BY MIMI FAUCETT, MARKET EDITOR
Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayon is known for his unique style and uninhibited creativity. We sat down with him to find out how the ever-quirky creator partnered with the quintessential Italian furniture brand to transform the sofa.
LX: How did your relationship with Cassina come about?
JH: Initially, I think Cassina was curious about my style. They seemed to be interested in the fact that I was doing a lot of different things. I am an artist, somebody that already has an identity and a certain style. They wanted something very “Jaime Hayon” and at the same time inherently Cassina. I started doing sketches, we met in Spain and the Vico sofa was born.
LX: What’s the story behind Vico?
JH: My idea for the piece was very simple: imitate classic Cassina pieces with a beautiful upholstered solution. I wanted to offer something light and simple and, most importantly, comfortable.
LX: Was there a particular inspiration behind Vico’s form?
JH: I looked to Cassina pieces from the 1950s. We decided to make something that was functional, sculptural and beautiful from all angles. Making the back of the sofa visually interesting was something that was important to me, as I wanted it to be something that could float in the middle of a space.
The Vico sofa.
LX: Form vs. Function?
JH: In this case function is important, but form makes the piece unique. For me, form and function are two things that get along pretty well.
LX: How does your Spanish design influence translate to Cassina’s Italian sensibility?
JH: A piece like this is born from an exchange of cultural identities. I have always been attracted to structure, so the linear form of Vico comes from my Spanish design sensibility; the Italian side of Vico is the proportion and expert finishing touches.
LX: Where do you find inspiration?
JH: Inspiration is in the exchange of everyday life: reading books, traveling the world, having conversations…any theme in my life could be a project tomorrow. Design is about telling a story.
LX: And what’s your story?
JH: I have worked with many different materials and many different people. I am constantly looking for the next challenge. My design process has always been that of an artist more than a designer. This year, I focused on furniture, but have continuously been working on gallery and museum shows. A portfolio is a visual language of form, color and ideas that tell a designer’s story.
Getty Images – Sergi Alexander
LX: How would you categorize your visual voice?
JH: I have never really cared about the categories of designer vs. artist. I only care about enjoying what I am doing. I have always mixed up visual worlds and that just became my style—that is who I am.
LX: Any design trends that have piqued your interest?
JH: I see a resurgence of the 1980s: graphic patterns, linear forms, pastel shades…
LX: Any plans for a continued partnership with Cassina?
JH: The reactions to Vico have been so good. It has been great to see the international respect for a company like Cassina. Vico was made with pleasure by artisans with maximum quality in mind. Hopefully they’ll ask me back!
Main Image Photo Credit: Getty Images – Sergi Alexander