Eskilstuna, Sweden | Wood: Cherry and red oak
Sizar Alexis is a Swedish-Iraqi product and furniture designer based in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Alexis graduated from Beckmans College of Design, Stockholm in 2019 and has since started his design studio where he experiments with objects that display tranquil settings through strong character in geometrical shapes. His work is influenced by a deep interest in Brutalism juxtaposed with the rich cultural and architectural heritage from ancient Mesopotamia.
‘Our apartment was functioning like a bunker. Then I thought about the invisible enemy everyone was fighting and I considered the visible enemy when I was in Iraq.’
The design process
Alexis’ piece for Discovered is rooted in his childhood memories of living in Iraq during the war with Iran in the ’80s and 1991’s subsequent Gulf War. ‘When the brief from AHEC arrived I thought about the situation we were in and my son, who was born last April. I thought about the core values of the project – touch, reflection and strength – and then about living in my home country and the war when I was small. So my mind hopped between those associations.’
The making of the final piece
Alexis was keen to work with scorching, a process he’d been experimenting with recently. For his Discovered piece, he elected to do one piece in American cherry due to its inherent warmth, while the other one was made from red oak and burned. ‘Initially Sizar wanted to burn everything but we convinced him that it would be a pity to burn the cherry because the texture of the wood is not that strong that you’d see a big effect. It would have become just a black object,’ says Wewood’s design director Philipp Grundhoefer ‘The red oak has much more texture and you get more of a visual effect on the piece.’
The end result
Defined by stark monolithic forms and stillness, Lahmu (a reference to a protective spirit in Mesopotamian mythology) is a pair of chunky side tables or stools that embody Alexis’ love of brutalist architecture. When brought together, the piece transforms into a single bench or low sideboard.