The Art and Architecture of Bande des Quatres
How Kandinsky and Hadid do their part.
One look at Bande des Quatres’s totally dramatic rings and bracelets, and you know there’s some serious artistic inspiration at play. But you might not get a sense of just how focused and tight those visual cues are: For the two collections Erin Wahed has created with her jewelry-master mom Janis Kerman, she’s drawn from a very select set of Bauhaus art and modern architecture—and named the lines and the pieces accordingly. Here’s Erin’s tour of exactly how those BDQ translations play out.
“Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus School at Dessau, once said, ‘Our guiding principle was that design is neither an intellectual nor a material affair, but simply an integral part of the stuff of life, necessary for everyone in a civilized society.’ We wanted to make a ring feel like it was an integral part of the hand and body using the same shapes Gropius used to create the school.”
“Credited with painting the first truly abstract works, Wassily Kandinsky thought of his paintings in musical terms, seeing them as improvisations or compositions. His work heavily inspired my photography thesis, where I created visual landscapes using shapes, lines, and colors to develop this harmonious sense of composition that his pieces speak to. With the Kandinsky ring, we isolated one of his most prominent shapes, the circle.”
“To me, Zaha Hadid’s buildings are large scale sculptures. I can imagine that her biggest challenge is in making her buildings work the way she sees them. The Hadid ring was inspired by her way of seeing. It was a design I conceived of, but I was unaware of how it would work. Through intense product development, we were able to achieve the look I originally had in mind.”
“Daniel Libeskind’s use of triangular shapes and his engineering genius inspired the Libeskind ring. With this ring, the goal was to create a piece that pushed a viewer to ask, ‘How is the ring staying on the finger?’”
“The Venturi ring was the one piece that I conceived that was truly self-indulgent. It is a difficult piece to wear, but there is something about how the shapes come together and how the piece looks on a finger that I just love! With Robert Venturi’s Vanna House, there is an indented curvature above the door of the building that seems to be more of an aesthetic addition than anything else.”