Get Nesty with Olaf Hajek and Leolux
One of our deepest human impulses is the desire to nest: to create a cozy and safe living space around ourselves. It’s a ritual that comes from an evolutionary imperative to keep the next generation safe, but in the modern world it’s spread out to touch everyone whether they’re a parent or not. We want to make sure our spaces are our own, with our own personalities and sensibilities. That’s exactly what Olaf Hajek tapped into for his latest collaboration with European furniture giant Leolux. The design company is wildly popular in Europe, and they’re also a great supporter of the arts. Every few years they link up with a new artist to help them shepherd their public creative identity, and right now the collaboration with Olaf is just starting to roll out.
The nesting impulse is what inspired Olaf for the Leolux this round, drawing a direct comparison to the reality of birds building literal nests. One of the paintings features a Marie Antoinette character with the regality that Leolux infuses into their own creative direction. But for Olaf, he saw her tall hair as an opportunity. “The idea is to build a nest and when you look at this she has a nest in her hair,” Olaf says. “They build up the nest in her hair and when you look at the birds they have little houses.” The interplay between nesting and housing is all over the imagery, from actual nests inside the larger hair next, to the small birdhouses, all the way to a laundry line drying a set of sheets.
For now, Olaf sees this as being the heart of the work he’s going to create for Leolux, but the door is wide open since the collaboration will last for years. The images you see now will be used for invitations, magazines, and industry trade shows. But writ large they’re the result of compounding inspiration where furniture and creative expression meet. In the best case scenario a home, a nest, is a source of inspiration. For Olaf, it needs to be.