Michael Young: game of chance

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DESIGN FIRST – 20 JUNE 2017

Michael Young is one of the most exciting designers of his generation. He creates witty designs for well-known manufacturers of dog houses, electronic devices and conventional furniture. Two works by the Hong-Kong-based designer, both from the Edition range, will be sold at the upcoming Design First auction.


BY GERTI DRAXLER

Michael Young’s work is multifaceted and complex. One of his tables, which he created with designers Richard Hutten and Jerszy Seymour in 2016 for the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden’s Museum of Decorative Arts, took its cue from Surrealism and its game of chance (exquisite corpse). The “Youhutseymatic Table” – ist name derived from the first parts of the three designers’ names – is made from marble and is not for the faint-hearted.

Michael Young, Richard Hutten, Jerszy Seymour, Youhutseymatic Table, 2016
Michael Young, Richard Hutten, Jerszy Seymour, Youhutseymatic Table, 2016

Well-known logos and symbols are inlaid in stone in the thick, bright table top. They show various things from our past and present that keep our world together at its core: Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man sits next to the atomic model, the dollar sign and the band Nirvana’s “stoned” smiley. The top rests on two rough slabs, each with one side left almost untreated – a combination of art and untamed nature.

Michael Young, Oxygen Chair, Edition 2015
Michael Young, Oxygen Chair, Edition 2015

For his “Oxygen Chair”, Michael Young found a way to process aluminium with special techniques in such a way that the chair appears hewn from a natural material. Young developed steel tools he could use to inject ultra-hot gas into molten Aluminium under extreme pressure.

The fascinating result is a stone-like sediment. In a further step, every chair was given its own individual colouring, similar to glazing when ceramics are fired. This literal connection between technology and form reflects the spirit of our times in every sense.


Gerti Draxler is a specialist for Design

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