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BCXSY Ready For Milan

CHANGE! by BCXSY looks set to wow Milan.  A collection of furniture and accessories built from rubber-coated foam.  Aesthetic and delicate, but durable and strong.

By Gabrielle Kennedy / 01-04-2009

When Boaz Cohen, a dual Dutch and Israeli citizen, was growing up in Tzur Moshe, he didn’t even know what design was.  After high school, he moved to the Netherlands still not knowing what he wanted to pursue, and still mostly unaware of what design or even design academies were.

“I had never even heard of the Design Academy Eindhoven until I arrived here,” Cohen says.  “All I knew was that art was too extreme and impractical so I looked around and discovered design, which seemed like the best of all worlds.”

It is an honest and humble beginning for the designer who has since graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven, set up his own studio, and is about to exhibit for the third time in design’s most prestigious annual event, the Salone Internazionale del Mobile.

Standing by his side both romantically and professionally (a seeming trend amongst academy graduates) is Sayaka Yamamoto.  She is a Holland-based, Japanese designer who arrived in Eindhoven after being inspired during her own design studies by the early jewelry works of Gijs Bakker.

Together they are BCXSY and while Cohen is the spokesman, it was Yamamoto’s more complicated graduation project, “Living With Dinosaurs” that lead to the pairs recent experimentation with foam as a material.

“CHANGE!” – their new collection -  is a series of ten objects handcrafted from foam and coated in rubber.

“This is a big departure for us,” says Cohen.  “Our first two collections had seven pieces, but employed many different techniques, materials and disciplines.  Concentrating on just one material has given us more opportunities to really explore its properties and to play with different shapes.”

“Change!” will be exhibited in the prestigious Spazio Rossana Orlandi gallery.  It is BCXSY’s first showing in the gallery, which has always been very interested in the best of new Dutch design.

“It was a very conscious choice,” says Cohen.  “We like how they represent Dutch design and their collection is always a selection of the very best when it comes to concepts and quality.”

Working with foam has become popular amongst designers because it is relatively cheap and durable.  What we normally see, however, are computer designed mass-produced shapes that possess no sense of mystery or visual satisfaction.

The objects in the “CHANGE!” collection are all hand-carved.  Every cut is visible and every surface is blemished with chisel marks that in the end form an uneven and unpredictable surface that seem somehow vulnerable and very beautiful.

Starting with a mental image of the stone-age and prehistoric stoneware, BCXSY hand carved shapes using Stanley knives from CNC-cut blocks, which were combined and then cut by hand.  “We really wanted to play with hand working the surfaces,” says Cohen, “but because it is hand carved, it all has to be done by us.  Every cut is visible, which means every cut tells a very personal story.”

The finished objects were then rubber coated.  “The neutral colour creates a look of stoneware and because the shapes can get a bit busy, adds calmness and gives unity to the whole collection,” explains Cohen.

Seen together, the “CHANGE!” collection boasts surfaces that appear to be hard and heavy, but are in fact soft and light.  Rough edges, grooves and uneven curves make it difficult to initially pinpoint which materials have even been used.

A teddy bear, a stool, a low table with a shelf and an LED light that looks light a candlestick are just some of the objects in this collection of ten. BCXSY’s seemingly simple concept has created an almost lyrical and beautiful range of functional objects that defy expectations.

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