Basic Instinct

Barna is an artist, who sees prominence in form, from building complexes to fashionable apparel

Barna’s design for the Hungarian National Museum | Image courtesy of Barna D. Kovacs

Hungarian architect and designer Barna D. Kovacs sees the world in emergent multiforms and composite geometrical structures.

Completing a master’s degree at Vienna’s University of Applied Arts, he has recently co-founded a company, Barna Architects, in Budapest. 2007 he was the recipient of a scholarship to Istanbul’s Marmara University, where he focused his research on Islamic geometries.

Kovacs has been composing abstract art ever since he was a child. Reviewing his elementary school textbooks, I managed to catch glimpses of his doodles, which depicted an amalgamation of sophisticated geometrical formations. So, it seems that he was born a natural, which makes his work not only credible, but true.

Preceding this, in 2009 Barna was awarded the Marcel Breuer scholarship to America, in order to record and document Breuer’s highly reputed and eminent public buildings in multiple American cities, and seemingly, his works unveil his admiration for delicate silhouettes and  refined shapes. One can see that Barna is an artist, who sees prominence in form, whether a building complex or fashionable apparel. The perforation of geometrical polygons mold the surfaces of his creations and often form an abstract design.

Geometrical fluidity defines my structures, their function and material,” Barna says. “I see beauty in merging simple functions in a capricious manner.”

Barna  organizes his creations meticulously, every element and formation is devised with intention.  For the extension of the Hungarian National Museum, “a dynamic arrangement stimulates visitors to stroll and mingle,” he explains, a concept whose materials, color combinations and lighting are intended to encourage both recreational and communal use. Thus, the design evolves into a coherent system, where function and design synchronize.

He received an honorary special mention in July from the Hungarian National Museum.

Barna also dabbles in shoe design, the main focus being on patterns of tiny apertures and their relation to materials. When examining the shoes, one sees that the surface of the shoes extend through these various openings that also play a role in transforming the very properties of the shoes themselves.

“The shoe is a compound, different layers of materials evolve into a higher order, meaning structure and material amalgamate their best qualities into one system, creating efficiency,” explains Barna. The most dense and closed parts are close to the sole, consequently producing material rigidity. The shoes  feel very resilient, most likely because, from the sole up,  materials change to accommodate flexibility and better ventilation , and lastly, create lightness. Barna notes that it is this structural transition that stabilizes the shoe. As the apertures increase in size, new materials become embedded and these new fabrics provide comfort and ventilation. Trying the shoes on, you feel how everything in this design is carefully thought out. Barna oversees every aspect of his design work, and engineers his products for quality of materials and beauty, as well as functionality.



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