I can’t say whether architect Carlos Gastelum was channeling the spirit of Gaetano Pesce or Pierre Paulin when he conceived of the dynamic duo known as the Titan Chair and Sofa, but something of the joie de vivre of both those design icons is certainly present therein. Titan is a rare piece that manages to be oversized and sleek at once—outlandish yet contained, celebratory but subtle enough to avoid giving offense to purists. In fact, the piece has a cartoonish aspect that might be described as fanciful (reminding me, as did a certain Myto by a certain Konstantic Grcic, some three years back) of a technicolor creation of the wizards at Warner Brothers, perhaps one of the monster/aliens who on occasion appeared as one of Bugs’ nemeses, only to be foiled at every turn be the wily rabbit.
Titan Sofa and Chair. Designed by Carlos Gastelum for Dune.
Contemporary Materials for A Timeless Sofa and Chair
Gastelum and Titan have partaken of modern advances in materials science to concoct Titan. The basic recipe involves padded polyurethane foam over bantam-birch ply and brushed aluminum legs with a satin finish. That—and Gastelum’s copious imagination—has given Titan a formidable aspect that renders it an appropriate furnishing for an abode of kings. In fact, that notion fits with the theme, as “Titan” refers to the ancient race of Gods who ruled heaven and earth prior to their deposal at the hands of the Olympians.
The artistic trajectory of designer Gastelum also gives another clue as to the origins of the Titan aesthetic. With “with eight years of experience in design and construction in Central America and the Caribbean,” it seems he picked up something of that region’s magical realist bent. For Titan not only looks as if it could have come from the mind of Pesce or Warner Brothers, but from those of Spanish America’s great fabulists as well—Márquez, Cortázar, Alejo Carpentier...
About the Manufacturer: Dune is a U.S. manufacturer of contract and residential furnishings with distinctive personalities and a penchant for long life. Ever opposed to the concept of mass-marketed A&D, Dune aspires to build innovative pieces that create synergy with a surrounding space. Though Dune designs furniture that, generally speaking, “complements smaller living spaces,” the manufacturer works with clients to devise the best fit for the given dimensions: “the scale and proportions of our pieces are an integral component of our process. They help to define the overall interior aesthetic that we envision.”