Jaime Hayon Takes on the LOUNGER

It is said that Spanish phenom Jaime Hayon‘s stylistic roots reside in “skateboard culture and graffiti art.” Granting that there might be more than a smidge of difference between what this intimates state-side and what it may mean across the pond, I still can’t quite wrap my mind around it. To me, a “skateboard aesthetic” implies an iconography of anarchy, a hard-edged (if not entirely authentic) urbanism, and a dash of white-gangster-punk–more in tune with, say, the work of Brooklyn’s Chris Rucker, than contemporary compatriots like Javier Mariscal, Francesc Rif©, or Jaime Bouzaglo. Well, Spain is a land of contrasts, so perhaps their Skate Punks–raised on a steady diet of Gaudí, Dalí, and Miró–can parlay all those four wheeled forays across the urban landscape into the likes of the LOUNGER for BD (Barcelona Design). A companion piece to 2006’s Showtime Collection, the LOUNGER is vaguely reminiscent of another lounge chair by an American called Eames, yet Hayon’s contribution to the genre says “Barcelona” from every angle.

LOUNGER. Designed by Jaime Hayon for Barcelona Design.

I admit I’m not entirely sure what that last clause means. It’s a subjective reaction to a subjective aesthetic. But something about the LOUNGER’s exaggerated dimensions, its overt attention to the mechanics of construction (note the over-sized rivets that anchor seat to back), its deft fusion of curvaceous and linear forms, its daring monochrome red tie it to Spain’s most cosmopolitan city (sorry, Madrid). Manufacturer BD has their own take on the LOUNGER’s appeal: “it has the elegance of the Showtime collection, the comfort that is required for this type of chair, and Hayon's unmistakable stamp in its design: contrasts between classicism and modernity, monocolor finishes and high quality upholstery in fabric or leather.”

Jaime Hayon Takes on the LOUNGER

This PR blurb is on the pragmatic side, sure, but Hayon’s innovative aesthetic could use a bit of pragmatism, especially since the designer is styled as one continually exploring the liminal line between art and design. In light of this characterization, it’s hardly a surprise that he’s received accolades from, and had work exhibited at, Milan's Salone de Mobile, Germany's Vitra Museum, and the Basel Art Fair… not to mention “attracting the attention of prestigious art collectors worldwide.”

In light of this pedigree, the LOUNGER does not disappoint. It’s an exciting and artistically-conceived (and, yes, pragmatic) new option for aesthetic reverie–or wherever else your mind might wander while lounging.

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