Panorammma x Barry Llewellyn
Pillow Talk is the latest concept from COLLECTIBLE In-Depth. This new series of articles instigates design encounters in a playful setting. The idea is simple: we pair designers from the Curated Section and each duo then freely chooses three questions to ask to each other. They can tackle any subject, within the realm of design - or not! Today’s duo is Panoramma and Barry Llewellyn.
Panorammma: What is your origin story? Where did you grow up? How did your design journey begin, and what influenced your evolution as a creative individual?
Barry Llewllyn: I grew up in the countryside near Dublin, Ireland. As a child, I was always fascinated with taking my toys apart, building structures in the garden, and constantly being curious about the material world around me. As I grew older, these fascinations grew until I decided to take a creative route and study at Design Academy Eindhoven. There, my mentors and fellow students helped shape the direction I'm currently following.
Coming back to our technological world, I try to imagine how we can create more organically by appreciating the wonderful synthetic materials and technologies we have created.
P: Some of your pieces tightly bind organic and synthetic forms into artificial-looking species. Can you tell me a more about your interest in developing these synthetic biologies?
BL: For me, the most fascinating elements of our universe are those that have come about naturally. Since the industrial revolution, we have created a breakaway from the natural world in pursuing personal creation. We now surround ourselves with a plethora of human-made materials. In my personal life, I try to escape to nature as much as possible. It is my way of resetting and getting inspired. Coming back to our technological world, I try to imagine how we can create more organically by appreciating the wonderful synthetic materials and technologies we have created. I'm interested in using these highly standardised materials in a nonstandard way.
P: What is one of your favorite personal design objects in your home, and why?
BL: My favorite objects at home are those that show human marks or express human intuition. These usually come in the form of things such as birthday gifts, objects that have been repaired, or things that have been made as workarounds to solve problems. For me, these kinds of objects or interventions unveil design in its most natural form and express the brilliant creativity we're capable of.
Barry Llewyllyn: I see from pieces like your Hero Lamp and Chainmail Chair that you take inspiration from modernist designers such as Jean-Pierre Garrault and William Katavolos. What is it that draws you to the work of our predecessors?
Panoramma: These enigmatic designs reveal themselves as unfulfilled premonitions, illustrating past visions of the future; opportunities to build upon. Constructing over these powerful works gives continuation to an evolving story that integrates a reconstruction of the past and imagined future to create a myth of unity and purpose.
I like working with rock because it is the material that dictates the object’s final expression.
BL: Can you tell me a little about how material plays a role in your pieces? Do you start by thinking in terms of forms or materials? How do you balance opposing forces such as material, form, and color in your work?
P: Many of my designs are in a way a continuation of my artistic practice. A yearning to materialize and decipher my experience as a patient, a time in which I became immersed in the aseptic materials of the clinic. I remit to these materials now as a tool to guide a reflection on notions of subjectivity.
I think some pieces, like my rock work, are freed from this personal intentionality.
I like working with rock because it is the material that dictates the object’s final expression. Rock is surprising. Working with it is like an archaeological experience in which one must discover what each piece hides. Paradoxically, sculpting stone can be meticulous; much like a medical procedure, you only get one chance to get things right. I like working with rocks that are endemic to the region; this contextualizes the work at a geological level.
I think my employment of materials is different in almost every case. Sometimes I find a material that in itself expresses something I want to work with and give it form. Other times I source material whose properties can achieve what I have in mind, understanding materials have values and biases that play into the piece.
I balance material, form, and color, by sampling and trying things out. Sometimes achieving a specific color, like in the case of the Soft Vessels to be presented at COLLECTIBLE, is very important as it aids in strengthening a reference to bodily organs while in an evidently artificial and playful way.
BL: Can you name a contemporary designer whom you admire, and why?
P: It is difficult to narrow this down; there are so many to mention! A few that come to mind are Soft Baroque, Vidivixi, Selva Raw, Tom Hancocks. I find their works propositive and excellently resolved.
Panoramma is a new furniture atelier based in Mexico City that seeks to redefine our relationship with functional objects through experimentation with materials and forms. Panorammma’s inspiration centers around exploring past visions of the future and creating myth of memory. Constructing on our past experiences through new visual narratives.
Barry Llewellyn (The Netherlands)
Barry Llewellyn is a designer based in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Barry received his BA from Design Academy Eindhoven, during which he established his practice centred around creating experimental objects for interior space. Often starting with remains as diverse as broken ceramic and discarded plastic, he balances a juxtaposition between the artefacts we consider waste and those that we treasure dearly. By binding these materials together, he grows new forms which are rich in colour, texture and shape to create stories that are both materially and politically relevant to our time.