Relief by Laurin Schaub
Nouvel presents «Relief», a new series of three sculptural glass works designed by Laurin Schaub with creative direction by Torres+Hanhausen and produced by Nouvel.
The three sculptural bodies in the series are formally based on basic circular, rectangular and triangular shapes made of transparent glass. These objects suggest a playful interaction between form and functionality as they coyly allude to potential—though unobvious—utility.
The titular relief face of each structure is reminiscent of foam acoustic panels, or packaging material for fragile goods. The simplicity of the cut shapes of the industrial standardized material that the relief form references contrasts with the elaborate manual artisanal glass production process. To produce each piece, silica is heated to 1600° C until it produces a caramel-like viscosity allowing it to be carefully ladled by hand into steel molds by Nouvel’s artisans avoiding any bubbles, wrinkles or impurities. Once cooled into form and polished, light passing through the transparent glass refracts against the textured and flat planes of the works, generating a prismatic variety of reflections and shadow plays. Whether the object serves as a fruit bowl, a display piece, or a perfectly complex play of light, it is intrinsically elusive and constantly reveals new readings.
«Relief» is the second in a series of works produced as the result of a five-year collaboration between the Swiss Federal Office of Culture through its Design Section, Nouvel, and Casa Wabi, under the creative direction by Torres+Hanhausen to promote the development of young Swiss designers through cross-cultural exchange. The «Isla» (2018) series by designer Julie Richoz, was produced in the pilot year of the program and was honored with the 2019 Swiss Design Award and earned Richoz a 2020 Maison & Objet Rising Talent award. Today «Relief» further enriches this celebration of creative exchange between Mexico and Switzerland driven by a spirit of innovation in design.