Europe’s busiest (and most playful) designer has been hard at work this summer with two exhibitions that show him exploring the concepts of sports and futuristic urban environments. Jaime Hayon brought ceramics to the fore with Game On (May 21, Paris and June 3, London) for Galerie Kreo and with Urban Perspectives as part of BMW’s MINI booth at Salone del Mobile 2015.
From Galerie Kreo:
“… (T)he inspiration of sports allow the Spanish artist and designer to bring to life cartoon-like pieces playing with metamorphosis, scales, and disguises. These transformations bring us back to the flawless imagination of Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann (1879–1933), one of the most honorable interior decorator of the 20th century; who came up in 1929 with the Chaise-longue aux skis also known as « Maharadjah », where the feet of the chair morph into bronze skis. The visual theme of sports also allows Hayon to play with forms, colors, and patterns—graphic lines of sports fields, aerodynamic curves, ergonomic structure. For example the Golf Side Table mimics the pattern and texture of a golf ball in precious Carrara marble.
“As often the case with Jaime Hayon, each piece proposes a scenario of use, precisely conceived, and stems from a singular vision: “I wish to freeze a moment of my imagination,” he wrote in 2013. If the work is often joyful and ornamental, it originates from rigorous conception and production. It is one of the gifts of the talented designers to never make the audience feel the pain of the workload but just the joy of the process, the pleasure of creation.”
Writing for DesignBoom, Shuhei Senda states:
“examples of some of the exhibited pieces include an ice skating daybed, which plays on its resemblance with skates or a bobsleigh to create a juxtaposition of ideas — the speed and recklessness of the sport is reinterpreted to invite sleep and relaxation. a podium cabinet suggests users hierarchize the way they store our goods, with sports jersey-style numbers correlating to the opening of each wooden cabinet door. a racket-shaped mirror seems to spring from a hallucinatory experience of olympic proportions, featuring an oversized, lacquered ceramic ball attached to its surface.
“the pieces unite a precise design technique with the visual vocabulary of the sports industry. the many different disciplines invoked — gymnastics for the ‘trapeze ceiling light’, ping-pong for ‘ping pong table’, collective sports for ‘game on’ lamps and ‘game on’ side tables — bring an overall coherence to the collection. additionally, hayon finished the collection with a twist: the use of artisanal materials (his personal favorites like ceramic, wood, marble, hand-blown glass, leather) instead of the obvious high-tech and composite materials preferred today.”
More images of Game On are included below.
As expected with BMW as a sponsor, Hayon’s work for Urban Perspectives starts with Hayon’s reflections on movement through an urban environment (using BMW’s Mini CitySurfer electric scooter concept, of course). Following Hayon’s designs for the scooter, the installation transitions to a modern/semi-futuristic cityscape.
Hayon on his inspiration for the space:
“The urban jungle as an aesthetic space. Using the MINI Citysurfer Concept, Jaime Hayon has created a space representing his idea of the urban jungle. “For me mobility means change and discovery. I wanted to explore this world of being on the move with my very own vision”, says Hayon. His streets of marble stretch out towards an imaginary destination of shining blue columns. You are guided through the traffic not by a forest of signs but by simple dots, lines and reflective surfaces. Conventional traffic lights give way to gleaming copper lamps along the route, turning the city into an aesthetic playground.”
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