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Creativity as the ultimate aphrodisiac

Design superstar Jaime Hayon was in Manila for Fritz Hansen, exclusively distributed by Studio Dimensione in the Philippines.

Last week, I got an invite from Bench to attend a lecture by design superstar Jaime Hayon, who designs for Fritz Hansen, at the Bench Tower. As a total culture vulture and an absolute design fangirl, not to mention someone obsessed with kitsch and quirk, of course I went. I loved the pieces he did for old school porcelain company Lladro, and really truly wanted the Showtime Indoor Poltrona chair he made, so I knew he was awesome and I knew that I’d go home inspired and wanting to create all over again.

But then when he started to speak, I went from a grown woman in awe of his talent to a 15-year-old with a schoolgirl crush on a teacher in front of her. While he was flipping his slides, going from his inspiration images to the work he created out of it and talking about how he could be motivated by things people considered mundane, I actually felt my cheeks beginning to flush, and I’m not even white.

It was a great lecture, pretty standard design processes like the way I was trained in Central Saint Martins, but of course a million times more relevant and inspiring when delivered by a man who has made some pretty mind-blowing hotel lobbies, giant bears, quirky furniture and extremely unique yet functional ceramics. I love that he doesn’t come from an industrial design background, but from a fine arts background — something that I think probably led him to success because he began by thinking as an artist, hence having less restrictions. He talked about his personal ethos, from challenging himself consistently, to mixing both manual and industrial techniques, responsibility in design, exploring and creating new techniques and exchanging knowledge. By the time he spoke about working with locals and keeping and sustaining traditions (aka, my personal ethic in my line of work), my panties basically fell to the floor. I turned to Liza Ilarde who was next to me and said, “Sh*t, Liza, I’m in love. I really want to marry him.” And to be honest, I don’t think I was the only girl in the room who got all starry-eyed.

I don’t think there is anything as attractive as a talented creative man who is totally passionate about what he does. Screw looks, screw muscles, screw height, screw accents (okay, maybe not accents) — once I start to peek into a man’s brain and it’s overflowing with ideas, I turn into a bowl of mush. Okay, fine, of course it helped that he was a dynamic speaker, dressed well and was a world-famous success. It helped that he was charming and smiled a lot, cracked jokes and exuded just the right amount of confidence that bordered on being cocky, but not arrogantly cocky. 

 

 

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However, the real game changer with men like Jaime Hayon is that it’s not a bunch of bullsh*t “mambobola” when it comes to their work — they actually have brains that are worth picking and have fleshed these ideas out into brilliant masterpieces that exist, that have become realities. I’m sure we’ve all had that certain guy who can talk about the amazing things he dreams about, goals and plans and dream projects, but most of them never actually materialize. Guys like Jaime Hayon have a whole epic creative legacy behind them that is just inimitable and could not have been imagined by another person. And that’s when we women just kind of let our jaws drop and daydream ourselves into outer space.

I often wonder if it’s the same for men as it is with women like me. I always develop an intense crush on people because I adore seeing how their brains work; I’m attracted to their thought processes and their drive to make things that have never been made before. I lose interest in relationships when my partner isn’t driven, or passionate about something that could change the world, whether it’s music or art or film or activism. I wonder if men go through that same cycle and fall in love with girls not for their charm or looks first, but for their talent. I don’t know, but it seems a lot less common to hear a man gush and say, “Wow, did you see her amazing installation? What a dream girl!”; more often it’s a man talking about a beautiful woman and her kindness before her achievements. I suppose there must be such men, given that there are also women who aren’t attracted to the same things I’m attracted to and probably don’t give a sh*t about talent or creativity or drive.

Towards the end of his lecture, Jaime talked about how your work is never good enough, and how you can always do more.  If that doesn’t scream “drive” and “passion,” then I don’t know what does.

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