
What were the biggest challenges when engineering The Wanderer?
Being functional and simple is a challenge and for me it is the ultimate goal in design. Maybe it’s a little ode to Bauhaus and Shaker but we mustn’t forget that our aspiration is to make a great trolley to be your helper.
Combining all the contributors was challenging. Farming, metal work, factories, logistics, customs, communication, economics. No contributor is ignored in the planning but there is also a need to pull them together to get the trolley right for our Wanderers.
Working closely with the product team, we considered a whole bunch of different options and eventually I was able to come away with a great concept.
Designers have the saying “God is in the detail” and engineers like to say “The Devil is in the detail”. I believe both are true.
While I often work with much larger devices, which weigh in the many hundreds of tonnes, the Wanderer Trolley weighs only a few kilos. Such a difference in size doesn’t make this design any less important. We went to great lengths to ensure the design is safe, functional and dependable.
What did you find the most interesting when visiting the factory and bamboo plantations?
I was very interested in seeing the different land uses living side by side and even complementing each other. In the hills, there was bamboo, tea, rice, market gardens and forestry, interlaced with intricate civil works. Down in the valleys there is a regional town and other smaller villages. These host the industries that make use of the produce from the hills. It’s a beautiful area and one can see the beginnings of a local tourism industry that looks akin to our wineries.
Do you have any daily routines that nurture your soul?
Hug my family and step outside with my kids to see what the day has in store.
Finally, tell us about an upcoming project you’re passionate about?
Australia’s own Energiewende and more trolleys !