From Science to Functional Beauty: Joris Laarman’s Solo Show at Friedman Benda

At age 23, Dutch designer Joris Laarman gained international recognition with his senior project – the functional rococo-style Heat Wave Radiator currently produced by Droog and Jaga, now present in the permanent collections of museums such as the Cooper-Hewitt, as well as DESIGNMUSEO and FRAC. Anyone who believed Laarman would be a one hit wonder has since been silenced. His first two works post graduation, Bone Chair and Bone Chaise, were displayed in MoMA’s exhibition Design and the Elastic Mind and are now a part of the museum’s permanent collection.

Leaf Table. Designed by Joris Laarman.

Joris Laarman continues his quest to translate science into functional beauty with his latest body of work, to be unveiled this evening at Friedman Benda in New York. “Combining reason with emotion, that’s the most difficult thing to do—in design and in everything,” Laarman says. This upcoming exhibition is Laarman’s first solo show in the United States and the culmination of five years of trial and error; and exploratory material research. They represent an expansion on his core investigations (namely bone Chair) and include Skyline Storage, Fractal Bookshelf, Stair Cabinet, Leaf Table and Half Life Lamp, a sustainable lamp made from living cells.

Bridge Table. Designed by Joris Laarman.

Bridge Table. Designed by Joris Laarman.

Laarman has designed pieces in collaboration with design giants such as Flos, Vitra, Swarovski, and Droog. He finds inspiration in the hundreds of files he keeps on robots, appliances and scientific experiments. “Many designers are now looking at software as a way to create new forms,” explained Paola Antonelli, MoMA’s Curator of Design, “Joris does it with particular elegance.”

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