Lisbon 2016 – ArchiPanic met French designer Emmanuel Babled who inaugurated his Lisbon atelier featuring some of his acclaimed designs forged by international collaborations in France and Italy as well.
RELATED STORIES: Discover more Portuguese architecture and design…
You can reach Babled Design‘s new atelier walking down Rua da Madalena, in the heart of the Portuguese capital. On show some of his prominent collections designed for brands like Baccarat, Rosenthal and Bvlgari, but also exclusive limited editions in Murano glass, Carrara marble and Sicilian lava stone.
Which of the products on display has a particular personal meaning to you?
Emanuel Babled: “I would say the Etna table project. Its concept is based on the use of lava stone from the eponymous volcano. Its refined glazing is born from the culture of the majolica”.
“This project reveals a unique and fascinating technique I discovered during a trip in Sicily where I met Made A Mano local family company. Now, after 2 years of research and development we are expanding the production of unique pieces, offering also a very rich tool to interior decorators”.
“The Pyros project is quite significant as well because of the involvement I had with Murano glass masters since 1992. Glass involves a very personal relation that goes over professional matters”.
“On a certain way, Pyros represents my freedom of interpretation of a strong tradition”. The collection develops also traditional typologies and concepts of beauty by using the peculiarity of the hand blown coloured glass.
As an international designer how France, Italy and Portugal shaped your designs? How these different European cultures “designed” you?
France was my teenager time. I feel that’s been a chance to live the 70’ and till 85’ in a country as large and central as France with this history of revolution and social democracy, modernity and Europeism.
Italy has been the casting of my design culture and handcraft interest… As well as the roots of my design approach of today. Portugal is a new experience. Here I feel the potentiality of a small country that is both original and geopolitically diverse from central Europe. I love the sense of authenticity you get in the local culture.
How about Lisbon and Portugal now?
“I fell in love with Portugal on holiday. Of Lisbon I admire the culture and landscape as well as its unique, resilient, attentive and careful imprint in human relations”.
“Portugal is a peaceful country, no struggling on social or racial tension. It seems it is living on a different time set than other European capitals. There is a laid back attitude that makes it more ‘cozy’ to live in. Here you don’t feel people struggling for their ambitions as I remember elsewhere”.
You have a very human-based approach to cultures and places. How about digital technologies? Do they enhance or spoil the design/craft process?
“There is no contradiction between them. Digital can help craft as technology helps everyone of us on millions of tasks”.
“On a first look they don’t seem so compatible. Dive in it and you’ll find new paths and solutions. In my studio we use a lot of digital technology. When we work with craft project we use digital technologies to define models, molds, forms, millings, complex calculations made by algorithm… These many aspects influence sensibly the final result. And bring new and innovative solutions”.
All photos: courtesy of Babled Design.