(jiří macek) You’d better remember her name. Marina Bautier comes from Brussels. Even though she is only 28 years old, she already enjoys a fine international reputation. However, what she really does well is her ability to play discretely with wooden materials. One result of this is the Fold armchair, which has just been introduced at the 100% Design festival in London.
I must confess that it took me a while to take a liking to the armchair. At first glance, it is an ordinary folding armchair, finely shaped, easy to fold, and comfortable. However, Marina Bautier takes you the core of things (in the wood, especially) and shows you its heart. The armchair functions as a simple picture. Lean it against a wall and you will see. If you would like to understand why everybody is talking so much about Marina, you should have a look at her other works of art.
Her collection of furniture for the Japanese label Idee, or the desk and chair Bureau designed for Atlantico reminds us of the past in many ways. Nevertheless, the tenderness of her furniture will capture you, as well as its sophisticated and discrete design solutions. A metal plate is lifted from a desk to release the laptop; its magnetic surface allows posting memorandums or personal documents. On the left, a drawer holds other working materials. When you finish working, you simply close the metal plate and have a clean and elegant desk in front of you. The chair also conceals an auxiliary stool. The furniture is made from simple wooden bars and will catch your eye and heart by its commonplace simplicity. However, my favorite piece of Marina’s furniture is the Sewingworkshop. It comes with a ruler fixed in front of the machine and colorful spools fixed on one side of the table. The table avoids all the unnecessary things, but is still lively and playful.
Marina Bautier graduated from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College (UK). In 2002, at the age of 22, she set up her own studio, lamaisondemarina, which works on her clients’ projects in the field of furniture and interiors, as well as on her own projects. She often exhibits her work in art galleries and design festivals. Although her background is not overly exceptional, her works of art definitely are. Jasper Morrison, the magician of simplicity, should start to worry about this keen competitor. Apart from the labels Atlantico and Idee, you can also find Marina Bautier’s works in the Porro catalogue and Ligne Roset.
Fold, 2008, design: Marina Bautier