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'Solar Sailer' by Djivan Schapira redefines resin art and functionality in furniture design
The Solar Sailer collection by Djivan Schapira
Image: Djivan Schapira

'Solar Sailer' by Djivan Schapira redefines resin art and functionality in furniture design

The Solar Sailer collection combines visual motifs of retro-futurism and high-end French decorative arts techniques of marquetry and lacquer, to craft utilitarian art pieces in resin.

by Ria Jha
Published on : Feb 25, 2024

Designers are pushing the limits of traditional design by redefining the relationship between art and functionality. One route is through the use of resin as a material to craft sleek, geometric structures inspired by modern architecture, or organic, flowing shapes reminiscent of nature's wonders. Under its flexibility and adaptability, resin can be moulded and worked into almost any shape or form, allowing designers to create intricate and exquisite designs. They can add depth and complexity to their works by experimenting with casting, layering, and embedding techniques, augmented by resin's sense of fluidity and transparency.

Centred on the materiality of resin, designer Djivan Schapira creates distinctive products and furniture designs that are as joyfully animated as they are efficiently utilitarian, drawing from a range of diverse experiences and ideas. The French-born artist and maker of collectible designs studied architecture at the renowned Parsons School of Design, gaining a foundation of technical proficiency and a grasp of materials, spaces, and engineering that became crucial to his designs. Schapira started experimenting with resin while he was still in school, creating methods and distinctive aesthetics that are now the basis of his creative production.

Schapira’s latest collection titled Solar Sailer combines visual motifs of retro-futurism and French decorative art techniques of marquetry and lacquer. Each object in the collection, which the furniture designer likes to describe as 'functional art,' is entirely distinctive, a result of the infinite combinations, configurations, and colours based on the applications of resin. Schapira's designs are a tribute to the space race era of design, but they also incorporate more contemporary elements such as Tron's production art, Daft Punk's futuristic outfits, and the Bauhaus resurgence of the 1970s, to create a tangible and useful representation of cosmic aspiration. “The inspiration for Solar Sailer stems from the desire to blend nostalgia with modern innovation. My retro-futuristic collectible design collection is a testament to timeless design and forward-thinking craftsmanship,” explains Schapira, who is based in Union City, New Jersey.

The collection comprises a variety of pieces ranging from table designs to bar cabinets along with a console table and mirrors. Each piece is a reflection of Schapira's philosophy of embracing innovation and pushing boundaries in design. Solar Sailer prioritises artistic value and maintains functionality, all while embodying cutting-edge tenets. “Creating Solar Sailer entails blending futuristic design elements with a nostalgic aesthetic, often employing materials like resin, bronze, and bold colours. Challenges include striking the right balance between nostalgia and innovation while ensuring functionality and consistent quality in the final products,” the product designer shares.

A play of refracted light is produced by the furniture pieces' amorphous glossy surface, which contains candy-coloured translucent areas and reflective inlays that interact with shifting ambient light. The product designs possess a full high-gloss resin coating that complements the cast resin components, which alludes to the smooth, polished finish of automobile designs.

Solar Sailer, described as "a love letter to the space race era of design," fascinates with elegant lines and the bewitching play of light on its glossy, vibrant surfaces. This creative application of resin in design has brought a shift in how we view and engage with functional art pieces. Centred on resin's versatility, designers such as Schapira fuse nostalgia with contemporary innovation to beget works of art that are underscored by mindful craftsmanship and keen attention to detail.

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