Paper dogs, a limited edition book and a two year project that involved over 100 artists. They had me at paper dogs. On May 16th, at the New York Design Week, the “Gerald & James” exhibition and book launch will feature an enticing display of how simple materials can unlock creativity. This exhibition features over 100 “Gerald” dogs and a hardcover, limited edition book created by the British paper specialist James Cropper. The title of the exhibition, “Gerald” and “James,” emphasizes the partnership between the design house Lazerian and James Cropper and is the culmination of the long-term Gerald Project.
What is a Gerald dog? Well, Gerald originated as a collaborative creation between Liam Hopkins, founder of the British design house Lazerian, and 3D designer Richard Sweeney in 2009. They gave their free-standing sculpture, made in the image of a Bracco Italian gun dog, the nickname “Gerald.” Hopkins and Sweeney had so much fun designing blank Geralds that, in 2011, they sent the paper dogs to other artists to turn Gerald from a simple dog, crafted out of paper and glue, into a simply charming pup. The transformed dogs were returned by 2013.
“Gerald & James” will feature 101 small Geralds, each given its own design, 19 large format dogs and James Cropper’s book which includes the artists’ reflections on the project. The book and the Geralds are available for purchase, and there are only 500, limited edition versions of each Gerald. I may have to get one to keep me company at my desk.
There are so many interesting takes on Gerald that it’s worth scrolling through the website to check them out. And the Gerald Project is truly an exercise in the design philosophy Lazerian embodies. As a design house, Lazerian aims to combine functionality, play and passion to create unique objects from lighting to jewelry. They describe their work as the “creation of functional objects through playful investigation of materials and processes, and seeks to imbue objects with a bit of soul.” While Gerald isn’t purely functional, unless you count making a cubicle cheery, it does seems that Gerald has a bit of soul as each one is posed to fetch or run at any minute.
Thinking about ways you can incorporate paper and folding into your projects? Then read HOW’s Paper and Folding Inspiration for some additional help.