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Somewhere on the minimalist spectrum between plain-spoken Shaker and brusk Utilitarian lies Beam from Hay, a coat rack that embodies both style influences. The solid aluminum bar mimics metal girders used in building skyscrapers while the solid wood hooks recall plain-hewn clothes pegs. It's the kind of intriguing visual push-and-pull characteristic of Beam's designers, the international trio at Swiss-based Big-Game studio. And just as much thought went into Beam's usefulness, as the hooks can slide across the bar and more can be easily added as needed. Even the rack's top groove makes a good stash-point for letters and small items so they won't be forgotten. Keeping it all out in the open is exactly the point for Big-Game. "We were always fascinated by the peg rails found in American Shaker houses," said the designers. "Instead of hiding the mess, they somehow make it manageable."
“One of the most important things for our company is to make footprints of our own time,” says Rolf Hay, of his eponymous Copenhagen-based company launched in 2003 at the international furniture fair IMM Cologne. His idea was to bring Danish design to a new creative peak that rivaled the storied 1950s and 1960s—but with a modern update. As creative director, he’s committed to nurturing young upstarts and also “exploring the twisted minds of established designers” and giving both a platform.
In practice, that means seeking out imaginative products and evaluating them on their own merits rather than first commissioning a design for certain type of item. And he says his greatest thrill is seeing a prototype for the first time. “We work in a different way to the way our parents did, but we basically live in the same way,” Rolf says. “The news is that there is nothing new, except the possibilities. And that’s great fun.”
Since coming together in 2004, there's been big doings indeed for the youthful trio behind the Lausanne, Switzerland, design studio Big-Game. With offerings in product, furniture and interior design, it's helmed by Swiss native Grégoire Jeanmonod, French expat Augustin Scott de Martinville and Belgium expat Elric Petit. The founders met as students at the Swiss university of arts and design, ECAL, and, along with their design work, are all now professors there. The firm's varied client list includes Karimoku New Standard, Praxis, Alessi, Materia and Veuve Clicquot.
Following their acknowledged credo—"From confrontation comes progress"—the designers continually draw upon their diverse backgrounds to arrive at a creative synthesis of the experimental and the practical in their work. Represented in the collections of the Zürich Museum of Design, the Musée du Grand-Hornu, the Centre Georges Pompidou as well as the French National Fund of Contemporary Art, their projects have also been shown in various exhibitions and widely published in major magazines. The book Big-Game: Design Overview was published in 2008 on the occasion of their first monographic exhibition in a museum.