SolidNature Bita Fayyazi

Contemporary Iranian artist Bita Fayyazi created a collection of seating sculptures, consisting of lounge object ‘The Wave’ and the sculpted seats ‘Owl’, ‘Chimera’, ‘Cat’ and ‘Rabbit’. During Milan Design Week 2023, her objects grace the garden of Casa Maveri, SolidNature’s temporary residence.

Working with SolidNature and OMA team was my first experience of such a program which involves functional art. The stones are of such fine quality that whatever objects are to be shaped from them would look beautiful.

— Bita Fayyazi

About Bita Fayyazi

Bita Fayyazi is regarded as one of the most progressive and influential contemporary artists to have emerged from Tehran in recent times. With over 15 years experience working in sculpture and ceramics, Fayyazi spent seven years living in the UK before returning to Iran in 1980. She currently works and teaches in a private studio in Tehran.

Q&A with Bita Fayyazi


What was the brief for this project?
SolidNature reached out to me, inviting me to collaborate with their team along with OMA in the 2023 edition of Milan Design Week. I was asked to make functional objects for the event and pleased to have been given this opportunity. Once the plans of the space allocated to my work (objects) were determined I started working on the ideas. The themes include concepts that I have frequently covered and I started developing them into what has become the actual objects exhibited.


What was the inspiration for your pieces?
The social and political history of our homeland, literature and poetry, both foreign and local.


What are the most important features of your designs?
Knowing that the objects were to be placed in an outside space, the garden, they would be public friendly where adults and children alike are able to interact with and use them. With that in mind, we decided to make one end of “The Wave” at the standard height for children’s seating gradually rising to an adult’s seat level height. For safety reasons we also considered that the edges of the objects should be smoothed out into curves. The designed forms had to be slightly modified so that they can act as functional rather than just sculptural pieces.


What materials did you use?
The samples for the objects, the “Seating” were made in miniature scale from clay. However, for “The Wave” (Lounge) I used maquette modelling foam.


Why did you choose these materials?
Clay is used extensively and readily available in our workshop and its plasticity makes for many possibilities. The modeling foam I thought was more pliant and practicable for “The Wave”.


Have you worked with natural stone before?
No. But I am so fond of and drawn to stones that at some stage in my own work I had started using “marble effect” in my resin sculptures.


What is your favourite thing about working with natural stone?
Because of its inherent beauty, it is a delightful material for making sculptures. In fact as a consequence of the SolidNature project I have become interested to follow-up by incorporating stone in my own sculptures.


What color palette is dominant within the project and why?
With the assistance of SolidNature and OMA we just thought which object would look good with which stone. In the end I also like the idea that “The Wave” is not the colour of how a wave is usually perceived. With the rest I just went with the flow and chose from the type and colour of stones according to their availability.