French designer Jean Nouvel tells an intriguing story with his Office for Living Project. 30 years from now if we look back at today’s office we will be stunned to find them — unlivable. In this installation there are several components. One is ‘il maestro’ a tribute to the masters amid a rejection of corporate environments.
standard desk, metropole chair n 308 | jean prouvé | 1943/50
1> 617 johnson wax | frank lloyd wright | cassina | 1936
2> storage unit | ray&charles eames | herman miller | 1949
3> triposto bench | gio ponti | tecno | 1967
4> série Synthesis 45 | ettore sottsass | olivetti | 1968/73
5> t90 executive desk | osvaldo borsani | tecno | 1956
6> chiat day desk | gaetano pésce | 1994
7> standard desk, metropole chair n 308 | jean prouvé | 1943/50
8> bay’s desk | pierre jeannerét | 1952-56
9> carlo mollino | zanotta | 1949
milan chair | click > enlarge
< With extremely tight schedules our talk with Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayón transpires amidst the Fritz Hansen open house filled with his fans. >
[DesignApplause] Jaime, why are you here tonight?
[Jaime Hayón] I’m here because I wanted to meet you. Also, I’m here because of the chair I designed and it’s a party and I’m here enjoying it. The new chair for Fritz Hansen is named ‘Ro’ which means tranquility in Danish. The size of the chair is a one-and-a-half seater, spacious enough to share with a book, laptop or a big fat cat. The concept is the inspiration from seven cities I’ve selected as well as to remind everyone how busy and hectic urban living is. The chair is meant to be some sort of form of peace and tranquility. We’ve also created a special exhibition which is now here in this showroom for the Salone del Mobile and then it will become a worldwide traveling show.
[DA] Fritz Hansen gave you a brief to design this new chair. You mix-up art, decoration and design ever so nicely. Does a brief affect your style, your aesthetics in any way and did you try something new on this project?
[JH] Well there’s a lot of exercises here in terms of trying to make a very comfortable seat first of all. In fact, I also tried to keep the price very low. Shape-wise there’s an effort to try and make it very human and almost soft.
[DA] It looks great. And I sat in it. It’s more comfortable than it looks which I like.
[JH] Thank you. Even though when you look at the side and edges which are very thin there’s a lot of weight to it. I’m happy about.
[DA] Tell us about the seven cities and the aesthetics and construction.
[JH] The seven cities are Copenhagen which reflects Scandinavia, Milan, Berlin, New York, London, Paris, Tokyo. The fabric colors and material selection for the legs are an expression of my sensibilities for each of the cities. The chair is sculpted to be beautiful from all angles. There are three pieces, head, body and seat. The upholstery comes in a range of fabrics, each with contrasting textures for the interior cushions. The shell and material and seam detail is very similar to the Egg chair, so it’s a polyurethane shell with a steel frame. The legs are very special and require three different moulds. The back legs have one mould and the front have a right and a left.
what about here?
[DA] The bracket is very unique and something we wouldn’t notice without the mirror base.
[JH] Yes, the mirror concept in the exhibit shows you the bracket detail under the seat plus you also see a map of each respective city which is tacked on the ceiling.
[DA] Are these chairs residential or contract.
[JH] They are both. The construction of contract furniture must pass stiff commercial requirements and be durable. The chair is comfortable while it has the firmness of a contract piece.
[DA] Did you approach Fritz Hansen with this concept?
[JH] No, they called me in expressly to create a chair that would have the potential to become the next classic, something to add to their collection, so 50 years from now Ro would be a classic like the Egg. They called me in a little over two years ago. I worked with their design team to make a chair both comfortable and beautiful.
[DA] What’s your design philosophy?
[JH] At this time of the day? Chilling. But normally have fun, enjoy. Look at things. Live on details. Make quality. Work with the people you like.
[DA] Did you get a chance to look at anything else at Salone?
[JH] Not a chance. I am working. I came here with the chairs to present and I’m going back home with my family, my wife and two young kids.
[DA] Ro will go on sale in nine colors selected by Jaime: violet, blue, yellow, sage green, light pink, sand, taupe, light grey and black. Of interest is each color has a hint of grey in it because he feels if the chair resides in a hotel lobby or one’s home, grey ties into that space. They goes to market September 2013. The chairs for the cities are just part of an exhibition and will not be available for purchase. [ hayón studio ] [ fritz hansen ]
event / 13 > 14 april | workshop to create the Inhabi-tants | click > enlarge
Marni presents in this new space the 2013 edition of the project “100 chairs”, which includes models and colors linked to the idea of urban sitting rooms.
The collection, which is composed of chairs, chaise-lounges, rocking chairs and tables, has been enriched by models in bright colors designed for children. The sitting rooms have been created in color variations fit for interior spaces, featuring new models, woven patterns and combinations. Of interest, this production has been entirely made by hand in Colombia by ex-prisoners, aiming to reinforce the prisoners resettlement into social and working life.
During the Salone del Mobile 2013 MARNI meets “INHABI-TANTS. The migrating multitude”, calls into play the concepts of identity and difference, the encounter with the otherness – the being that comes to us from another world. The Inhabi-tants are small objects in form of humanoids/robots with arms, bodies, heads and feet made out of industrial waste in the shape of small sticks, spheres, semi-spheres and cubes. On April 13th and 14th a workshop will be held at Spazio MARNI in viale Umbria 42 where it will be possible to create the Inhabi-tants of the Marni family, which will join the numerous families created throughout the world. Recycled materials, as well as fabrics and components of bijou, part of the Marni collections, can be assembled to build a new Inhabi-tant. The chairs of Marni and the Inhabi-tants come from faraway and peacefully invade the spaces.
As well as a commitment to use recycled materials, the project reaffirms Marni’s involvement with charitable initiatives with a donation being made to a worthy cause. [ milan 2013 ]
event / 13 > 14 april / workshop to create the Inhabi-tants
venue / spazio marni in viale umbria 42