Italian architect and illustrator Federico Babina has recently unveiled a new project, this time taking a look at the connection between architecture and the visual arts. Titled ‘Archist’, the project comprises a series of illustrations of imaginary buildings inspired by famous works of art. Beginning with the question: what would a house designed by Dalí or a museum by Miró look like, the resulting images demonstrate what Federico Babina believes is the ”implicit partnership between Architecture and Art.” They sometimes treat the facade as a canvas decorated with a well-known piece of art, while in other cases, they draw inspiration from the artist’s overall output to create an inventive architectural composition. Quite interestingly, and probably unbeknownst to the artist himself, the project also shows how the visual arts world is just as male-dominated as the world of architecture, as only two women (Jeanne-Claude – Christo’s partner – and Anne Truitt) made it onto Babina’s list of 27 ”most popular artists.”
List of artists: Keith Haring, Sol LeWitt, Anish Kapoor, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Donald Judd, Joan Miró, Mark Rothko, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, Piet Mondrian, Ernesto Neto, Ellsworth Kelly, Josef Albers, Antoni Tàpies, James Turell, Frank Stella, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Anne Truitt, Lucio Fontana, Tony Smith, Peter Halley, Kazimir Málevich.
“Okko hotel is, first and foremost, the story of my encounter with Olivier Devys, the project’s founder. Starting with a blank page, we combined our visions and our determination to take up the challenge of upending traditional practices in the hospitality industry to create a bold and innovative concept, an all-included package for the best location, best service and best price! Thus was born the idea of a contemporary and urban four-star hotel where the human, design, and innovation are at the heart of the project. I designed an adequate, simple, and timeless product around this “Okko spirit” to cater to customers’ new needs: a place unaffected by time or trends and where the notions of service and comfort are essential; to be able to work, dine, relax, be waited on or use anything freely, any time of the day; to feel like being home away from home. The high-end amenities and services in the modern and relaxing Okko room and in the vast and convivial Club room make the Okko hotel a unique place that combines aesthetics and comfort. I wanted to create a brand, not just a hotel!”
The Groninger Museum presents the first large-scale solo exhibition of the work of Jaime Hayon (Madrid, 1974). Hayon is one of the most acclaimed designers of his generation. His work consists of autonomous and applied projects, across various disciplines such as ceramics, wood, glass, textiles, product, furniture and interior design. This exhibition is a reflection of the past ten years, a period of intense creativity and growth, in which Hayon has increasingly developed his autonomous work.
Hayon was educated as an industrial designer in Madrid and Paris, and subsequently joined Fabrica, the communications research centre of the Italian clothing label Benetton, in 1997. Within a relatively short time he rose from being a simple student to head of department. In 2000, he started up his own company and made his debut in the art design world with the ceramic work Mediterranean Digital Baroque. The Groninger Museum has been following Jaime Hayon for quite some time. In 2009, the Museum purchased two large installations (Mediterranean Digital Baroque and Mon Cirque) and in 2010 he designed the Museum’s new information centre. With commissions from all over the world and a host of renowned clients, Hayon is regarded as one of the most influential young designers of the present day. The exhibition includes the installations Mediterranean Digital Baroque and Mon Cirque as well as the now iconic Green Chicken and commissioned works for clients such as Baccarat and Lladro. American Chateau, the collaborative project he made with his partner artist, Nienke Klunder, is also featured in the exhibition.
A remarkable element of the exhibition is The Tournament: a unique work that consists of a life-size chess set made of turned wood and hand-painted ceramics, which the Groninger Museum managed to purchase recently. Hayon created this work in 2009, having been commissioned by the Design Festival London to do so; the work was inspired by the Battle of Trafalgar. This is the Dutch première of the artwork. The intention is to organize chess games at specified times. Jaime Hayon’s work issues from an irresistible urge to create his own world. It occupies a central position between autonomous art and design, where amusing, fantastic and narrative elements are combined with a keen eye for detail and finishing. His signature is characterized by a stylized input in which diverse styles blend together. Making use of all these other elements, Hayon translates craftsmanship and traditional techniques into emotionally influential objects and interiors that invite the viewer to be a part of them.
Jaime Hayon: Funtastico, October 13, 2013 – March 30, 2014, at Groninger Museum, Netherlands, Photography © klunderbie, Jaime Hayon
For the month of contemporary art, Gallery S. Bensimon invites the Mexican sculptor Sebastian to present an exhibition of his work, convertible for children sculptures and bronze series “Quantum”. The sculptor place in his creations mathematical laws or generally fundamental laws, including balance and strength. The exhibition will be an opportunity to discover parts which have been investigated both in formal terms, as color or material.
Sculpture, by Sebastian, October 24 – December 10 at Gallery S. Bensimon, 111 rue de Turenne 75003 Paris
Winners of the 2013 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards have been announced. Norman Foster’s Atrium Champagne Bar in London won for Best Bar.
Atrium Champagne Bar, London, by Foster + Partners, Overall Winner 2013 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards
Friedman Benda will present Paul Cocksedge: CAPTURE the British designer’s inaugural solo exhibition, the works include Capture, a 5 ¼ ft (1.6 meter) hand-spun aluminum dome that appears to “hold” the peaceful glow of a warm white light. The piece is informed by a process of reduction–a recurring theme in Cocksedge’s work–as it subtracts the typical infrastructure around light, instead creating a hemisphere that seems to stop light from escaping. For White Light, Cocksedge will create a room within the gallery in which everything and nothing changes. For this work, the designer will create an illuminated mosaic of precisely calibrated and positioned colored panels on the ceiling of the gallery. The ceiling will slowly fade from a spectrum of colors to a warm white light, while the room itself will remain unchanged, demonstrating the ways in which we do and do not perceive the interplay of color and light.
The inspiration for Poised comes from the elegance and amenability of paper. Half a ton in weight, the steel table appears improbable upon investigation. Created following an intensive series of calculations regarding gravity, mass, and equilibrium, the table looks as though it is about to fall, but is perfectly weighted and stable.
In addition to these new works, Cocksedge will present three architectural models that take conceptual threads from Capture and White Light and reapply them to architectural settings outside of the gallery space. Central to Cocksedge’s work is an appreciation for the ways in which people respond to and interact with his designs. As a result, potential real world applications of these new works will be explored in a series of architectural models.
The KICKING in ALIVE AND KICKING signifies an explosive force. Continuing his creation in ALIVE, Zhou Chunya uses gold for the first time to present the dog which he has drawn for dozens of years. The vivid and heavy tone on the dog is transformed into a golden armor. Gilded with a copper-zinc alloy and rose gold, the dogs shimmer in every confident posture. In the past, Zhou Chunya involuntarily chose green to interpret the vibrant and explosive force of life. The experiment in which the artist followed his desires and instinct has continued for 15 years. Now, Zhou Chunya uses an even more dazzling color to interpret such surging and vibrant forces. In KICKING, the dogs are enlarged to present the intensity and beauty of their wildness, as if desire is expanded and satisfied after being provoked, showing itself in a more luxurious and extravagant way and providing a further interpretation and expectation of life and desire. Jaime Hayon’s design for KICKING is a standing cabinet inspired by a classical treasure cabinet. With his customary signature, he combines a masculine solid cabinet with his light, soft, and extravagant style. Unlike his past designs, Jaime expresses a great sense of transparency through the glass of the cabinet, from which Zhou Chunya’s golden dogs catch everyone’s eye. Together the cabinet and 32 golden dogs weigh 200kg, signifying the incomparable force of life. Such mighty strength aroused the vigorous explosive force that is both surging and powerful.
Alive and Kicking, Luxury cabinet, designed by Jaime Hayon and dog sculptures by Chinese contemporary artist Zhou Chunya
The aim of the display system for the Manufacture of Sèvres is to enhance their four centuries of creation through a selection of 100 pieces. Reminiscent of the sunrise in Asia, the vaporised yellow gradation opens a vertical evasion of the space. The void created between the thin-edge plywood shelves and the light wire-cube structure, expresses the lightness and the impression of floating shelves.
Galerie de Sèvres – Cité de la Céramique, Paris, France, by A+A Cooren
Photography © Lorenz Cugini
Permanent installation. DC-motors, cotton balls, filler wires, power supply, lighting system, bench foundation, toluene tank (1951), Dottikon, Switzerland, by Zimoun