Out/About: Milan 2013 – Jaime Hayon
Although we didn’t make it to Milan this year for the annual Salone Internazionale del Mobile, we greatly enjoyed everyone’s wonderful coverage. Not only via the design press – but also through the immediate and tangible wonder that is Instagram. What particularly caught our eye was the new chair by Jaime Hayón. This certainly appeared to be the people’s choice – and we can see why.
The ‘Ro’ chair by Spanish designer Jaime Hayón for Danish brand Republic of Fritz Hansen is essentially a wingback chair. Ro, meaning “tranquility” in Danish, features a curved seat shell that swoops out on both sides to form armrests and dips inward at the neck to follow the shape of the user’s body. It also features separate rounded cushions for the headrest, back and seat are covered in a slightly different texture to the shell they sit in. The result is a functional and aesthetic chair that does not compromise on either comfort or aesthetics. To use the words of the maker – this is a chair that ‘springs from a desire to create a piece of furniture that offers an opportunity for reflection in our busy, urban lives’. It is at once formal and also relaxed, and no doubt its philosophy resonated with the many weary design professionals at the salon! It is indeed tranquility in its visual expression and its comfortable seating. As touted on their website by Fritz-Hansen, it is an ‘easy’ chair.
What we love about the Ro is its form, its compact footprint, and its relaxed elegance. It looks like it beautifully cradles the body and its curves really look to reflect the curves of the body, in a very womb-like way. It is described as a 1.5-seater, which says a lovely thing about sharing with a child, a book or animal. It speaks of quietness and an intimacy and a softness. Oh, and we do really really like the palette. There are the traditional options (black, grey and taupe), plus three bright colours (violet, blue and yellow) and our favorites – the three soft colours (light pink, sage green and sand). Further – we are really excited to use this piece in a current client project in Woollahra! How lucky are we.
While we are talking all things Jaime Hayon, we should also mention the new collection for BD Barcelona by Jaime Hayon called ‘Gardenias’. Gardenias is a range of outdoor chairs and garden accessories that includes cast aluminium seating in muted colours and terracotta vessels with small hoods. The chairs have padded seats and backs, with aluminum tubes that loop around to form armrests and flick out to create feet. Hayon has described this as “working with aluminium in the way you would work with wood”, and to great effect. Defying the formal conventions of outdoor furniture, ‘gardenias’ offers a softer, more curvaceous appearance – svelte, subtle and feminine. It’s the accessories that we especially love though, with the range including handmade terracotta flower pots in a selection of smooth sculptural shapes and a drop-dead white watering can with two golden handles and a super glam golden spout.