Surreal Minimalism. Designed by David Pompa Alarcón.
Now he's gone on to a project which—if I may speculate—seems nearer and dearer to the designer's very own internal workings. A grouping of chairs that meld objects of contrasting functionality into a single piece, the Surreal Minimalism line embraces the designer's very own lineage of duality. Most of the pieces feature upholstered seats atop metal bases: nothing so striking about that; the shock value rather emerges from the referents of each component. Thus we see an Eames Lounge Chair (there you are again, oh enduring icon) upholstered in purest pink and done up on a pair of oversized wheels; a trapezoidal coffin-like box lined with plush navy upholstery and perched atop four miniaturized pewter porpoises; a "rocker" constituted of a base of pewter-cast human legs on dual slats and a bent wood seat covered in the oddly-chosen tones of peach and baby blue. These pieces each share a sense of bizarre whimsy that might be seen as a legacy from the mind of Tim Burton (think the resourcefulness of Pee Wee Herman and the understated glee of Vincent Price as the mad inventor in Edward Scissorhands), or Dr. Seuss' best cast of joyful misanthropes.
Pompa envisions the collection as an antidote to workplace drear: "why do we always think about functions when we talk about inclusive design? Interaction is often reduced to a functional basis; this collection is an approach to help objects and humans interact on an emotional level with the aim of stimulating creativity."
The collection is certainly the antithesis of timidity, and if Pompa's goal is to summon a subjective response he's succeeded soundly. The question is whether the elicited emotion is creative enthusisam or abject horror. But, given the designer's aesthetic antecedents—and, returning to the Germanic/Mexican theme, I'd add surrealistic visionaries like Frida Kahlo and Max Ernst to this list—the conflicted response is probably just what he's after.