This designer creates shape-shifting cabinets.
Sebastian: I think art and design are two different disciplines. If you create art that incorporates a certain degree of functionality or design that incorporates these more emotional components, then hopefully you’re enriching both disciplines in parallel.
Sebastian: Hi, my name is Sebastian ErraZuriz, and we’re at R & Company. It’s a design gallery based in New York City.
The cabinet series is called “Breaking the Box.” It’s full of pieces that spin, rotate, transform, and shine.
Sebastian: This box is called “Magistral,” and it’s made from 10,000 corn dog skewers. This one needed to look like either a hedgehog or some sort of protecting fur, so that it would seem like it was protecting your belongings.
He’s been building these kinetic pieces for the past four years. After showing the cabinets in small settings, he shared a video of one on Vimeo in 2015.
Sebastian: We made this very crude video, probably with my phone. We posted the video online, and the video had sound. You could hear the ‘tick tick tick tick’ of all the pieces moving together, each one pulling each other. And we immediately had requests from all sorts of press that they wanted this video. And then everyone on social media wanted the video. And that was the first time that I realized I was onto something.
But it’s not an entirely new concept. These kinds of moving pieces have been around for centuries. In the 1990s, transforming furniture played a big role in mid-century modern design.
The pieces can serve multiple purposes, hide secret compartments, or save space.
“The Piano Shelf” was the first piece he created for this functional art series. The “keys” are all movable. They’re each long enough to fit large books or sculptures, and they’re thick enough to eliminate bookends.
Sebastian: Finally, the gaps in between are quite aesthetical but really you won’t have a book that’s thin enough to fall through them. So more or less, everything obeys logic as opposed to aesthetics.
He sees a box as an object to be broken out of.
Sebastian: And I believe if we can constantly revisit the idea of the box and break it down in a variety of different formulas, we’re always inviting the audience to understand that whatever your constraints are, there is always a way to hack them.