Achodoso says “Yes” to Faberin
by Vicente C.
With today’s post, we are opening our section ‘faber-encounter’ in which we will bring you designers, artisans (makers) and lovers of unique style furniture.
On this particular occasion, we have the opportunity to talk to two young product designers who with effort and talent are making their way into this exciting and not easy world of design.
And of course, the most important thing; they have agreed to share their experience with all of you.
One of the things we like most about Faberin is putting a face to the creatives behind the designs and knowing their stories. Stories that always have anecdotes that are at least curious.
So… you want to know who’s behind designs like these?
Here we go:
We present Javier Gutierrez Asensio and Pedro Boj Perez, the two Spanish designers who make up the design studio Achodoso.
We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a face-to-face meeting with these professionals at the Espinardo campus technology park. They have just landed, after coming from one of the most important design fairs in the world: the Salone Satellite in Milan, where they presented their most recent collection, Simply, characterized by the neatness and minimalism that has already on other occasions made them win awards as the first place in the Consentino Design Challenge of 2013 and also the first prize in the CevisamaLab of 2014.
And that’s not all.
They have even been mentioned in one of the most important publications in this area, Designboom, where they promote their “Wall Hook“; an original coat rack that combines metal and wood.
With them we talked about what an artist is, what it takes to exhibit your work in a salon like Milan, what influences them when it comes to creating… and design, of course.
Until now our contact with them had been through email and some web conferences so this was a very special occasion, as we were going to meet with the members of a design studio that sees in Faberin an opportunity to market their designs with a network of skilled craftsmen or makers to manufacture their designs and reach customers worldwide.
And Achodoso pronounced the magic words:”Yes, I want”
When we told them about Faberin, they didn’t hesitate to join the international network of designers, which makes us very happy and we want to thank them for their trust. Soon we will find some projects of their own exclusively for Faberin.
We leave you with the chat we had together. We hope they inspire you as much as they did with us.
Javier y Pedro
What vision of the artist do you have? do you consider yourselves artists?
Pedro: I don’t consider myself an artist, I consider myself more of a creative person who gives a solution to problems that arise when designing.
Javier: Yes, a creator of things… a designator, perhaps.
Perhaps the concept of artist can be taken as something extravagant.
Javier: It’s not payable (laughs).
There are companies that use the designer as a tool that do not show to the consumer and there are companies that use it as a tool and also promote it, because they know that people “buy” the designer as well.
It’s curious how the concept of the designer seems to have changed once you see what he really does; create something useful or novel thinking about the consumer. Do you think that this idea about the designer has evolved and that, for example, an artist was previously thought of as someone who designs for himself independently of the user?
Pedro: Actually, I don’t think so. The designer designs based on the needs of a client; you always design with someone in mind who can use that object. If it can’t be used, it makes no sense.
What do you think about the fact that on many occasions it seems that the face behind the brand is that of the owner or CEO instead of giving more weight to the designers?
Javier: In the end it’s a combination of everything. The president or owner makes decisions and does his part. There are companies, for example, where you don’t know who the president is, but you do know who the designers are. Ikea, for example, is a company in which there will surely be people who know its president, but the designers appear in the same catalog. There are small companies, such as Omelette-Ed publishing house, that give a lot of importance to their designers and I don’t think people know who runs it.
Pedro: There are companies that use the designer as a tool that do not show to the consumer and there are companies that use it as a tool and also promote it, because they know that people “buy” the designer as well.
Can you say that the designer is part of the brand?
Pedro: Yes. In those cases, yes. The brand rests on the designer and the designer rests on the brand.
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You’ve been to the Salone Satellite in Milan. What requirements does a person need to be able to exhibit in such a hall? Do you have to have a certain experience?
Pedro: No, it’s not necessary.
Javier: You have to send a project. This project is evaluated by a jury every year that approves it or not.
What is the approximate size of the salon? Do many designers attend?
Pedro: There were 110 design studios this year. Some were individual designers and some were teams. In total there could be a thousand designers, all selected by a specialized jury. This year, which was the second time we participated, we didn’t have to submit a project. We only had to show some sketches or renders for the catalogue they make and an internal contest. They don’t ask us for the project in this case because if you have already been selected in the first year, let’s say that they have the confidence to know that you’re going to deliver. Of course, if you don’t present a good design when you arrive, they can remove it.
Milan’s visibility is brutal. I’d say there’s no fair in the world like that.
Pedro: Milan is a gateway to the world.
Javier: Yeah, that’s great.
The relationship with the other fellow workers there we suppose is good, right?
Javier: Yes, good. This past year we were several Spaniards. In the end you get to know several people, but the goal there is your business and to show your product. It’s true that when the day is over, you are going to have a drink with the people there, but the purpose is always business. Besides, you don’t have time either, because the fair starts at nine o’ clock in the morning and ends at seven o’ clock in the afternoon.
Pedro: It lasts seven days, in fact.
That’s socially, but professionally, when it comes to making contacts, I suppose it’s another matter.
Pedro: Yes, there are many of them. Many more than you can do in Valencia or other smaller fairs, but in the end the result is practically the same. Our customer at the end is the same one who will be exhibiting there; the brands of furniture and accessories for the home. And they go with the idea of selling in their stands, with their commercial team, they don’t go with the notion of buying a design. There will be some manufacturers who will stop by to see if there is something they like, but they are the minority.
Javier: Yes, in the end it’s more press. It is also true that contacts with manufacturers are quite a lot of work.
Pedro: You get contacts, but it’s hard to keep that customer going after the show.
Javier: There’s a lot of competition.
Pedro: At the fair there, the client has to see it very clearly so that something can emerge. The work comes later; send information, be attentive to that client, go to visit him… etc. But of course, if you go to an international fair where the contacts are from the United States, Japan, China… it is more complicated to manage.
But in the end it’s something I like; the fact that they ask you for something and know how to put it on a piece of paper, take the paper to the computer, take a volume out of the computer and think “Shit, from the first idea to the end…”. That ride is so cool.
Before getting down to business with the project, did you have any idea that you would want to embark on something like this or just jumped into the adventure?
Pedro: I had always been convinced that I wanted to study this and that when I finished I wanted to set up a product design studio. I talked it over with Javi and he saw it too, so…
How much does your vision during your studies change when you finish them? Are these reasons kept alive for which you decide to dedicate yourself to this field?
Pedro: In my case, yes, because I was in a situation where I wanted to undertake projects different from what I saw in the furniture and habitat sector, but I didn’t have the training to carry it out as a professional. And that’s how I started studying and now I still think the same thing. I still want to give different solutions to things that already exist or that are emerging, create new habits in the consumer… etc.
Javier: I’m the same. Before I started studying I always knew what I wanted, even though I was a little lost. I think I’m still the same, in fact (laughs). But in the end it’s something I like; the fact that they ask you for something and know how to put it on a piece of paper, take the paper to the computer, take a volume out of the computer and think “Shit, from the first idea to the end…”. That ride is so cool. And more knowing that you have a client behind you and that there will be people who will use it… if the result is good, of course (laughs).
Pedro: The materialization of ideas, seeing how the idea grows and an object emerges that captures what you wanted, gives the function you wanted to give it and solves the problem that the client had.
Javier: I draw more now than when I was studying, surely. It’s like a habit. Sometimes I tell Pedro; if I had to count on the clock for the hours I sit down to draw, there would be no client who would pay for the hours I make him (laughs).
There are designers who say that when it comes to getting to work or getting inspired, they take references from sites that may be foreign to the world of design itself, such as cinema or music, does the same thing happen to you?
Pedro: I’d say Javi does. In my case, I couldn’t give you examples of this kind because I haven’t sucked the artistic vein of art, of music so much. My branch is more industrial. I’d rather have the idea and before I draw it, I’ll take two pieces of wood or two pieces of iron and start to assemble it.
Javier: No. To be influenced by me, is that in the end everything influences you; what you hear, what you eat… etc. I like graffiti very much, I like different types of music… but then I don’t associate it with designing.
Pedro: I think that your style of drawing when it comes to making designs is closely linked to rap, hip-hop, skateboarding, graffiti…
Javier: Yes, well, but only because you know me. I don’t see it myself.
Pedro: You don’t realize it. But from an outsider point of view, you can see it.
Personally, I think that when you get carried away and the thing flows, it all comes out. I think the funny thing about all this is that your work and all that you carry inside come together and give the result in a natural way.
Javier: Yes, that’s why I was telling you that everything influences you; the people you work with, the environment… etc. In the end, it’s clear that the more things you know and like, the better you’ll do. The problem I have is that at first I’m a bit closed and it’s hard for me to open up to a new kind of music, for example. But when I open up to the new one, I’m gonna squeeze it to the max. And the same with art;Mayble i’lll explore some artistic movement because i have to investigate it and it becomes one more influence.
And in the case of designers who inspire or like you most, who do you have as a reference?
Pedro: I like Benjamin Hubert very much. He makes a very refined design and is always using new materials in everyday objects.
Javier: I have a lot, for example, a studio that we have nearby is called Mut. Young people who are very fresh and what they do is very beautiful. Maybe I like it so much because I want to become something like that, or something.
If you had to mark a before and after in your path, what would it be?
Javier: Well, I think it was about a week ago. (laughs)
Pedro: Yes, because we were at a point where we started to set up our own business, no longer a business, but a job. We started out in a somewhat different way from how a normal business is set up and from 2015 until now we have been realizing that perhaps we should have given importance to other factors and here they are guiding and advising us.
Javier: It’s also about the place, it’s not just about teaching us how to create a business. The place has changed us; the fact that we are here right now, that we meet a girl who is doing a footwear company, that in the coworking class someone comes who knows about computer science to explain us something… etc. The fact that they teach you how to start and run a business is great, but the important thing here is the relationship with others.
Pedro: The environment is important, but I also give importance to the fact that we are finding ways to make money and make a living from it.
Javier: Yes, although we had clients when we arrived here.
Pedro: That’s true, but we had taken a different approach. It all came as a result of coming back from Milan and changing the way things worked so that instead of exposing ourselves, we would go straight to the customers and show them what we were doing. And of course, to face customers we need what we are learning here, in an environment that is truly ideal for what we want. In fact, we have established more contacts and links in a week than in the past years.
For me, the workplace is a key factor in the development of the project.
Pedro: You were already with us in the studio we had, the fact is that we were a little isolated there, but here you have people around you who want to do things, you can show them designs… etc.
Javier: Sure. You can be apart, but with a team of ten, fifteen people and that’s where ideas come from. With two people it is very difficult.
What do you think of Faberin?
Pedro: We find it interesting. The problem that you solve in terms of uniting craftsmen and manufacturers with designers is something that came up to us from the beginning. Having a product and having to kick your ass on the Internet, the street and the industrial areas to get whoever makes your design is something you will be able to do more easily. Also the issue of the final customer asking to buy a design and there are manufacturers in several parts of the world who are willing to do it. Breaking that logistical barrier of just manufacturing in Spain… It’s a good idea.
We finished the interview with a smile from ear to ear and the promise that soon they will have an exclusive product to add to the Faberin catalogue. It is rumored to be a small object, which can be used on a regular basis. Javier, in fact, was already thinking about it immediately. One thing you can be sure of; soon we will be able to enjoy the most “Faber” version of the designs of this tandem Murcia.
Words by Vicente C.