When designers Hector Esrawe, Emiliano Godoy, and Brian Thoreen were first invited to produce a series of works for Nouvel Studio’s 2018 Zona Maco presentation they found their dynamic of playful collaboration fruitful beyond physical objects. “We worked on this experimental stuff that was just going to be for [Zona] Maco 2018 but through that process it became clear that something interesting was starting and it had the foundations of something, a brand or platform for people to collaborate with Nouvel in more experimental ways.” says Thoreen.
A year later, their experimental ethos has evolved from a studio collaboration of creatives to a deepened commitment to pushing boundaries of experimental glass pieces in the form of the launch of Vissio, an experimental platform that invites designers, artists, and architects to collaborate with Nouvel Studio to produce unique and limited edition glass works.
Working with Nouvel Studio’s expert artisans deliberately frees Vissio from the trappings of working with a technically complex material like glass, allowing for emphasis on the conceptual framework of the pieces. “We are interested in creating good design, beautiful, timeless pieces that show glass in interesting ways – whether that’s by combining it with other materials or not. We want to curate the collaborators we work with in the future based on their ideas and thinking not on their familiarity with glass.” Explains Godoy.
The three families of works in Vissio’s 2019 launch presentation plant the flag of a radical openness to experimental design processes. The newest family of works, Burnout, hinges on a formal exploration of the effects of entropy. Casting series of pieces from a single plywood mold, each run registers the unique burn pattern of the mold by the molten glass. Functioning a bit like a game of chance, in these works the designers set the “rules” of the piece and let convection determine the evolution of the final shapes. The nature of the process of these works is such that no piece can ever be replicated, as their form reflects the ambient conditions present at the moment of casting.
“Each piece gives birth to new ideas and so if you use the idea of language it’s like wordplay, like a continuous game. That’s what’s nice about this process because you start to compile ideas, they come easily and there’s an abundance of them that we haven’t had time to explore yet. So, Bedrock and Precarious are starting points but the new pieces are different in their own way.” says Esrawe.
The three new works in the Bedrock series can be thought of as formal compositions of reflection and refraction based around a celebration of juxtaposition of surfaces. These pieces emphasize the beauty of the materials through geometric arrangements. While functional as vessels, it’s the interplay of light—illuminating creamy matte onyx, bouncing off polished stone and glinting off the glass that is responsible for the pieces’ aura.
Finally, Table Top Precarious represents the evolution of the Precarious series which conceptually hinges on the beauty and anxiety provoked by glass balancing precipitously on rectilinear metallic bases. In this new iteration of the series, the team has reimagined the scale of Precarius with glass hugging steel-plate bases. Through formal interplay of rigidity with elevated fragility the piece highlights the materials’ physical properties.
Much in the spirit of Vissio’s collaborative approach, pieces in the Precarius series rely on collective participation to maintain stability. There are no fasteners or glue holding the piece’s elements together. It’s the balance of forces that allows the piece to be more than the sum of its parts.
Formerly known as Nouvel Limited, VISSIO is a platform for unlimited experimentation. VISSIO is a collaboration between designers, artists, and architects with Nouvel Studio artisans to realize unique and limited-edition pieces that shatter boundaries between art and design. VISSIO pieces reinterpret glass to challenge and ignite the relationship between concept, form, and utility - beautifully.
Established in 2002 by Zélika Garcia, ZONA MACO is the leading art fair in Latin America with four events that take place twice a year during February and August at Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City. Each year ZONA MACO México Arte Contemporáneo brings together the largest selection of leading and emerging international galleries.
Nouvel Studio is a pioneer in the design and production of blown glass with over 25 years of experience.
Working across a wide variety of genres and industries Nouvel Studio collaborates with international brands on the development of glass projects from design and engineering to production of the highest standard. As the innovation arm of Pavisa Group, Nouvel Studio has unrivalled facilities and expertise allowing it to realize even the most complex and challenging endeavours.
VISSIO represents Nouvel Studio’s venture into the world of limited edition design art – conceived and created in collaboration with the world’s leading artists, designers and architects. Nouvel Studio is a founding partner of VISSIO.
Héctor Esrawe is a Mexican designer whose eponymous studio works for international clients in the fields of commercial and residencial interiors, cultural exhibitions, objects, furniture and product design. He studied industrial design at Universidad Iberoamericana, where he also was on faculty. Héctor co-developed the Furniture and Product Design degree at Centro, where he served as Head of Design and Products for three years. Esrawe has won numerous awards including: The Wallpaper Award, BOY Award, Green Good Design Award, WIN Award, BID Award, Quórum Award, the People’s Choice Award at AZ Magazine, and many others. His Centipede bBench and Vestigio bracelets are part of the permanent collection of the Atlanta High Museum of Art. He is a Founding Partner of VISSIO.
Emiliano Godoy is a Mexican industrial designer, who has been working for over twenty years in applied sustainability projects, using design as a tool for generating positive changes in society and the environment. Godoy is an industrial designer from Pratt Institute’s graduate program, and studied a BA degree in industrial design from Universidad Iberoamericana. Today he runs a design studio under his name but is most active as a partner at the interiors and architecture firm Tuux. He is also a board member of the Abierto Mexicano de Diseño. He has received numerous awards in international competitions. In 2011 his Knit Chair was included in the permanent collection of MoMA, and in 2015 his Pedro and Pablo bowls were included in the permanent collection of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. He is a Founding Partner of VISSIO.
Brian Thoreen is an American designer who now lives and works in Mexico City. He designs furniture, architectural installations and unique objects that gather their ethos from the integral nature of the materials within the application. Thoreen’s vision has been honed through years of working in the fields of art, fashion and architecture. He started his own practice in 2014 and after showing his work for the first time in 2015 with Sight Unseen at Collective Design Fair he gained immediate notoriety. He is represented in New York for his furniture by Patrick Parrish Gallery. He has been included in many art and design fairs since. He had his first major solo show at Patrick Parrish in 2017 with his Unsettled collection. He is a Founding Partner of VISSIO.