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ACTIU Berbegal y Formas, S.A.
Product design turned into art

Product design turned into art

JANUARY 2019 | 3 minutes

There are many ways to interpret architecture or design. It could be through photography, models or sketches. But it is rarely done through illustration. Federico Babina has become internationally renowned for doing just that: presenting a vision of architecture and design based on illustrations which are full of colour, geometry and beauty.

Now, this Italian illustrator based in Barcelona has concluded his last collaboration with Actiu, following a proposal by Diario Design to reinterpret our latest developments presented at Orgatec, managing to create six authentic works of art from six products.

Figuratively breaking down six products into different geometric shapes, volumes, textures and soft and warm tones to turn them into canvases, making it difficult to interpret the product. Office Chairsheight adjustable tablessoft seating products and even Karbon, the new carbon fibre chair, were the models of the designer's latest work, famous for his illustrations which are always related to the creativity of architecture, design and film.  

In fact, his style has gained a foothold in social imaginary thanks to his passion for architecture – with the series Archi_Portrait, in which he draws portraits of the most famous architects from sketches of his projects-, art –in a series such as Archist which imagines what the houses of artists such as Dalí and Miró would look like-, his trips –with Inkonic City, illustrations capable of making us travel around the world- or his interpretation/homage of the most famous film directors in Directportrait.

Recently, even, he has been interested in illustrating concepts such as sexism, racism or terrorism in his new collection of illustrations called Archiright.

As explained by Babina in the digital magazine Graffica: “Design is the first way to give shape and body to a project. In this sense, drawing and illustration are one of the ways for me to share and photograph thoughts, feelings and emotions”.

Under that premise, he has reinterpreted some of our office furniture, breaking down their design into parts that abstractly and with the "Babina" personal style, leave us with us a broken-down product. Because, as pointed out in the Diario Design article, there is no single way to perceive design, there are hundreds of them.

In this way, the organic shapes of Karbon become a canvas of abstract geometries.

Whass is broken down into parts to show the versatility of a chair capable of becoming hundreds of them.

Talent leads to chaotic geometries to give rise to a sequence of subjective concepts which are full of colour and textures.

Noom is decontextualized and becomes a set of varied geometric shapes in which blue and grey transmit calmness.

Trim is perhaps the most recognizable thanks to the decomposition of the chair in its primary forms.

In its case, Power shows reinterpreted square shapes that, giving us a glimpse of a table, allows a subjective game of very evocative contrasts.

A collaboration that shows how the way we approach what we see changes everything. How a design can become art. And vice versa.