Cast Aluminium Series One by John Reeves

May 6, 2009

John Reeves is a designer from the UK who lives Vietnam. At the 2009 Salone del Mobile furnishings show in Milan, he launched a new collection called Cast Aluminium Series One.

From John Reeves:

The mighty Cast Aluminium Series One, is the first REEVESdesign series that is made almost completely out of solid aluminium (100% recycled). It is a tough product range that will stand the test of time and endure the elements. Casting allows a simplicity of fabrication that ensures solid durability, it also gives an opportunity to be more efficient during the production process as any mistakes can be easily melted down and cast again.

After initial concept and sketch models had been made, I worked with skilled carvers to make the wooden master to sand cast off. Carving the timber mould by hand, is quite a juxtaposition to the rapid prototyping techniques that are being used in the West. Although the product will find its way into a die cast mould, the initial hand carved shape will be maintained. This maintains the poetic and organic feel, texture and soul of the product.

Visit the REEVESdesign website – here.

The graceful organic form of the CAS1 chair started by looking at the shape of the human shoulder blade; the scapula bone was a major influence in the organic shape of the backrest. From that point on I considered the qualities of liquid molten metal. The soft contours and washed curves that engulf the “line” of this series, resemble a river stone which has been slowly worn down over years to the quiet organic shape that only water and time create. A multitude of these river stones can be found on any river bed, all different in form, scale, profile, contour, colour and variety, and yet, each are independantly and unquestionably beautiful. Mother nature has taken the time to mold each one so perfectly and so randomly. The presence of stone, of rock, the very foundation of our planet is a silent witness, a power of strength; stone and rock in all their rawness and solidness are reliable, strong and firm. We take for granted that a mountain today will be a mountain tomorrow and still a mountain 100 years from now. Yet the force and unstoppable wave of time wears down those rocks and stones with an unpredictable natural power, both creative and destructive.

That is why the CAS1 product has been cast in solid re-cycled aluminum, ensuring that this mighty range will be around for a long time to come. The patina finish is tough, but will also take the elements well, the imperfect charm of the finish guarantees that this range will age graciously. The indestructible quality of the materials and the delicate simplicity of the organic form, means that the range will stand the test of time.

The designer – John Reeves:

From John Reeves:

I am a product and furniture designer from the UK. Since the age of 24 I have been living and working in Vietnam- designing, developing, teaching and working in local workshops and industry.

I originally went out to Asia to “learn the ropes” and spend time learning about materials, processes and production as  my approach is very hands on and I believe being in industry is an extremely exciting, inspiring and important element of being a designer. I have now been in Vietnam for 5 years and have become not only a designer and maker but also a supplier (and also accepted into the community) of the production, I have been supplying my designs to Heal’s in London, Osborne and Litte and Feather and Black all in the UK, I have also started distributing in the US and exhibited at the ICFF, New York show 3 times as well as showing in Las Vegas twice as well. Further to that I have taken product to 100% Design Tokyo and have been invited back this year. Being able to take care of the design from concept to supply has meant that the product is not “watered down” for the market place and my works, design style, philosophy and very pragmatic almost maverick approach is becoming more and more appreciated and sort after.

In Saigon, I have now been able to build up a 150 square meter studio which is in an old bus station, the doors roll up to 5 meters and are 3 meters wide, part of the space is split into 50  square meter white studio room for photography, this also has a huge 5 meter high and 4 meter wide sliding door which opens up or divides the space. This space has become a creative hub for development and has samples and products rolling in and out constantly. Although it is only 15minutes from the centre of Saigon, it is also 30 mins from the factories and workshops that I have been working and teaching and learning in! Each and every day I am constantly thinking of how I can escape the studio and get to the workshop as fast as possible. Being able to live where the product is made for production also means that I have rare insight in how good design is impacting in a very positive way on peoples lives in the areas of the world that are producing now. In fact just before leaving for Milan I was at a wedding between one of the sanding ladies and one of the assembly men! The jobs provided and better quality of life as a result show how important it is to remember that design is not just about technological advancement or even just about the environmental impact but also how it can have a positive or negative effect on social wellbeing and community.

Visit the REEVESdesign website – here.