Jaime Hayon's whimsical sketches often reveal elements of the circus and carnival and while Hayon has produced some relatively restrained furniture pieces for Danish manufacturer Fritz Hansen, his work for brands such as Bosa, Parachilna and BD Barcelona typically sees lighting and furniture become an extension of his colour-filled fantasy world. His recent collaboration with leading solid surface manufacturer, Caesarstone, resulted in a collection called Stone Age Folk, which uses pictorial marquetry to create stylized faces and animals on the outer surfaces of tables cabinets and wall mounted mirrors. On show at Interior Design Show (IDS) Toronto from the 19th to 22nd of January, the collection is set to grow for Caesarstone's big annual event during Milan Design Week in early April.
Hayon has been a regular on Design daily. You can see his work shown on previous Design daily posts here: and also here:
Design daily loves his unique vision and his unerring pursuit of fun but what is more important is that Hayon delivers great products with incredible consistency. A former wunderkind of Benetton's Fabrica organisation, Hayon is a design dynamo who is capable of working in any field from shoe store interiors like Camper to solid surface acrylic installations for Caesarstone, without drawing breath. He has designed for brands with such diverse requirements as BMW, Nodus rugs and Baccarat crystal and seems to draw from an endless source of inspiration.
Marquetry is generally small in scale and finely detailed but Hayon has chosen to upscale the technique to a size that can no longer be missed. The pieces designed for Caesarstone are massive, some as much as four metres high. The accuracy achievable in the cutting and shaping of Caesarstone's quartz based material means that entire walls can be created in intricate combinations. Not dissimilar to what has been achieved in timber veneers in years gone by, Caesarstone is a material that lends itself to collage. While veneer can be cut by hand, Caesarstone is cut using computer controlled equipment but the results are the same and repetition far more achievable.
Hayon has designed extravagant cabinets for Established & Sons and BD Barcelona in the past but these have always been limited by the nature of the materials used - generally timber or MDF with applied lacquers. For the pieces in the Stone Age Folk collection shape is just one part of the design as the relationship between surfaces allows for a greater variety of outcomes.
"Caesarstone material inspires designers and creatives to think of new ideas and bring novelty and innovation through creativity. This is what the installation for Caesarstone is about - this sort of combination of ideas, from folklore to fauna to colour to material to stone to furniture, ideas which result in unique pieces that can be functional or completely surreal and non-functional. Its about mixing the ingredients with our own intuition to create a new world, inspired by the possibilities of the material.”
Jaime Hayon, Designer.
For a designer who has had much success utilising 3-D techniques like wood turning for the cabinet legs of his famous 'Showtime' cabinet for BD Barcelona, the Stone Age Folk collection connects far more directly with Hayon's drawing style. The Stone Age Folk pieces are flat but come alive through their shape, patterned surfaces and anthropomorphic style.
Stylistically the work is the melting pot of Hayon's imagination, combining elements of tribal art with the cut out shapes of Miro. There is even a touch of Memphis to the work's geometric treatment of flat surfaces and due to its anthropomorphism, a reminder of some of Mendini's products for Alessi.
Hayon's style works equally well with near symmetrical facial designs and organic table formations. Geometry plays a role but is not the only component in a body of work that successfully encapsulates the joyful nature of Hayon's sketches.
In addition to his oversized wall sculptures and organic shaped tables, Hayon revealed highly symetrical wall pieces incorporating mirrored eyes (and teeth!) The colour and material possibilities of Caesarstone are evident in all the products created by Hayon for the Caesarstone IDS installation but the 2-D marquetry concept suggests how the material can be used to incorporate far more complex designs into interior schemes. What is typically used as a single slab in kitchens lends itself to intricate pattern making in other areas of a house through the contrasting use of colour and the veined and granular alternatives available.
Caesarstone has been collaborating with a variety of designers over recent years to push the boundaries of experiential design with work from nendo, Raw Edges, Philippe Malouin and Tom Dixon being showcased at design fairs around the world. You can see some of the other projects by clicking here and here