Giants with Dwarf is the name of the installation developed by Swiss architect and designer Stephan Hürlemann for horgenglarus, the oldest wooden chair and table manufacturer in Switzerland.
Seven wooden figures, up to three metres tall, are created from chair and table parts from horgenglarus’ design archive, which goes back more than a hundred years. Among these are products such as classic, miro, klio, select, lyra, and others.
Hürlemann and his team left all the parts in the condition in which they found them and merely drilled holes so that they could be connected with cable ties. By fixing the figures to the ceiling with wires individual limbs of the figures can be moved by pulleys, thus bringing the panda, the tired warrior, the bee, monkey, pink panther, duck and dwarf to life. In addition, individual body parts can be activated with control wires.
The Horgengalrus installation was part of Ventura Centrale, which for the second year during Design Week, opened the doors to a dis-used tunnel system underneath Milan Central Station.
Horgenglarus’ presentation at Milan, 2018 was conceived by Stephan Hürlemann and is dedicated to Hans Bellmann (1911-1990).
Switzerland’s oldest table and chair manufacturer closely collaborated with the Swiss designer Bellmann for a long time and produced many of his creations;
On the occasion of Designer Saturday 2016 Horgenglarus launched three re-editions of Bellmann products.
The seven figures in the installation “Riesen mit Zwerg” (Giants with Dwarf) were built by Stephan Hürlemann and his team using chair and table parts. All the components originated in horgenglarus’ parts archive – among them, for example, the back legs with backrest from Max Bill’s “dreibeinstuhl”.
They maintained their original state for the installation, with just small holes made so that the elements could be linked with cable ties. Unique body parts of the figures can be moved using cables.
Hürlemann sees his figures as an homage to the marionettes created by the Staatliches Bauhaus art school, where Hans Bellmann studied from 1931-33.
Behind the scenes of Giants with Dwarfs
To ready the installation for transport to Milan the team at Horgenglarus had to specially wrap the large and imposing puppets for the journey to Milan.
The installation was first presented at Designers’ Saturday in Langenthal, Switzerland, in 2016 and was documented in this short video by filmmaker Jela Hasler
Ventura Centrale, Space 1
Via Ferrante Aporti 9
About Stephan Hürlemann
The architect and designer Stephan Hürlemann (1972*) is the creative mind behind Studio Hürlemann in Zurich.
He studied architecture at ETH Zurich and was the business partner of the designer Hannes Wettstein.
After Wettstein’s death in 2008 he took over the creative directorship of Studio Hannes Wettstein, which was renamed after him in 2016.
Stephan Hürlemann is one of the most sought-after designers in Switzerland.
In addition to architectural projects, products and furniture for companies like horgenglarus, Vitra, Ruckstuhl, de Sede, PwC, Ventura, Sky-Frame and UBS, he develops scenographic installations that make the identity of brands come alive in a room.
Many of his works have received awards. He has been collaborating with horgenglarus since 2002.
Established in 1880 in Horgen near Zurich, the company expanded in 1902 to include the workshop in Glarus, ag möbelfabrik horgenglarus is Switzerland’s oldest manufacturer of chairs and tables.
In terms of design and quality, it has ranked among the world’s finest furniture makers for more than 130 years.
Le Corbusier, for example, exhibited chairs crafted by horgenglarus at his Pavillon de l’Esprit Nouveau at the Exposition internationale des Arts décoratifs in Paris as perfect representations of contemporary and trend-setting interior design.
This innovative approach remains unchanged to this day: At horgenglarus, the focus is still on the characteristic combination of form and function. Classic, consummate design, timelessness and exceptional workmanship are the criteria by which horgenglarus has earned the accolade World Class – Made in Switzerland.
The company is bringing the classical ideals of New Simplicity to the 21st century by combining traditional know-how and highly-skilled craftsmanship with cutting-edge, CNC-controlled production machinery.