Jaime Hayon, known for his lighthearted and whimsical perspective, views the world as his fairground—a sentiment that takes literal form in a recent collaboration with famed crystal purveyor Swarovski. The Spanish industrial designer and artist unveils “Carousel,” an installation befitting its name at Swarovski Kristallwelten (also known as Swarovski Crystal Worlds) in Wattens, Austria.
“The carousel is a symbol of innocence and light-heartedness,” says Carla Rumler, cultural director at Swarovski. “But in this exciting new interpretation, the traditional connotation has been elevated and transformed into art. Jaime Hayon combines incredible elegance with his unique character figures, immersing riders in a crystalline moving fantasy world.”
Surrounded by a picturesque green meadow that overlooks mountains, the structure stands at 21 feet high and 41 feet wide, and features 15 million Swarovski crystals across 16 walls and 12 ceiling panels. Each seat depicts abstract figures in the vein of Joan Miró; and the drop rods, platform, main bearing, and other fixtures come in an ablaq-style pattern of either black and white, or gold and white, recalling the Moorish architecture of his home nation. Though, as he admits, both the figures and color scheme draw inspiration from Germanic folklore.
“‘Carousel’ provokes feelings of freedom and joy—it is an art piece in movement and a place where imagination starts,” says Hayon. “I’m excited for people to be transported into this fairy tale.” Hayon’s interactive work is the latest structure to be unveiled at Swarovski Crystal Worlds, following an outdoor playground, four-story tower, André Heller’s “Labyrinth,” and other fanciful creations by art and design luminaries.
Lead image: “Carousel” by Jaime Hayon. Photo courtesy of Swarovski.