How can you enjoy the luxury of mass-production and still create more emotional objects? Copenhagen resident Omayra Maymó took on that challenge by working in copper and brass.
During the last 40 years, IKEA has sold more than 60 million pieces of the furniture called Billy. This was a trigger for architect and industrial designer Omayra Maymó. On the one the hand, she acknowledges the power of mass-production tools and their potential to make high-quality products available to many people. On the other hand she is more interested in the unique character of irregularities and imperfections which characterise more personal objects. This combination set her off to investigate and explore how to combine the mass-produced with more emotional products by challenging the industry on how much to control the process of shaping products.
The final results are three different products in copper and brass called Grasp, Enfold and Pleat. ”I´m very attracted to the malleability and the behaviour of soft metals and when being manipulated”, Omayra explained, and continued: ”In my research on how to merge individuality and industrial production, I settled upon the use of copper and brass after experimenting with other materials. But I´m certainly not finished with soft metals yet, as they respond in fascinating ways to the freedom I´ve given them”.
Omayra added, ”In a more technical way, brass has a greater springback than copper: when you try and manipulate it, it will complain a little and try and go back into it´s original shape, whereas copper is softer and more manageable. When being subjected to the production techniques that I have developed, both materials naturally strengthen their structures, enabling the reduction of the material thickness to a minimum”.
Omayra seeks the freedom of the material in order to create more meaningful everyday products:
”I’m concerned about how we surround ourselves with the same objects and thereby make our living spaces more and more uniform and standardized.”
As a designer, she finds it important to transmit an emotion through an object and to move people with design.
”In Grasp, Enfold and Pleat, I’ve sought a very clear balance and contrast between the perfect uniform, controlled shapes for mass-production and the imperfect uniquenesses generated from the freedom provided to the material. And most importantly, the singularities of each product are nothing imposed or superficially added that the object could function without, but instead these uniquenesses generate the main purpose of the object”