A piece of furniture inspired by the last century joins the pixel universe once again. Surprisingly, this time the protagonist is black.
BD (Barcelona Design) has been creating furniture that unites art and design for almost half a century, prioritising quality, artisan manufacturing & limited series… So the collaboration with Cristian Zuzunaga seemed inevitable.
On the occasion of the launch of the 4th cabinet designed by Cristian for the Barcelona brand, we talked with him and Ramón Úbeda from BD about this unique piece of furniture inspired by the last century and which, strategically situated, looks like a work of art.
New BD Dreams All Black cabinet designed by Cristian Zuzunaga
Most of your proposals are an explosion of colour. Now the protagonist is black. Why?
The darkness teaches you what the light hides. The black background, unlike a black hole, instead of engulfing you wraps you, creating shapes as if they came from nowhere. For me it is a return to the origin.
I always produce my work by printing with black ink and if the result convinces me (and is essential), then I go to colour. I always work like this. Here I have stayed in the essence.
What inspired you to design it?
The first cabinet I made for BD! This design comes from a zoom of the pixels that I used in the first one, which has served as a template to discover clusters of pixels that I found randomly unique and interesting. It is a work born of another work.
What can you highlight from the creation process?
In this case it was relatively straightforward compared to the other 3 cabinets. As I was saying before, here I dedicated myself to finding out what shapes had been created by chance in the first cabinet and I wanted to give them prominence.
Now the micro has become macro. What went unnoticed now, with the black background, stands out, is reborn and has a new life.
It is the 4th cabinet that you design for BD, what does this add to the previous ones?
Represents the evolution of the pixel. It depends how you look at it, the pixel suggests different things to the onlooker and here it is presented in an innovative way even for me.
I am the first to be surprised by the result and the nuances that the exploration of the same element has acquired.
You collaborate with brands like Camper, Nani Marquina... What prompted you to collaborate with BD?
It all started when I met Ramón Úbeda, BD Art Director, and how well we connected. I not only collaborate with brands, but with the people who are part of them.
Ramón proposed that I customise a cabinet and that's where it all began ... I dreamt of the first design and from the beginning I had a very clear image of it. The other 3 have been the result of collaboration and a shared search to create something unique & novel.
Ramón Úbeda, BD Art Director
The cabinet is a type of storage furniture that fell into oblivion in the last century. What motivated you at BD to get it back?
It is a typology that allows us to experiment. As long as it is functional on the inside, we can work on the outside with total creative freedom. Also with the materials.
We have developed very diverse proposals from authors such as Jaime Hayon, Doshi Levien, the Campana brothers or the Mexican Joel Escalona.
Surely the most extreme is the one made by the Parisians Antoine + Manuel, who are a couple of graphic designers: it is called Tout va Bien and it could be a perfect example of the Decorative Arts of the 21st century.
What would you highlight about this cabinet?
We always try to make the cabinets reflect the personality of their author and I think that in Cristian's case we have also succeeded.
The first is called Dreams in reference to the dream that inspired his universe of pixels and colour. It is a theme which permeates throughout all of his work and a design application which for the first time was not textile.
The model we presented in 2015 had three versions, Colours, Black and White. We have made this new one based on Colours with the intention of making it more aesthetically contained. The coloured notes indicate where to tap for the doors to open.
Let's talk about its production and materials. What are the keys?
The base is a wooden structure that is lined with a 6 mm tempered glass on which Zuzunaga's work has been digitally printed.
They are one metre modules that can be added in compositions of two or three, although they can be more.
We have produced cabinets up to 6 metres in other models. In this case, the solution for the legs is very interesting, which are made of solid beech lacquered in black.
The BD catalogue is originally designed by Gaudí and Dalí. What must a creator have to be part of your catalogue?
Personality and a more or less accentuated artistic streak. BD was founded in 1972 with the intention of producing furniture and other objects with total creative freedom and a criterion that has turned out to be quite different from that usual in companies in the sector.
The founders and current owners, who come from architecture and not from the business world, oriented production from the beginning to cultivate beauty, in some cases over functionality, combining artisanal processes with industrial technologies, but moving away of mass manufacturing.
We are still the same.
What would you highlight from Cristian Zuzunaga's work?
His work borders the realms of art & design or vice versa...and it is something we identify with and feel connected to.
About Dreams All Black cabinet
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