LONDON –This year’s London Design Festival sees Layer in both familiar and more foreign territories. The studio have launched a new collection of furniture with Fritz Hansen, making the team the first British outfit to work with the Danish manufacturer. ‘It’s a bit of a responsibility, as well as an exciting product,’ says Hubert. Meanwhile, the studio has joined forces with Braun to produce an immersive brand experience – Hubert prefers to call it ‘public art’ – in the V&A’s tapestry galleries. ‘Braun is on a road map to reinstall a lot of the brand heritage that we’re familiar with from the Dieter Rams era.’ The project is based on the new foil for the company’s shavers, which is perforated with hundreds of irregular holes that track the direction of hair. Covered in 40,000 mirror-finished metal elements and lit by LEDs, Layer’s 20-x-1.2-m sliver of stainless steel undulates over the length of the gallery, echoing the design of the precision-engineered foil.
Is Hubert consciously entering the art world? ‘It’s not about whether it’s art or a product,’ he replies. ‘It’s what it achieves. We’re interested in designing experiences, whether that’s the experience provided by a wheelchair, a chair for the living room or a gallery highlight. For me it’s about different types of challenges rather than about art and design.’