Haos’s Steel and Plywood Collection is a Coolly Elevated Take on Minimalism

New York Design Week has been going on now for literally ever — and in my opinion someone needs to step in and tighten things up next year — but for me, everything kicked off in late April with an exhibition at Love House gallery in New York by Haos (who, you might recall, we wrote about early in the pandemic). Design week this year has been heavy on group shows with excellent individual pieces and light on full-fledged furniture collections, but even among that smaller group, this was one of our favorites. On Instagram, I referred to the collection, called “Works of Sobriety,” as “Donald Judd goes to Paris in the 1970s, has dinner with Andrée Putman, and returns to Soho,” and I still stand by that claim. Haos’s Sophie Gelinet and Cedric Gepner recently made a similar move, relocating from Paris to Lisbon, where they’ve opened a larger studio and workshop where they can make work on-site. But rather than take their practice to the furthest experimental reaches just because they can, they’ve instead created a pared-down, rigorous framework for their fourth collection, taking cues from traditional Japanese architecture, 20th-century Modernism, and the Dogme 95 movement, which sought to distill filmmaking to its essence by rejecting special effects and gimmicks. “Convinced that the beauty of design holds greater power in modesty,” they say, they eschew the need for expensive materials or rare expertise. Instead, the collection primarily employs humble materials such as plywood and sheet metal (not unlike another recent collection), to create things like a blocky, ladder-like bookcase, a dining table that stands on four, thick offset legs, and several lights that glow warmly, diffused by Japanese paper. Available exclusively through Love House, the collection is part of the gallery’s new program, which will focus more on exhibition-based model going forward this year, and which we’re very excited for!