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Emotions that drive design

[Herald Design Forum 2017]

Emotions that drive design

He is known for his meticulous attention to detail and form, but Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayon’s approach to his craft is first and foremost based on having fun.


“I believe design is about more than function,” Hayon said as he opened the first session of The Herald Design Forum at The Shilla Seoul on Tuesday.


“My way of looking at design was always observing things. Folklore, traveling around and getting glimpses of things have brought me inspiration to design things,” said Hayon.


“I never took myself seriously. I used to dress up and still do,” he said, showing pictures of himself clad in colorful onesies.



Jaime Hayon speaks at The Herald Design Forum at The Shilla Seoul on Tuesday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)


Hayon served as the design department director at the Benetton-funded Italian design academy Fabrica until 2003. He has since launched his own practice, Hayon Studio, which is dedicated to projects that range from art installations and interior design to product design.


He is best known for whimsical designs characterized by a modern aesthetic and the bold use of color. One of his key projects was redesigning the interior of the Barcelo Torre de Madrid hotel, a landmark in the Spanish capital.


“If you really think about it, design is about communication,” he said, pointing to a rocket-shaped installation piece he designed for Atlanta’s High Museum of Art. Children could climb inside the red-and-white piece.


“It’s about how the interaction can be joyful for any type of person.”


Jaime, who has brought his exuberant touch to classic brands such as Swarovski and Baccarat, says design leads us to both question how things have traditionally been done and reinterpret the past. Fluid, ergonomic chairs can be inspired by 18th-century Barcelona architecture, he noted.


“It’s all about questioning and playing with (a) client’s budget to create something special, and not only providing something, but also learning together.”


Claudio Bellini’s design mottos 


Claudio Bellini speaks at The Herald Design Forum at The Shilla Seoul on Tuesday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)



Claudio Bellini has many mottos in design -- “encasing memories,” “the power of metaphors,” “back to childhood” -- that he employs for each project. One common belief he holds is that design is meant to cross borders, said the Italian-born architect-designer, who was the second speaker at The Herald Design Forum.


“We are now moving across the world, connecting with different cultures. We can cooperate in different contexts.”


Bellini is the founder and head of Claudio Bellini Design+Design, which focuses on furniture and is recognized as one of the most influential design studios worldwide.


Bellini has also been directing the development of new products for Korean furniture maker Fursys Group since 2010.


In describing the process of designing the Bellini Extendable Dining Table, one of his signature products, Bellini stressed the importance of meshing aesthetics and functional features, which can contradict each other.


“It was hard to design it beautifully because of the technical components,” he said. “So we made efforts to minimize all the frames. We had to find a way to make the composition of the frame strong and stable while also making it sleek and simple.”


“Less is more” is another motto the designer employs when creating furniture. “You start with a very basic simple frame, then add on to it while making it light, both in terms of visuals and weight.”


The simplest notions often become inspiration, Bellini said. One bus stop he designed was made with a roof shaped like two wings. “You’re staying a short time and moving away, so you think of wings.” 

Bringing order to disorganized world 


Naoto Fukasawa speaks at The Herald Design Forum at The Shilla Seoul on Tuesday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)



Naoto Fukasawa, the famed Japanese industrial designer behind the lifestyle brand Muji, is known for his subtle, comforting designs. “A detailed line connects us with the world and that’s how you should understand design,” he told the audience at the Herald Design Forum.


Fukasawa, 61, has collaborated with numerous companies and designed objects ranging from kitchen appliances to furniture. “It’s a rare company that introduces such a vast range of products,” he said of Muji, a lifestyle brand that sells clothing, furniture, lighting, fabric and more.


“An object is not just an object, but it has to be associated with the environment,” said Fukasawa. “Ambience is created when everything in the space is interconnected. An object never stands alone -- I always imagine the location and position that it will occupy in a certain space.”


With the advent of advanced technology, such as the Internet of Things, Fukasawa says that “’objects’ relationships with humans and among themselves will become deeper and more harmonized.”


In the end, design is about creating order in a world of disorder, the designer said. “This is our life. It’s disorderly and disorganized. Disorder commands the space that surrounds humans. That’s where we as designers come in, to pursue harmony,” he said.