03 March 2008

Form and Function.

Joris Laarman in his Rotterdam studio

Joris Laarman Studio, The Netherlands

Dutch designer, Joris Laarman is quite the innovator. Not only does he create products that are functional, he designs Most Excellent things that are a combination of high tech and high style. At the age of 23, Laarman dreamed up the concept of a modular concrete radiator with a curlicue shape that could be mounted on a wall. The spectacular creation, (Laarman's senior project at design school), is a beautiful and artistic expression that goes far beyond what one would think of when considering a radiator. His radiator, with baroque curves inspired by antique French wallpaper, happened to heat a room more efficiently than a standard metal rectangle.

Joris Laarman did not stop there. His studio currently boasts creations that include the "Nebula" lamp for Flos. The fixture is a constellation of different size lampshades joined as a bunch to emit an explosion of light from it's core. Another beautiful and functional design is the "Stakanov". This tower of ceramic cups or soup bowls can be piled high. Not only is the stack beautiful it functions nicely in hotels or restaurants who have a volume of business that would necessitate such an ingenious creation.

For 2008, Joris and his Rotterdam studio has introduced the "Bone" chair and chaise lounge. The armchair and lounge is composed of porcelain with marble powder and resin. "Combining reason with emotion, that's the most difficult thing to do - in design and everything", Laarman says.

The Bone Chair is one extraordinary example of Laarman’s ability to merge the two. The chair design is one he developed on a computer and then cast in aluminum. For the form, Laarman relied on software that car manufacturers use to develop the most efficient shapes for auto parts. (The software was originally inspired by the biology of human bones, whose regenerative capacity allows them to add and subtract matter as needed.) The result is a delicately sculptural object that contains no superfluous or decorative matter yet is gorgeous enough to make people marvel. The chair is currently on exhibit at the Freidman Benda gallery in New York City, as well as the MoMA.

The Joris Laarman Radiator installed on a wall

Laarman radiator installed behind an office front reception desk

Conceptual drawing of the Laarman radiator. The fixture is claimed to heat a room more efficiently than a standard metal rectangle.

Detail of Laarman radiator connected to main heat source

The Bone Chair and Chaise Lounge

Laarman's "Bone" chair - cast in aluminum

Joris Laarman "Bone" Chaise Lounge in porcelain, marble powder and resin

Bone Chaise Lounge

Bone Chaise Lounge - detail

"The Nebula" light fixture for Flos. "Stakanov", stack of cups with handles. (below)