Friday Five with Stuart Haygarth

Stuart Haygarth is a London-based designer who has worked as a photographer, illustrator and freelance designer. Starting in 2004, he began working on design projects that revolve around the collections of objects, resulting in some very powerful sculptural pieces, including chandeliers. His Twenty Twenty Light is in collection at the London Design Museum.

Check out what Stuart’s had on his mind lately…

1. Skiers Lodge in La Grave, France (Facebook page)
I have skied for almost 40 years and the older I get, the more passionate I become. I started as a kid in the Scottish Highlands of Aviemore and Glenshee but soon was seduced by the Alps. Over the last 6 years I have explored off-piste skiing and especially ski touring where the emphasis is getting away from the crowds and skiing untracked virgin areas with the safety of a mountain guide. With special touring bindings and skis much of the time is spent walking up the mountain, taking in the quiet beauty of the mountains and anticipating the untouched powder snow on the way down.

La Grave in France is perfectly positioned for the biggest lift accessed off-piste skiing in the world with 2150 vertical meters of free-riding terrain to enjoy. The Skiers Lodge organizes warm and cozy accommodation with great food, together with professional ski guides for a week or weekends. The mountains and skiing is breathtaking and in the evening groups of guests eat together and talk about the days skiing. La Grave caters only for keen skiers as there is very little on offer in terms of apres-ski activities. Pele and his wife Aysa, who run the lodge, ensure that you will never forget your experience there and will come back for more, it’s like becoming part of a family for a week.


2. Volkswagen T25 Camper Van
I’ve had my 1982 brown and cream VW camper for 10 years and it’s become part of the family. Although contemporary cars are extremely reliable, they lack individuality and character. The VW is extremely versatile, it is not too big and so is fine to drive and park in cities and is large enough to carry work materials for my design studio. For holidays, music festivals, and weekends away in the summer months the roof pops up so that four people can sleep in comfort. There is a cooker, small fridge and sink so that you become totally self sufficient. I love its utilitarian and honest looks and that the space inside is set out so efficiently. My family have made many adventurous and memorable road trips throughout Europe and Scandinavia. It is no surprise that they have become such an iconic vehicle and have such a strong fan base.

3. Polder Sofa by Hella Jongerius
Finding the right sofa that is both comfortable and stylish can be quite difficult. As soon as I saw the Polder sofa which is designed by Dutch designer Hella Jongerius I was totally smitten. In Holland Polder refers to the artificial land reclaimed from the sea by the means of dykes and drainage canals. The sofa which is manufactured by Vitra is just as low lying, just as flat and with just as much emphasis on the horizontal. There are five carefully selected combinations of colors and fabric qualities, accentuating them with high-tech threads and large buttons made of natural materials.

It may look unconventional but it is extremely comfortable for both sitting and lying on. With its wide arms, high and low seat backs it provides a wonderful way to relax. It comes in three different lengths and color choices to suit most interior spaces. A major departure in sofa design the Polder Sofa is set to become a future classic.

Photo: Art News London

4. 20:50 by Artist Richard Wilson at the Saatchi Gallery

A recent visit to the Saatchi Gallery in London cemented my view that 20:50 by Richard Wilson is one of the most mesmerizing artworks and a masterpiece. 20:50 takes its name from the type of recycled engine oil used. It is thick, pitch black and completely indelible. The artist has completely understood the qualities of the substance and simply but very effectively exploited them to create a wonderful illusion. Although the oil which is contained in an above the waist height steel container, the oil is only actually inches deep. The oil reproduces a perfect reflection of the ceiling, walls and windows that overlook it giving an illusion of great depth. I also love the fact that it is not only a visual work but also works with smell. Once entering the gallery space one notices a faint whiff of oil, reminiscent of entering a car repair workshop.


5. Throbbing Gristle by Artist Mat Collishaw
When I first saw this artwork I was completely enchanted, it felt almost like I was looking through child’s eyes because it was so magical. A zoetrope is a cylindrical device that produces the illusion of action from a rapid succession of static images. Entitled “Throbbing Gristle,” the 2-meter-wide sculpture features one hundred and eighty mythological figures, including a Minotaur, the Three Graces, a she-wolf and a cherub, captured in various stages of motion. As the zoetrope begins to spin, the forms of the figurines blur, before becoming magically animated by a strobe light which transforms them into coherent, moving characters. “Throbbing Gristle” represents Collishaw’s reflection on the condition of looking at things. Against the eerie twilight created by the mechanized artifice of the zoetrope, the characters appear to take a perverse interest in each other while we peer curiously at them. Collishaw makes comment on the mechanized action of human procreation; we reproduce like animals and automatons at the same time that social code requires us to behave decorously.

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.