Jerszy Seymour’s humour and poetry make for furniture that can drive new ways of being. His vivid Bureaurama collection for Magis shows how.
31 December, 2019
Before the name Bureaurama was settled upon, designer Jerszy Seymour had dubbed his latest series for Magis – lightweight stools and curving tables – something considerably more challenging.
“It was Bureau for the Study of Vivid Blue Every-Colour Inhabitations of the Planet, the Transformation of Reality, and a Multitude of Happy Endings,” explains Seymour. “I mean, that would be a contemporary way of referring to the world, the planet we want to live on – utopia – with the final goal being a double entendre. It was nice to explain that meaning to the whole Magis marketing team!”
Magis describes it in more direct terms: Bureaurama is a collection of fully recyclable welded aluminium furniture, spray-painted by hand to convey a limitless view of possible futures. The vision behind it is to provide a space in which to reconsider our future, discuss and make decisions, or simply to twiddle our thumbs, doodle and chill out. Essentially, it creates a setting for social situations.
“Bureaurama is a place to discuss what our life condition can be on the planet in the face of global problems,” says Seymour. “I wanted to say directly, ‘We need more meeting places, more talking places.’ This is what it’s for. But of course, you can do other things on it – even the littlest dinner.”
In their capacity to form a circle, the curving tables speak of Seymour’s concern for how people could and should gather to discuss important topics. “It proposes a decentralised autonomous organisation,” he explains. “That means we have the classic modernist circle for discussion, but you can also pull parts out; you can have them totally decentralised. Parts can go off by themselves, and come back and reconfigure into different shapes.” Critically, the system inevitably results in a nonhierarchical setting.
Bureaurama can be viewed as a situation as much as a collection of objects, and in that way it has its natural home in the Magis catalogue. Says Seymour, “Some classic modern design companies talk of splitting life into work, play and living. This is a very modernist conception of the breaking up of life.”
Alberto Perazza, CEO of Magis, confirms, “Yes, Magis has never liked segmentation.”
Seymour continues, “What Magis has always done, and it’s starting to grow into more of a discussion, is produce objects that can go indoors, outdoors, could be here, could be there. The precise position doesn’t matter so much. Bureaurama goes anywhere. It’s not strictly for the idea of work, or the idea of eating. The objects have a certain fluidity.”
So how does Magis decide what sorts of objects it will produce? “Well this is a big question,” says Perazza. “There are too many chairs around, but we still make them when we think they have something to say. Our chairs contribute to something bigger – because they use materials in a different way, or they use sophisticated technologies. When we bring a product to the market, we believe it has a strong idea behind it.”
Perazza reveals, “The way we conceive Magis internally is that we work on ideas. Design to us is not a style exercise.”
See Bureaurama and other ideas-driven Magis products in Singapore at Xtra.
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