Sizar Alexis’s Brutalist-inspired furniture pieces that double as sculptural works of art, unites Mesopotamian heritage with Scandinavian design principles.
The ‘Ode’ series is a fascinating study of the historical hexagon, a shape that “dates back to ancient Mesopotamia ca. 690 BC in the form of a hexagonal shaped cuneiform of the Assyrian King Sennacherib’s annals.”
"The hexagon has more to it than we think, and some of the aspects of this shape are still mysterious. The series is an ode to the aesthetics that I fell in love with in a geometrical fascinating how hexagons are part of our life but fail to realize this. It all comes down to the element that is present throughout our body, and that is carbon." Ode’ feature burned and natural pine from Sweden’s dense forests.
Alexis, who has resided in Sweden since his family emigrated from Iraq in 1997, explains, ”I opt to work with natural materials that are found in abundance in the Swedish landscape – materials that stand the test of time and look better with age. I believe we as humans are drawn to these materials; they have the ability to ground us deeper in our true nature, in a world that is increasingly divided.”
Alexis mainly explored minimalism and Brutalism in his early work. It was only after setting up his studio in the city of Eskilstuna that he found himself rediscovering his heritage and the cultural richness it had to offer. Born in a Chaldean household in the northern Iraqi town of Ankawa, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, Alexis’s family strain is a live continuation of the indigenous people of the 5,000-year-old Mesopotamian civilisation.
”Having grown up with the traces of these historic artifacts all around me, I want to highlight and share this wealth of culture with a broader audience, and in a different part of the world,” says Alexis.
It is the designer’s cross-cultural approach that gives his work its unique expression. Merging cultural influences from ancient Mesopotamia with the materiality and design principles of simplicity and functionality found in Scandinavian design, while also adding Brutalism’s monolithic and geometric traits, eventuated in a collection of unique artisanal items.