Emotion is the special material that runs throughout the Catalan designer’s work and his new Remind and Soul chairs for PEDRALI are nothing if not in touch with their feelings.

"I like to give life to objects which in general are made of static material," explains Quitllet, "and through a movement, an idea, an effect, some magic, you can animate the material and make the object have soul. And that is what is important today"

Soul Man: Eugeni Quitllet is feeling it | News

"I like to give life to objects which in general are made of static material," explains Quitllet, "and through a movement, an idea, an effect, some magic, you can animate the material and make the object have soul. And that is what is important today"

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They have a word for it.

Or, rather, Eugeni Quitllet does. Disoñador. A neologistic portmanteau for “designer” and “dreamer”. You see, the Barcelona-based designer is on a mission to create into being objects that live beyond existing typologies and trends. Things that perform both a practical and a poetic function.

A graduate of the school of What’s The Point If It’s Just the Same As What’s Already Out There, Quitllet is discerning about the manufacturers he partners with. The prerequisites for him are passion, material and production expertise, an open mind and last, but not least, faith. His most recent collaboration – with leading Italian brand Pedrali – has borne rich creative fruit in the form of two new, resolutely sculptural chairs, Soul and Remind, both of which, beyond their utilitarian function, are rich in reference and affect.

Architonic caught up with Quitllet to talk sweet design-dreaming...

Visit Pedrali at the imm cologne in Hall 2.2, Stand A-003 and at the Maison&Objet Paris in Hall 6, Stand I2 J1

Eugeni Quitllet and Pedrali perform a meeting of contrasting materials with their new Soul armchair. An ergonomic polycarbonate seat unites with a lightness of touch and being a sensuously curved, solid ash-wood frame

Soul Man: Eugeni Quitllet is feeling it | News

Eugeni Quitllet and Pedrali perform a meeting of contrasting materials with their new Soul armchair. An ergonomic polycarbonate seat unites with a lightness of touch and being a sensuously curved, solid ash-wood frame

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Why did you choose to collaborate with Pedrali?

I like to work with people who are enthusiastic. Pedrali have the energy to open their minds and their know-how to new things. It’s almost an emotional approach to working. In addition, the company is also in a position where it can experiment with different materials at the same time. It’s been working with wood for a long time and plastics, too. They have excellent know-how when it comes to production and using technology. And that was something very important for these two new chairs.

I liked the way Pedrali were very open to finding a way of talking about the future. Also of the past. And that’s how the Soul chair became a tribute to the handcraft of the past – wooden legs and arms – and to the latest technology of modern production processes – the chair’s transparent seat element. Both parts of the chair are involved in a collaboration with each other. For me that’s soul.

"The Soul chair is like a human body. It’s got an opaque wooden structure that holds the object, but the seat, which provides the function, is invisible. It’s like the soul. If you don’t animate the material with the soul, it can’t be alive"

Soul Man: Eugeni Quitllet is feeling it | News

"The Soul chair is like a human body. It’s got an opaque wooden structure that holds the object, but the seat, which provides the function, is invisible. It’s like the soul. If you don’t animate the material with the soul, it can’t be alive"

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So it also has a poetic dimension to it?

Well, we’ll see. I hope something magic happens. For me, this is what gives meaning to still do things today – to bring together not only our heart and mind, but also our soul. The Soul chair is like a human body. It’s got an opaque wooden structure which holds the object, but the part that provides the function – which is the seat – is invisible. It’s like the soul. If you don’t animate the material with the soul, it can’t be alive. I like to give life to objects which in general are made of static material and through a movement, an idea, an effect, some magic, you can animate the material and make the object have soul. And that is what is important today.

And the Remind chair?

Well, it is the same with Remind. It’s a similar exercise done in a completely different way. And we call it Remind because in Latin “remind”, or “recordor”, means go back to the heart. So when you remember something or somebody, it’s not that it comes back to your mind, but goes back to your heart. And you feel that emotion physically.

And what the Remind chair reminds us of in terms of its form is the tradition of bentwood furniture...

Yes. In a very organic way, where all the parts are connected and they flow one from another. It is contemporary but also has this recollection of the past. An historic work. It reminds you of something that you’ve perhaps never seen before…

Reminiscent in its form of traditional bentwood furniture, Quitllet's new Remind chair is in actuality a single-injection polypropylene monobloc, light and with a breathable texture

Soul Man: Eugeni Quitllet is feeling it | News

Reminiscent in its form of traditional bentwood furniture, Quitllet's new Remind chair is in actuality a single-injection polypropylene monobloc, light and with a breathable texture

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Exactly. Almost like a collective memory, or fantasy. But something that the user personally may never have encountered before.

It looks like it’s always been there but, of course, it’s not existed until now.

What did you learn in the process of working with Pedrali on these chairs? Pedrali are obviously leaders in innovation-led production technology…

Every project I do with any producer or partner gives me a new experience. It’s always a zero-starting process. With creativity, you need to start from zero and invent new ideas and fantasies. What experience does is to give you the opportunity of making a dream possible. You need the same amount of energy on both the designer’s side and the manufacturer’s – and you both need to believe – to get to this level.

That’s what I love about Pedrali. They really believed from the start that we could do it. Soul is the first chair of its kind ever. And for Remind, it was the first time for them that they injected a monobloc of this complexity. So we really worked very hard to get to this level.

It’s a partnership. Each partner is pushing the other to be the best that they can be.

If you don’t make a difference with a real effort to invent then there is no point in doing what we do.

Quitllet on the Pedrali's Remind chair: "All the parts are connected and flow one from another. It is contemporary but also has this recollection of the past. An historic work. It reminds you of something that you’ve perhaps never seen before"

Soul Man: Eugeni Quitllet is feeling it | News

Quitllet on the Pedrali's Remind chair: "All the parts are connected and flow one from another. It is contemporary but also has this recollection of the past. An historic work. It reminds you of something that you’ve perhaps never seen before"

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Precisely. Also in environmental terms, there’s no justification to do something that just adds to the status quo. Does this mean your creative process is different with every project?

Well, it’s not completely different in the sense that my signature is more a way of thinking than just a shape which you repeat. I like to invent something that didn’t exist before. I like to create things that are not evident to do and that have this emotive and inventive part. But at the end there is a signature in the sensitivity and the sensuality of the object, in a certain beauty because this magic has to be beautiful. For me everything has to be beautiful.



The Soul chair has received the Special Mention of the German Design Award 2019 in the Excellent Product Design Furniture category.


Visit Pedrali at the imm Cologne in Hall 2.2, Stand A-003 and at the Maison&Objet Paris in Hall 6, Stand I2 J1


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