Interview with Fran Silvestre, designer of the BLAU collection

Fran Silvestre Fran Silvestre

In his first collaboration with GANDIABLASCO the Valencia born architect Fran Silvestre has created a light and fluid outdoor furniture collection, BLAU. The straight lines and curves of each of the pieces are brought together in a soldered aluminium structure and micro-perforated panels that change in appearance depending on the angle they are viewed.

How did you first meet GANDIABLASCO and its President and Creative Director José Gandía-Blasco?

The collaboration with GANDIABLASCO came about because of having similar values in terms of design and the use of outdoor furniture in our architectural projects. From the very beginning there was a great affinity with its creative director.

Speaking as a trained architect how did the idea of designing an outdoor furniture collection appeal to you?

It was a positive experience, one that we thought was very similar to designing an architectural project but working at a different scale.

Is the creative process similar or did you seek inspiration in another way?

The creative process is similar in both architecture and designing a product.

What are the main features of the collection? What is its most innovative aspect?

It’s a collection exclusively constructed using aluminium where we have observed an existing duality between the load bearing structure using rectilinear elements while the seats present a geometric curve that recalls the outdoor seating made using textiles. The use of perforated metal panels allows the light to pass through the piece making it almost transparent and preventing water from gathering on the horizontal surfaces.

How did the name BLAU come about?

BLAU comes form the Mediterranean, in our region it means blue. Blue as a common denominator around the Mediterranean, GANDIABLASCO and the architectural studio.

What architectural elements can be found in the BLAU collection?

The geometries featured and the constructive criteria it’s made with could well be those of an architectural project.

Were you inspired by any building or architectural project when creating this collection?

We look for inspiration in things that are efficient in a beautiful way, and that’s what we tried to do with this collection.

You are from Valencia, just like the GANDIABLASCO company. Do you think that your Mediterranean roots influence your work? And if so how?

The influence is very evident. When we build around the Mediterranean region we consider the continuity between the inside and the outside, the use of light as a construction material, although we are also interested in seeing how places far removed from the sea such as Russia say, where the climate changes the design parameters in comparison to the Mediterranean.

What is your favourite part of the creative process?

All of it, but above all the process of making prototypes and thinking with my hands. It’s also very satisfying to see a product designed by us used in a space.