At this year’s Milan Design Fair, Danish furniture brand Fritz Hansen accompanied the release of a new dining and lounge chair by Jaime Hayon with a softer, more welcoming showroom feel. Indesign managing editor Lorenzo Logi caught up with the Spanish designer on the occasion.
Set amidst the carefully effortless tableau of stylist Christine Rudolph’s transformed Fritz Hansen showroom in Milan, Jaime Hayon is typically energetic, animating the space with his vivacity.
“We’re presenting two chairs here,” he begins “one is the armchair called Fri, and it’s called Fri because it is about freedom. It’s about turning around—it’s much more inviting, and less closed as a cocoon, and it’s another situation, a situation where you would put two chairs in front of a sofa instead of putting one chair off to the side. It’s much more social, for conversation and moving around.”
Down on one knee, the Spaniard traces Fri’s contours with a hand, explaining “you feel immediately that it’s not that we cut it, we tried to make it low and a little bit recessed, so we got this aesthetic that’s it inviting you to sit much more quickly.” Then, sitting into the chair, “There’s something important which is that when you sit down, you’re much more – you see how I put my leg? You can sit at an angle as well, so the elbow is in the right area, so if you want to move around, you can move, and it doesn’t fill the space visually.”
Moving to the next furniture setting, Hayon pulls one of the new Sammen dining chairs from under an Analog table: “The idea is—well the chair is called Sammen and it means ‘together’. We did a version with and without armrests, with the wood legs; it’s again a progression of the concept of upholstery. Fritz Hansen didn’t have a chair like that, they always had either a plastic chair or they the series 7.”
“It seems like it’s part of the same collection as the analogue table?” I say.
“Yeah of course! They have to match together, it’s not glued at all, it’s kind of free, and it comes in some really beautiful colours, you’ll be getting many colours in the future.”
Both the Fri and the Sammen showcase Fritz Hansen’s thoughtful, minimalist design philosophy and superb craftsmanship, and it is pleasing to see more of Hayon’s warm, playful approach in each successive collaboration with the Danish brand.
The new pieces fit seamlessly into Rudolph’s space, “Every place has its own personality, which is complimented by this furniture. It doesn’t take over the space, but adds a unique textural aspect to the place. There is a huge variation in Fritz Hansen’s furniture – colours, materials like leather, canvas, metal, wood, but it was most important for me to show how harmoniously they fit into the context,” she explains.
‘Together with Fritz Hansen, I have created a dining chair and an armchair. Both are a natural part of the Favn, Ro and Analog family, reflecting the same idea that our former furniture designs have been based on: our shared principles of working with the best materials and aiming for simplicity and maximum comfort. Both chairs can be characterized as open, free and public designs that let you become a part of the life that goes on around you. They both create a cosy, warm and informal feel in any setting, whether it is a home, an office or a restaurant,’ says Jaime Hayon.