28 agosto 2008


El proximo 11 de septiembre se inaugura la exposición "jovenes arquitectos de españa" en arquerias de nuevos ministerios (por fin). Este es el embalaje de la maqueta de zubimusu:

la hemos despedido con pañuelos y lagrimas... es su primer viaje sóla.

Les hemos dicho a los señores que se la llevaron que es MUY FRAGIL (por prevenir) aunque sabemos que es fuerte, élla está hecha de hierro!

esta es su última foto:

13 agosto 2008

estudio Laia en ADC (Art Directors Club)

We interviewed ADC Design Sphere winner Santos Bregaña for the summer newsletter. He and partner Anne Ibañez Guridi are the giant forks (to be explained) that make up Laia, a design studio based in Basque Country. A ten-year collaboration between Laia and Mugaritz, a restaurant of the Basque region, yielded a remarkable, successful, sustained and award winning design program. Santos spoke with us about his Basque roots, the relationship with his client, the work done for the Guggenheim Bilbao Restaurant, revealed his favorite dish, while explaining how a small studio like Laia wowed the ADC's Design Sphere jury.

This year Marc Gobé, ADC Design Sphere jury chair and President and Editor of Emotional Branding LLC, and his jury elevated Laia's work for Mugaritz, along with TAXI Canada's work for Telus, as outstanding in this new category that honors sustained programs of design innovation for clients by a single design firm. Interviewed by Regan Murphy,

ADC: Tell us about Laia and how it got started.

SB: Laia emerges from a symbiotic relationship between two very different designers. Anne possesses a magical gift, her very own x-ray machine, which allows her to see what others cannot. I'm more of an unorthodox academic who experiences regular epiphanies. Our process combines endless conversations, Anne's vision, and my insights from which books to objects are created. We are more interested in the process (phenomenon) than the result (object).

"Laia" is the word for a traditional Basque agricultural tool resembling a giant fork that was used in pairs to work the land without the aid of a plow. The studio's name recalls the poetic notion of collective work (traditionally done by rows of men and women using laias simultaneously) and conjures up visions of the harvest. We choose to interpret this gesture as a compromise between the traditional (still very important in the Basque Country) and globalized modernity.

ADC: You began working with Mugaritz since before the inception of the restaurant. What's it like to have such a close relationship with your client?

SB: When we met Andoni Luis Aduriz, the restaurant's chef, Mugaritz was still a small work village. Since then we've become friends with Andoni, having both fruitful and difficult times. Now he is highly regarded and considered one of the best cooks in the world - not surprisingly he acquired a new level of public notoriety. (Everyone wants to be his friend.)
Our professional relationship has worked because of the following ingredients: similar aspirations, hours and hours of conversations, hard work, commitment, and a deep trust in each other's work. Andoni demands no rebellion and that one must give oneself over to an hour and a half of his gastronomical prowess while at the restaurant. Over the years we requested that he do the same with Laia and the result has been good. However, collaboration of this type requires ground rules and common goals be established in advance.

ADC: The identity and design for Mugaritz were cohesively executed while simultaneously retaining the organic and natural essence within a relatively small budget. What was the most unexpected or difficult part of the journey?
SB: A restaurant often reflects daily life in society: the paradise of the dining area contrasted with the hell of the kitchen. Mugaritz's "engine room" takes you to unexpected places of pleasure and features many apprentices, often attached to great chefs. They are the small anonymous heroes, who through their quiet work make possible the drama, the comedy, the epic and, sometimes, the tragedy that happens while dining at restaurants.
The most difficult part of this trip has been the hidden part of the iceberg; the hours and hours, days, weeks, months and years that we have invested to progress projects, especially Mugaritz.
At Laia there are only two designers without apprentices. We're forced to control all the work. We have dedicated ourselves to the work and at this moment we are bit exhausted. I have to clarify; Mugaritz was a dangerous bet from the beginning. Restaurants are notoriously difficult to make profitable. From the outset we had to work with the constraints of a small budget. Surprisingly, the limitations caused us to be more creative, ultimately delivering concepts and objects that would not have morphed as they might with deeper pockets.

ADC: Mugaritz's chef, Andoni Luis Aduriz, 36, is quite young with the average on the staff being 28. As every element seems to have been considered works for this project, did the age of the staff figure in?

SB: It is true that Mugaritz's staff is young. Without a doubt, youth works in our favor. Young people are generally more malleable and have an easier time with new things. Nevertheless in Euskal Herria (Basque country), tradition is as heavy as a stone slab. Euskal Herria has always seemed like a great grandmother; always careful that no one escapes established rituals and scolding if one is late. But for us, this has been one of the greatest keys of success: our designs refer to these traditional roots, while being novel and innovative at the same time.
For example, we reintroduced "Basque Ball", a local traditional game for use in Mugaritz's merchandising. It is a beautiful object that relates to the region's past, presented in a simple cardboard box with a "trompe l'oeil" image that mimics an ancient façade.
A plate by Laia

ADC: Now that your studio has designed Mugaritz's name, logos, website, porcelain dishes, cookbooks, merchandise, centerpieces, literally everything. What's next?

SB: We are pausing and taking a deep breath to reflect. We are assembling new ideas and putting them into a tenth anniversary book about Mugaritz. Receiving the ADC Design Sphere has been very exciting, encouraging us to tell the story of the efforts that have been made for the restaurant, from graphic design, to objects, to interior design, and of course, the thought process. We are already working towards creating a new gastronomical establishment for Andoni in the Spanish city of Saragossa. The new restaurant will be named "Lanbroa," or "fog" in Euskera. This will be a completely different type of place, in which we will only approach the nominative and graphic brief.
The future for Laia is to be determined. There are pending exhibitions in Capri, Valencia and London. We have nearly fifty projects on our list. New collections of porcelain, books, newspapers, the design for a keyboard and mouse, a book in the "film noir style" for children too many things! Who knows? Perhaps it is time to drop everything and turn to gardening.

ADC: Laia also designed the image campaign of the Guggenheim Bilbao Restaurant. What was that like?
SB: In the case of the images and graphics for the Guggenheim Bilbao Restaurant, the process was adapted to the strong personality of the place. We were more limited creatively than with Mugaritz, but in exchange, we were able to work in a globally recognized location and an icon of 21st century architecture. We designed books, signage and, of course, the menus. The restaurant's promising young chef, Josean Martinez Alija, has forged new directions and has the talent to become one of Europe's foremost cooks. Everyone who travels to Bilbao should visit the Guggenheim Restaurant (Not to mention the space that great architect Frank Gehry designed for this "fast food" restaurant)

ADC: What's your favorite dish at Mugaritz?
SB: This is the most difficult question to answer. There are some dishes that should be reserved solely for the Gods. I remember a memorable dish of grilled scallop foie-gras with a seaweed broth over rice. From a purely gastronomical perspective it is three simple ingredients with scallops grilled to perfection elevated by unusual flavors - but the result is perfection!

ADC: And now, your three favorite...

Places you've been:

New York
The Old Loarre Castle
A shady corner in Uitzi Navarra (a little village of the Basque country)


Places you want to go:

To the lost places of my city
To the house Tristan Tzara lived in Paris


White wine "La Pena"
Single Malt "Lagavulin"
Sidra "Mendiola