Modern Contemporary Design


IDS10 Trade Talks: Jaime Hayón


One of the featured international speakers who spoke to IDS audiences during their Trade Talks was Spanish designer Jaime Hayón, a creative bon vivant who infuses his work with humour and a love of life whose first U.S. job was building a skate park.


Hayón, who spent his formative design years at Fabbrica, credits the Treviso creative facility for having been a big influence on his process. He says, “I learned how to think.” Although he began his career designing toys, Hayón soon made the jump to bathroom fixtures, always inspired by the nature of ceramics. “Everything I see, it could be ceramics,” he says, so it comes as no surprise that the Battle of Trafalgar was envisioned as a giant ceramic chess set for play in London’s Trafalgar Square. Hayón’s point of view is that everything can be an installation and claims, “It’s not just about the ‘thing’, but everything that surrounds it.”


“Things are ingredients and you can create your own style by mixing ingredients,” he says and describes his own style as Mediterranean digital baroque. “I always love the idea of something fun that has a story.” And if it does not start out fun, Hayón will soon make it so. He was asked to design a store for Spanish shoe company Camper, but did not like the shoes. “They’re too fat, they’re not cool, they’re too brown,” he says, so he designed his own as a solution to this. The result was a sleek oxford style in a different colour for every day of the week. He suggests wearing two different colours at a time.


Hayón is exuberant and his energy is enviable, although he does profess a need for freedom and the space to create. “When you get too much of a brief, you can’t breathe,” he explains. Instead he compares his recent work for Lladró to an Almodóvar movie, complete with the many layers and complications involved in the process. This culminates in work that is playful and eclectic.


Jaime Hayón says, “I’m like a radio.” He works on a project, then changes the channel to work on something else. A huge mosaic airplane for Bisazza, lighting for Metalarte, figurines for Lladró – it’s all par for the course, as long as they are “happy projects that you can use.” This enthusiastic designer loves his job and it shows, any day of the week.


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