Spanish designer Jaime Hayon, with his signature chunky eyeglasses and colorful socks, has been the most visible figure involved in the renaissance of the porcelain figurine. By updating the classic lines of ceramics manufacturer Lladró’s collections, he helped to revive the form’s popularity not just with the traditional collector but in the mainstream design market. Born in 1974 and reared on skateboarding and graffiti culture in Madrid, Hayon studied industrial design in both Madrid and Paris before joining Fabrica, the Benetton-funded design and communication academy, under Oliverio Toscani in 1997. He first arrived as a student but quickly rose to direct the school’s design department. Establishing his own studio in 2005, Hayon debuted strikingly stylized collections of art toys, ceramics and furniture, interior design and installation art. Thereafter, Hayon established himself rapidly at the forefront of a group of designer-artists obscuring the borders of art, decoration and design. The designer renders the new ‘figurine’ both at the intimate dimensions of the tabletop and at the monumental scale of the interior. Though he works in carefully crafted detail, his pieces boldface whimsy, each unexpected object playing an intriguing, albeit anonymous, character on the stage that Hayon is skillfully directing. Today, the designer is based in London with offices in Barcelona and Treviso.
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