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In Profile: Rolf Hay

From Saturday in Design Singapore, Danish design house Hay travelled to Australia for the Sydney installment last month. Mandi Keighran catches up with its founder.

In Profile: Rolf Hay


September 5th, 2011

Following its recent showing in Singapore, Hay returned to Saturday in Design, this time in Sydney where founder Rolf Hay launched ’About a Chair’ – designed in collaboration with Hee Welling – to the Australian market.

“’About a Chair’ is nothing special – that is what it’s about,” says Hay. “The reason we did ’About a Chair’ was because of the ’Nobody’ chair, which is a very conceptual project. It’s the first chair in the world where the textile is the structure.”



Little Nobody

“We had many design awards with the ’Nobody’ chair, but no one really wants to buy the ’Nobody’ chair. So, I said, ’The next chair we do, should be about a chair’. A chair is really about two things – comfort and aesthetic – and that was what we worked with. We just wanted to do a good basic chair.”



Little Nobody

” ’About a Chair’ was a very tight briefing, but normally we don’t do design briefs. It’s about an idea or technology.”


About A Chair

“One of the most important things for our company is to make footprints of our own time. And a good way to do that is to take advantage of the possibilities of our time… So, we often start with the technology – for us it’s a very important platform.”

“Denmark’s design history is an advantage, but it’s definitely also a disadvantage. Our generation has suffered a lot, because no matter what we did, we were confronted with the fact that Arne Jacobsen already did the best chair in the world. To me, it was in many ways an advantage.”



About A Chair

“The possibilities in our own time must always be generating ideas. But, I must admit I get a kick out of just doing things – isn’t that just human nature? The greatest thing about what I do is when I go to see a new prototype. We work in a different way to the way our parents did, but we basically live in the same way. We eat, we sleep, we make love like our parents did – overall, perhaps you can say, that the news is that there is nothing new except the possibilities. And, it’s great fun.”


Dot Rug

“The reason we are doing what we are doing, is actually because of Giulio Cappellini. In the nineties, they showed very clearly that it was necessary and important to keep on developing new things.”

“In these days we more or less only talk about the environment, but actually I think beauty can save the world. At home I have a little Alessi glass from Jasper Morisson – it’s nothing special, I just like this glass. But if you care about something, they are lasting longer, they don’t break.”



Colour Block bed linen

“I hope people buy our products because of the products, not because of the brand. And to do products for a reasonable price is extremely important.”


Available in Australia at Corporate Culture

Available in Singapore at Foundry Store and BW Furniture

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