- Buyer's Guide
10 EDC Essentials to Pack for Zurich
When it comes to EDC essentials to pack for a day in Zurich, Christian Kaegi has his finger on the pulse. We asked the co-founder and creative director of QWSTION to share his top picks…
Great restaurants and bars, a dynamic creative scene, good access to Europe’s capitals, proximity to all sorts of outdoor activities and a lake you can drink from…that’s what I like about my home town Zürich. I wouldn’t say the clichés about the city don’t bear any truth; banking has always played an important role and is arguably the reason why it’s such an expensive place to live. But “my” Zürich has few touch points to the version that’s usually portrayed.
I’m Christian Kaegi, co-founder of Swiss carry brand QWSTION, and I’m going to give you a slightly biased list of my 10 essential things to carry around Zürich.
The bicycle is my partner in crime to get around the city, and it generally plays an important role in my life. It led me to study Industrial Design and it’s the reason we started our brand: we couldn’t find a bag that works just as well when commuting as in a business meeting, so we decided to make our own.
I like to carry a camera, although for snapshots the iPhone does the job. The G15 is super compact, yet has the manual settings to play around with. I photographed it at “Toni Areal”, the home of the university of arts where I studied. Next to programs in applied and fine arts, the former dairy processing facility now also is home to one of the most important design collections of the world including prototypes by Le Corbusier and Max Bill, as well as some of our QWSTION pieces. I can highly recommend booking a tour of the collection when visiting Zürich.
For me sketching is a way to communicate, and an important part of my job. The rollerball pen by ystudio is my favorite tool for this. Made from solid brass, it offers that precise, high-quality feeling.
I believe inspiration can be found everywhere, but in terms of print Apartamento is my absolute favorite. A cappuccino goes well with a good read and my go-to place carries a pretty straightforward name: “Coffee”. The interior design of the small space is less understated than the name might suggest, and their profound knowledge of roasting and brewing is also a highlight.
This jacket is one of my everyday essentials for spring. Made from a densely woven waxed cotton it is light enough to take anywhere and also holds off a little rain. Pictured at the “Lochergut” area which has developed from a main transit route to a very lively neighborhood in recent years, with lots of great squares and restaurants.
Switzerland is known for its well balanced political culture of compromise. Although I’m sure this is good for politics, quite the opposite is the case for the things I buy. Less in quantity, better in quality is what I look for. VIU is part of the movement of new Swiss brands with a focus on design and was one of the first eyewear brands with a direct-to-consumer concept. Hence their high-quality eyewear is affordably priced. Affordability is not exactly a quality Zürich is known for on the other hand, but the many great open-air baths on the river and the lake are an exception: entry is usually free.
Laying under the trees of Josefswiese listening to Radiohead happens way too little, but when it does, it feels great. The essentialist headphones of Danish brand AIAIAI are always in my bag, just in case.
I hate the fact phones are designed in a way that they can’t go without a case in everyday use. But Bellroy jumps in neatly here, as their case with integrated credit card slot replaced my wallet.
Of course, a sketchbook is always with me. Once I started using the Moleskine Classic I never looked back. The page indicator and simple elastic closure do the trick.
It’s almost considered blasphemy to wear a foreign product in the land of watchmaking. But there clearly are similarities between Swedish and Swiss design, which becomes obvious in TID’s watches. The company named after the Swedish word for “time” was founded by members of Stockholm design studio Form Us With Love. I am wearing it because of its simplicity, and because they are super nice guys.
And no surprises here, ha.
Our prototyping workshop and design studio is in the up-and-coming “Kreis 4” area of Zürich, which allows us to quickly test any new idea for a bag. The bag I’m using currently is a prototype of our Day Tote. At a volume of 18 liters, this hybrid between a tote and a backpack has all the useful pockets for the tools I use everyday, while offering the extra bit of space I appreciate when getting some groceries on the way home.