We traditionally start our Vienna Design Week Passionswege tour at J. & L. Lobmeyr.
And it is always an appointment that fills us with trepidation.
Not because we fear J. or indeed L. Lobmeyr.
Put it this way.
Full of exquisite bone china.
Full of exquisite crystal.
What could possibly go wrong ?
And so maybe Philippe Malouin had us in mind when developing his project for Vienna Design Week 2011.
And incorporated wood into his hourglasses.
“Time is a quality that makes Lobmeyr so special”
So begins Philippe Malouin his explanation to the background to the project.
Not just the timelessness of the pieces, but also, for example, the time invested in creating such works is a rare thing today.
And so to encapsulate the role of “time” in the story of J. & L. Lobmeyr, Philippe Malouin created a set of hourglasses.
Combining wood with items from the Lobmeyr “Alpha” series – a series of beakers designed by Hans Harald Rath in 1952 and based on middle ages drinking vesicles – Philippe Malouin has created three hourglasses that, apparently, indicate through the run of the sand the time taken to engrave such a work.
A theme of course we all remember from Mark Braun and Fortune last year.
The only problem is, in his text Philippe Malouin says that the longer the sand flows the more complex the engraving becomes.
We just couldn’t see that. Probably our fault. Usually is.
But regardless of that fact, we found the three hourglasses on display wonderful objects in their own right. And not necessarily because of the glass/wood combination, but much more the scale and authority of the pieces really impressed us.
Hourglasses are usually small and apologetic. Those from Philippe Malouin exude a self-confidence one normally only knows from teenage football talents who have just landed their first advertising contract.
And that appealed to us.
That and the incorporation of sand into a J. & L. Lobmeyr product. Silica and that…. Obvious really.
In addition to the hourglasses the installation also included a large sand spreading machine.
If we’re honest we didn’t really get that.
But the hourglasses were very good.
More information on Philippe Malouin at J. & L. Lobmeyr can be found at www.lobmeyr.at