~ Simon Hasan// Crafts & Industry

My own interest in design and design process often leads onto interesting paths. Today's post is about the work of Simon Hasan. While looking through Tom Dixon's new shop, showcasing lighting and furniture from Salone del Mobile Milan 2012, I came across the leather vases created by Simon. The 2012 Wallpaper design award winner for his mannequins for Fendi, has a large body of very interesting work all exploring the idea of craftsman(artisan) and industrial process. His experimentation with 3D material processes and medieval armour-making techniques are inspirational sources for his work.
Thanks to Simon for sharing your work, the process and inspiration behind the design. Inspiring processes, beautiful work.
'Vase Family, 2nd Generation', boiled leather, Resin, gold/palladium gilding

Simon Hasan works in the territory between ancient Crafts processes and industrial design. His work is imbued with a richness and texture borne from the combined use of techniques and materials from these two contradictory worlds.

Mannequins for Fendi

At the request of Silvia Venturini Fendi, Hasan created a trio of mannequins to celebrate the opening of Fendi’s new Peter Marino designed London store. Inspired by the cubist art of Georges Braque, the boiled leather mannequins are deeply faceted figures with gilded panels of 22 carat gold and palladium.

Simon’s approach can best be described as a type of Design Archaeology; a combination of historical research and hands-on material experimentation. The goal is to nurture compelling and relevant outcomes for any given context. Avoiding a particular aesthetic style, Simon’s distinctive work often layers materials, processes and textures to create long-lasting objects with a story to tell.
Graduating from the Royal College of Art (M.A. Design Products) in 2008, Simon’s collections of leather vases and furniture received widespread attention for the innovative use of the medieval armour-making technique, Cuir Bouilli.
Archiboiled for Wallpaper
Simon Hasan was asked to reinterpret Jean-Marie Massaud’s Archibald chair in a commission by Poltrona Frau and Wallpaper* magazine for its inaugural Handmade issue.

I asked Simon about the original inspiration for the design technique cuir bouilli:
'I originally read about the process while studying at the Royal College of Art in 2006.
It was mentioned in an old book I was reading and I was interested in the potential for taking a pliable luxury material, and using heat alone to make it irreversibly hard...'
Bermondsey Stool, leather cast and electroplated aluminium
Is there anywhere else that you draw upon, be it art, photography, music, experiences, travel that you look towards when you start a new project?
'I'm inspired by the things around me. So, living in London means that tends to be, demolition sites, train travel construction sites... I like the work of Anthony Caro, Ron Arad, the business model of Tom Dixon, Bjork. I'm a bit of a dreamer, so can find something interesting in most things.'

'Cleft Oak', cleft and machined oak, Bute tweed, leather
Geno Chair
Industrial Makeshift
In Industrial Makeshift, Simon Hasan explored this evolution through the creation of 400 handcrafted objects, sold through a customised vending machine for only £3. Moulded on archetypes of mass-production such as cola bottles or anonymous pound-shop trash, these symbols of global industry become curious artefacts with an almost archaeological quality when rendered in hardened leather.

Simon Hasan has developed a new expression for Hallingdal 65, the oldest and most iconic range of leading textile brand, Kvadrat.
Working with one of the U.K’s last remaining roperies, Hasan developed Kvadrat’s base yarns into a braided woollen rope with a strong polyester core. The resulting Hallingdal 65 Rope successfully creates a new expression for Hallingdal’s familiar characteristics, and potentially extends opportunities for Kvadrat both within and beyond the upholstery sector.
All images courtesy of Simon Hasan