Jaime Hayon's Wings bed for Wittmann, Austria, just arrived this week at our Atlanta showroom - it's spectacular! In fact, several pieces from the Hayon Wittmann Workshop Collection are now in the showroom. We have all been admiring these pieces and we thought that it would be great to share some thoughts about the collection and the Wings bed from both Wittmann's Managing Director, Hartmut Roehrig, as well as designer, Jaime Hayon.
According to Roehrig, "More than ever, it is essential for companies to be on the lookout for an external impulse and work together with contemporary personalities - in the current project, with the designer Jaime Hayon. The objective of this project was to develop a new collection which emphasizes but also subtly alters the identity of Wittmann. Jaime Hayon has succeeded with his designs to communicate cheerfulness and confidence - almost playfully. Whether art, architecture, or design - all of his designs show a keen sense for that necessary touch of extravagance without sacrificing precision. Under the working title Hayon Wittmann Workshop, a product line has been created that is characterized by lightness and a certain sense of buoyancy. His designs, however, are still very recognizable Wittmann - timelessly elegant with perfect craftsmanship and highly practical."
Wittmann takes sleep seriously. As with all of the Austrian manufacturer's beds, the Wings bed is available in several American sizes. Wittmann also produces exquisite mattresses and bedding accessories - all available à la carte- to accompany their beds.
Wittmann: We have been producing beds for decades but this is your first bed design; can you tell us about your approach to this design?
Jaime Hayon: The first thing I'd say about the bed is that I approached it as a system, not in the accepted bed design sense of standard sizes or inbuilt storage, or in an architectural, dimensional kind of way. To be honest I knew that Wittmann were world class experts in that area so I was free to not even think about the dimensions but more about the bed as a total concept, not the modularity but to ask myself what are all the elements that I want to access when I am in bed. How can they be arranged in such a way that reaching for them is intuitive and comfortable as well as innovative if possible. I asked myself what do I want in my own bed. Hmmm, well always a glass of water nearby, my phone, good light to read by, total comfort and support for my back, privacy so that I can watch something or rad while maybe my wife is sleeping. Then I added in my experience for creating hotel rooms. For those rooms there are so many elements to do with cost and practicality for the cleaners to have access. For square footage and for how it fits the room, I reversed that approach and instead of starting with the bed I started with the bar that rises from the back. It was an elegant solution to contain the electricity and the mechanics to make our system come together. I thought of it as a tree with many branches - some of them weight bearing and others reaching out to the light - a combination of safe haven and cocoon that not only provides a protective shelter but also opens outwardly. The beauty of it is that more things can be added. Right now there is a table for example that is mobile but maybe in the future it's a tray that extends, or a small seat. In the flexibility and possibilities, I think we have created something quite unique. It can be placed in the center of the room as statement piece or against a wall if that's more practical - it's very clever in that way.
Left photo: A detail of the signature "ear" associated with the Wings bed. Right photo: Hayon's Vuelta low back lounge chairs with Grain Cut table. The Hayon Wittmann Workshop Collection is characterized by the designer's signature curves.
Wittmann: Can you tell us about the "ears"?
Jaime Hayon: The ears act as a doorway to the bed as well as, of course, bringing a touch of humor as you should try to go to bed happy! On a more serious note, though, they reflect the same curvature you see expressed across the whole Hayon Wittmann Workshop Collection. One of the things that is important in the visual language of design and architecture is geometry and how it affects our way of experiencing things. There is a real visual comfort in the repetition of certain angles - it's very mathematical, in fact. In this collection we repeated the same circular edge, the same radius each time. It is balanced across each piece. Balance is everything - whether it's the balance of empty space or the repetition of one shape next to another, a sense of symmetry and order is crucial. You see it in architecture all the time and the geometry is perhaps the most important element of the collection as a whole but one that is in many ways invisible yet nonetheless makes an enormous subliminal and visual impact. If the Vuelta chair is in the same room as the bed it might not be immediately obvious but what you are experiencing when you see them together is the visual comfort of the geometry. If I had changed the radius of the curve or added a sharp angle in one piece and not the other, it would disrupt the order and the sense of balance so it's a subtle but crucial element.
The Hayon Wittmann Workshop Collection includes a number of pieces - seating, surfaces, shelving, and a bed. This photo illustrates the Vuelta lounge chairs - low back and high back - as well as the Vuelta sofa that is available in several sizes. In the center of this grouping is the elegant DD Table that features a juxtaposition of luxe materials - marble, leather, and bronze.
Switch Modern shows all of the Hayon Wittmann Workshop Collection on line as well as a number of pieces in our Atlanta showroom - all of which are being included in our upcoming pop-up exhibition entitled, Jaime Hayon @ Switch Modern. In addition to the furniture developed for Wittmann, the exhibition will also include Hayon's designs for several other European manufacturers - &Tradition, BD Barcelona, Fritz Hansen, Moooi, and Nani Marquina. Switch Modern's exhibition will be presented in our showroom from June 23 through July 23 with an opening reception on the evening of June 22 - we are delighted that Jaime Hayon will be in attendance. For more information about Jaime Hayon's designs for Fritz Hansen, please contact us at 404-605-0196 or firstname.lastname@example.org