At the ADI-FAD Design Market I could see that we are surrounded by little known designers with great ideas. Of all the projects I could visit three of them caught my attention.
BOO IN BARCELONA
At first, I approached the Boo in Barcelona booth attracted by their minimalist design and the material used: aluminum. However, I got hooked on their production process. Miquel Tejero, Director, explained me that they work with anodized aluminum sheets, 100% recyclable, using a laser cutter. The sheets acquire volume by means of folds, taking many different forms.
Something I didn’t know was that aluminum has grain. In the pictures I took of the Boox, an aluminum box made using an only aluminium cut and folded sheet, it can be seen clearly. Aluminum is polished until the natural grain is visible, giving it a warm appearance.
More interesting is, however, the process by which color is applied. The aluminum is treated with an electrochemical process by which its pores are opened to introduce the colouring agent, being subsequently resealed. Thus, the color remains intact even if the product is exposed outdoors.
With Trigonos happened something similar to the case above. When, at first, Josep Maria Figuera showed me this game to create structures made with wooden sticks and blocks and pieces of cloth, I thought of a big wooden Lego with which children could build all kinds of structures.
However, one of the strengths of Trigonos is its plasticity. There are no rules or instructions. Only basic pieces that allow us to create any structure. To limit its use to a children game would be like being blind to its potential for a wide variety of uses.
In fact, the Trigonos’ booth was built with their own product and, as I found later, other exhibitors at the Design Market had used their sticks and blocks with the same goal.
Josep Maria also showed me a “plane” built with Trigonos. In principle, it could be seen as a toy, but what I saw was a formidable system for building prototypes. How many applications may it have for design schools and companies? Plasticity -adaptability capacity- is one of the most valuable qualities in design and, certainly, this “game” has this quality.
Denoe is a design study of handmade furniture. From all their products exhibited at the Design Market, Sisauu, a minimalist lamp, caught my attention. It simply consists of a bulb, a lampholder and a textile cable. And the cable is just what I’d like to highlight in this article.
Generally, designers focus only on the “product” that the customer wants to buy. For example, a laptop manufacturer focuses design on (obviously) the laptop because that’s what the customer wants. However, we forget that this laptop is accompanied by a charger. Although the buyer isn’t interested in the charger at all, this element is part of the final product. Apple knows this well and that’s why its product design approach is global.
In the case of lamps, there’s the same problem. All the effort devoted to the design of the lamp is spoiled when the cable is not taken into account, a totally unsightly element that we all try to hide unsuccessfully. The genius of Sisauu lies in the transformation of that scar into a decorative element, as elegant as the lamp itself.