Design Duo HAOS Commits to Rules of the Film Movement Dogme 95
For Sophie Gelinet and Cédric Gepner, the French duo behind HAOS, seeing Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg’s 1998 film “Festen” was a turning point in their design philosophy. Shot with the filmmaker’s “Dogme 95 Manifesto” and “Vows of Chastity” in mind for a purified style of cinema, the film conveys what the duo calls “powerful emotion in a stripped down” aesthetic, inspiring them to experiment with a similar ideology in furniture design.
“The manifesto resonated with our appreciation of what is going on in the design world, especially collectible design,” say Gelinet and Gepner who began with a refusal of costly materials and rare expertise. “The first benefit is that the value of the pieces cannot stem from anything else—the care is taken in their conception,” they share. Limiting production to craft techniques they could master in their workshop, the duo achieved what they consider “a freedom from outside influence to create many new possibilities in terms of experimentation.”
The fruits of HAOS’s practice currently are on view in their first New York exhibition, “Works of Sobriety,” at the West Village design gallery, Love House. Two chairs, a square table, a wall cabinet, a bookshelf, a screen divider, bedside table, a wall light, a table lamp, and a floor lamp occupy the gallery, which exhibits the duo’s fourth collection in a demurely domestic setting.
Prior to encountering furniture, attendees step onto a deep brown floor-to-floor carpet utilized as a contrast to the clean-cut pieces in oak plywood and sheet aluminum throughout. The geometric intersections of the two materials result in pieces that allude to 1970s office aesthetics, as well as an unusually futuristic Dune-esque appearance—“austere yet playful,” they say—due to the aluminum’s medley with dark wood.
“Spontaneity, proportion and clarity” guid the work, explain the Lisbon-based designers, pointing out that they created their bookshelf by bending thin aluminum without complex machinery. The metal legs of the dinner table are unexpectedly wide, lifting the thin wood surface and offering a sculptural finish to a functional furniture.
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