duendepr.com news State of the World by Mathieu Lehanneur ArtBasel – DesignMiami

State of the World by Mathieu Lehanneur ArtBasel – DesignMiami


For the 2021 edition of ArtBasel – DesignMiamiMathieu Lehanneur has been invited to present a new collection that reveals both the past and the future of our world. State of the World is a series of aluminum sculptures whose forms are based on age pyramids from different countries around the globe. Using population statistics usually studied by sociologists and demographers, Lehanneur has created a “snapshot” of all of the humans living today in over 140 countries. Witnesses to past, present and future destinies of world populations, these works owe their quasi-primitive forms and unique silhouettes to the demographic data made available by the United Nations.

SOTW Nepal Large


In this very particular moment in our history, I wanted to be able to embody humanity in its entirety; to be able to crystallize the infinitely large and complex in objects. The terrestrial globe had this magical power to finally render the Earth visualizable and tangible, so we could hold it in our hands.”

SOTW Bahrain Switzerland Ethiopia Large

Bahrain, Switzerland, Ethiopia

Displayed in a structure reminiscent of a Greek theater, each work faithfully reproduces the birthrate, life expectancy and history of the different nations of the world. Constructed of 100 strata representing from 0 to 100 years, each country’s data describes a graphic silhouette in which the curves and the masses are the revealing imprints of its history, and an indication of its future. At the base are the births and children, followed by adolescents and the passage into adulthood, then the senior citizens, and finally at the summit, the one-hundred-year-olds, still rare in our societies.



“The dips and notches reveal wars, epidemics, or other accidents of history. The wrinkles are the baby-booms and jumps in the birthrate,” explains Mathieu Lehanneur.


The designer’s fascination with demographic data began over ten years ago; it has taken this long to gather and model the entire collection today. “I remember seeing how powerfully the age pyramids resonated. Through this work, I wanted to restore the potential for emotion and create fragments of humanity. Working with solid aluminum allowed us to precisely reconstruct each stratum, each age. They are like immobile spinning tops that seem to have grown out of a desire to rise up as high as possible. We all want to live as long as possible.”

 SOTW Equatorial Guinea Indonesia

Equatorial Guinea, Colombia

Each age pyramid reveals the particularities of a nation: the youth of Chad, translated by the geometric perfection of its flared base that consistently slims all the way to the top or, conversely, the immigrant population of adults in the United Arab Emirates, which forms a prominent bump for the age range from 20 to 40 years resting on top of a fine base of Emirati births. Passing from one work to another proves to be a fascinating journey through time and history. The notches left by the war in Cambodia or the Second World War in many European countries act as evidence that evoke the immediate empathy of the visitor, who is suddenly part of a greater whole: a living, moving, global body.

SOTW USA Somalia Large

USA, Somalia


Belonging to a group or a country is a much more intense and permanent feeling than any form of patriotism. I think that this project evokes that; it reminds us that everyone is part of a bigger entity. Every human living on this planet is represented here, integrated into one of the pieces. It’s both reassuring and quite vertiginous. We each belong to an all in space and time. Finally, it’s also a more intimate metaphysical experience. To find your country, count the strata and recognize yourself. You are there. The life already lived is below your stratum, and that which remains to be lived is above. Grasping the limitations of time and space in this way is a rather radical visual experience. My favorite is France, of course. When I look at it, I see my children, my parents, many of my friends. I see the dip of the Second World War and I see my fallen grandfather…”

SOTW Italy France Large

Italy, France

While the pandemic constitutes a turning point between the world before and the world after, State of the World appears as the D-Day of our time, allowing us to comprehend humanity in a single glance.


Credits Images @Mathieu Lehanneur :

1/ State of the World

2/ Nepal

3/ Bahrain, Switzerland, Ethiopia

4/ State of the World installation

5/ Equatorial Guinea, Colombia

6/ USA, Somalia

7/ Italy, France

8/ State of the world Workshop

9/ State of the world Installation


State of the World 

Mathieu Lehanneur
ArtBasel – DesignMiami | Basel, Suisse
Preview | 20 septembre 2021
Exhibition | 21 – 26 Septembre 2021
Collection of 140 sculptures designed from the age pyramids.
Solid black tinted aluminum, also available in natural finish.
Height 25 cm x Diameter 25 cm.
Price upon request