Material Tendencies: Jaime Hayon
Spanish designer and artist Jaime Hayon speaks about following his intuition and enjoying doing whatever feels right.
Jaime Hayon likes to tell stories. Decorative and playful, but in a subtle way, his work reflects his curiosity and joy, informed by an approach that might be described as somewhat whimsical. Anita Hackethal spoke to the Spanish designer and artist, who likes to follow his intuition and enjoys doing whatever feels right.
Anita Hackethal, Architonic: If you had to restrict yourself to working with just one material for the next three years, which one would you choose?
Jaime Hayon: It would be hard to say. I guess with wood I would be able to do a lot of things. But one material that I’ve always loved is ceramic. Because it can be used in different processes and in many possible combinations. Its characteristics can have so many aspects. It can be poor but super elegant. It can be extremely glossy and very rich, even though it always comes from the same sort of earthenware. It is at the same time a very basic and high-quality material. So yes, I would probably choose ceramic as the first one.
At what point within the design process do you decide in favour of a specific material? What comes first – the shape or the choice of material?
None of those, actually. Neither shape nor material. At the end, things link from one to the other. I am someone who starts from the drawing. I’m always sketching. I start with an image or a theme, because for me everything is a story.
When I did this mirror here (King Kong Mirror for BD Barcelona), I was thinking that it has to be a mirror, so you can look at yourself. But, actually, looking at yourself is not the most important thing. It’s about looking at the expression of it, what is it telling. In this case, it is a mask, a face – it is something else. Then everything else follows: the form, the graphic, the function. I think that this is also how design has changed in this century, to be honest. We can tell stories, we can tell emotions and we can bring something forward.
Do you think there is a trend in materials?
I guess trends exist and people want to know about them, but I don’t really believe in them. I think trends are just a marketing tool for marketers to try to find solutions for their mistakes. We are in constant change. Anything can be trendy. I believe that you have to do what you love and sort of take risks.
There is a trend in materiality and you can actually see that, in the last three years, design has become more focused on materials. You see a lot of stone, composites and natural materials, and there are a lot of strange colour combinations coming up. Personally, I really like to research the material, including its history. With a deep understanding of a material’s background and possible techniques, you can discover new ways of working with it.