BUIT, by Mayice Studio for GANDIABLASCO, at the Madrid Design Festival
February 22, 2021 | Collections / Events
The Fernán Gómez Centro Cultural de la Villa is hosting, up until March 14th, the group exhibition “Madrid Design Portrait”. Twenty names gathered in order to take a family portrait of the main actors of design in the capital of Spain: from product design to graphic design, through fashion, illustration or interior design, among other fields.
Architects Marta Alonso Yebra and Imanol Calderón Elósegui, founders of Mayice Studio, could not miss this representation of Madrid’s effervescent creative industry. Paying tribute to the unique fusion of craftsmanship and technology Made in Spain, they have landed in the show with three pieces of functional design and great ornamental, almost sculptural, strength.
Created especially for Rossana Orlandi‘s RO Summer Gallery 2020 at Promenade du Port (Porto Cervo, Sardeña), a special edition of BUIT attracts all eyes. BUIT, the first collaboration between Mayice Studio and GANDIABLASCO, has been conceived from an ultra-light 5745 aluminum mesh that, when curved and folded, not only gives rise to different ways of sitting but also generates spaces. Moreover, thanks to the properties of its structure, it is easy to combine and integrate into all types of environments, whether indoors or outdoors. BUIT has received recognition from international awards such as the Archiproducts Design Awards (in the outdoor category) and Interior Design Magazine‘s NYCxDESIGN Awards (in the Outdoor Seating category).
Marta and Imanol answer our questions about their visit to the Madrid Design Festival and we talk about tradition and avant-garde, ethereal beauty and objects with soul.
You have been selected as one of the representatives of local creative talent alongside great firms and designers such as Kike Keller, Izaskun Chinchilla, Álvaro Catalán de Ocón, Lucas Muñoz, Mad Lab and Patricia Bustos, among others. How would you diagnose the current state of design in Madrid?
The designers and creators in Madrid are living one of its best moments. Many of the designers of Madrid Design Portrait, which is also a digital project, have had in recent years a great international recognition with valuable awards such as the Frame Awards in Holland, the Archiproducts in Milan, the EDIDA of ELLE Decor, the awards of AD magazine, and the Best of the Year and NYCxDESIGN Awards, both in New York, to name a few.
The reasons why these creatives are in Madrid at the moment are unknown to us, but if we speak in first person, for us Madrid is a city with a very beautiful light, a great history of crossing cultures, great cultural content and variety. It is a city that has given us unforgettable moments and experiences.
In the fourth edition of the festival, GANDIABLASCO has been part, together with you, of this panorama of design that is “Madrid Design Portrait”. Why did you think BUIT fit in the project?
Our idea for this exhibition led us to think about what our portrait would be. So, we chose these three pieces and built an atmosphere in which all were in dialogue with the same importance: BUIT designed for GANDIABLASCO, ANELLO and DUNE, designed for LZF. The three pieces are full of air and lightness and we realized that they unconsciously represented who we are, as well as GANDIABLASCO and LZF. These three creatures are presented on a platform raised in neutral color, building a dialogue and conveying the lightness and honesty of each design.
When we designed BUIT for GANDIABLASCO we wanted to represent a gesture that summarizes the evolution experienced during a history that, in 2021, reaches its 80th anniversary: how the company started working with textiles and went on to create spaces for outdoors and indoors. The aluminum mesh represents a rug that comes apart to build a sofa, a table, a space. Woven into the aluminum mesh is a very special textile produced by Kvadrat-Febrik. For us, this piece represents the commitment to innovation throughout GANDIABLASCO’s history as well as a dialogue between craftsmanship and technology.
The atmosphere in which BUIT is exhibited breathes craftsmanship and avant-garde, and you have described it as a “dialogue between ethereal pieces”. How can aluminum –which we normally associate with durability and resistance– be transformed into something ethereal?
We find aluminum a fascinating material because of its natural color, lightness, durability and strength. It is a sophisticated, delicate and elegant material, depending on how it is treated.
When we designed BUIT, we wanted to treat aluminum in a different way than usual, avoiding prefabricated profiles and pushing the material to its limits in terms of thickness and quantity. By means of the shape, the full and empty spaces, and the play of light and shadow, we managed to make the piece visually very light.
It is said that your work reflects the essence and history of materials. The aluminum of BUIT shares the stage with the prominence of glass in two luminaires that bear your signature: ANELLO and DUNE, for LZF Lamps, National Design Award 2020. What is it that makes an object or a material able to convey its soul?
When we work with materials, we like to understand them from the moment they are raw material until they are transformed, from the manipulation of the craftsman or machine to the final result. It is a learning process that helps us to understand and get to the essence of the material and, often, take it to the extreme of its possibilities.
In particular, for us the glass has a soul, because when you see a piece through the sun, you can appreciate the process it has undergone, from temperature changes to its tensions, to the manipulations of the craftsman. Seeing the manufacturing process with fire is very magical and special. We really like to see beyond the material.
Designs like BUIT have a reflective, artistic and immaterial dimension. But, at the same time, they are surprising for their functionality and tangibility. In fact, BUIT is extremely versatile and modular. What is more important for you when it comes to a new design?
For us, both are fundamental. There has to be thought and reflective but it also has to be functional. We learned this after conversations with Rossana Orlandi. She told us: “a piece has to attract attention but it has to be necessarily functional because it has to be sold”. She is absolutely right.
So, we try to design pieces that convey some emotions, but also that you can enjoy using.
BUIT has just landed on the pages of our new catalogue, inspired by the connection between indoors and outdoors. BUIT crystallizes this connection by being able to braid, in its metal mesh, the textile rope developed by Kvadrat-Febrik. From the cold of aluminum to the warmth of the textile, which it borrows from the interior rooms to transfer it to the outdoors. Does it make sense to continue talking about interiors and exteriors as antagonistic spaces?
We believe that in good architecture, whether traditional or modern, there is always a dialogue between exterior and interior.
We don’t like borders: why can’t an outdoor piece of furniture be used indoors, or why can’t an indoor piece of furniture be used outdoors? There is an answer to the latter, because of the material or its treatment. But, conceptually, an outdoor chair or sofa can fit perfectly indoors, why not.
What do you value most in an outdoor environment?
We value nature and respect for the environment.
When designing an object or a house or when making decisions in day-to-day work… we believe that any action has to respect and adapt as well as possible to the environment, both in terms of visual and environmental impact.
What other projects are you currently involved in?
We have been working for a year now for the Silk Embroidery Museum in Suzhou, China.
They contacted us because they wanted to make contemporary design with their embroidery technique. We are finishing it right now and it is a very enriching experience creatively, personally and through the exchange of cultures. We have not been able to travel yet due to the current situation but they are showing us the progress and we are surprised by the result. It is the only silk embroidery workshop in the world working for the Emperor of Japan.
The collections will be called “The Revolution of Nature” and SILK.
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