Jaime Hayon's Game On 13.08.15

Jaime Hayon 1

The designer’s Game On series for Galerie Kreo brings the familiar elements of sports equipment into the rarefied world of luxury design, says Riya Patel

Sport meets luxury craftsmanship in Jaime Hayon’s Game On collection for Galerie Kreo. Referencing gymnastics, golf, ping pong, basketball, football and volleyball, each piece of furniture is a strange and playful collision between the performance-driven world of sports equipment and the elegance of high-end design.

“Normally in the sports industry you have a huge evolution of materials, using the latest hi-tech materials to make things lighter or softer for the user,” the Spanish designer says. “I wanted to go back to the start of sport, to Greece, to the Olympiad. It made me think of materials that have been there forever, about glass and ceramics, and techniques like inlaying wood.”

Jaime Hayon 2

Hayon aimed to achieve “something new, rather than something neutral”

Central to the collection is a sumptuous daybed with the bladed feet of a sledge or oversized ice skates. Its upholstery is beautifully stitched in coloured threads with a directional pattern that Hayon says evokes a sense of speed. “If you look at any sport, the first thing you see is lines. On the courts, on the balls, on jogging suits and racing bikes. For me, that was inspirational – to get that little sense of decorativeness within the design.”

Two lamps, with bodies marked with the patterns of a football and volleyball, wear mushroom-like shades crafted by Venetian glassblowers. A pair of solid side tables continues the theme – one made in Carrara marble pocked with dimples like a golf ball and the other marked like a basketball, but in a brilliant copper finish in place of the familiar orange rubber. The gallery walls play a graphic game too, with coloured lines and arcs that seem to start with convention but then converge into a smiling face. “Something new, as opposed to something neutral,” Hayon says with a smile.

Jaime Hayon 3

Trapéze ceiling light

Jaime Hayon 4

Basket side table, marked like a basketball

The most literal piece, a wall mirror shaped like a huge glossy ping-pong bat with a gold handle and ball, and edging in striped inlay, borders on the brashness of a Jeff Koons sculpture. Hayon says: “I wanted to be very straightforward with the references, so you could recognise them even in a single piece. But the elaboration [of the piece] and the way of discovering its materials are where it becomes fantastical. “You have this straightforward theme, but also this subtle sophistication of material. That’s a challenge that makes it much more interesting.”

It’s true that closer inspection of this light-hearted collection reveals certain subtleties in detail or technique – the result of three years collaborating with masters of their crafts. One delightful flourish that gives the lamps their character, for example, is a round golden touch sensor, centrally positioned like a belly button or tiny nose. Six of the pieces are on show at the French gallery’s London outpost, while a larger parallel collection in different finishes – the same pieces in an away kit if you like – is being shown simultaneously in Paris. They will remain on view until 5 September in London and 19 September in Paris.

 

Words

Riya Patel

 

Above: A football-patterned lamp and a mirror shaped like a
ping pong bat against a colourful backdrop

quotes story

I wanted to be very straightforward with the references, so you could recognise them even in a single piece. But the elaboration [of the piece] and the way of discovering its materials are where it becomes fantastical

Jaime Hayon 5

Marble side table pocked like a golf ball, and daybed on oversized ice-skating blades

Leave a comment

Click to show