'Brilliantly simple and curiously serious': Martí Guixé

Following on from our article last week about Martín de Azúa and Gerard Moliné this is our second in a series of posts on Barcelona Designers who merit Treehugger's attention. Martí Guixé calls himself an ex-designer. This is not because he no longer pratices design, he is still one of Spain’s most prolific and creative minds, but more because design only partly describes what he does. His work involves anthropology, humour, gastronomy, typography, the human sciences, exact sciences, performance, and design. There is certainly no easy way to pigeon-hole this man. Guixé promotes himself as a creator of ideas rather than a creator of objects.

"In the end, objects are material, so they're difficult to carry. Objects weigh you down. They fix you in a place. Ideas are by far the most valuable commodity on the market. I'm in the business of creating something that has value - but that is completely intangible."

We can’t stick a label on Martí Guixé, but he does produce a lot and there’s no mistaking his work when you see it. Mostly known for his work with Camper, Guixé has designed the interiors for the majority of their shoe stores so far, as well as other projects, such as Camper’s Fast Food restaurant FoodBall (see our Fast Food is BallsTreehugger article).

Some of our favourites Guixés are:

Flamp: a glow in the dark lamp which, after you turn your lights out, will gradually fade allowing just enough light to prevent the usual stubbing of toes on bed posts.

Spam Tool Kids Kit: a wooden cooking utensil set for children that encourages safe and creative play in the kitchen.

Plant Me Pet: A small toy which has plant seeds for eyes, thereby provoking an emotional decision by the owner of whether to keep it as a ‘pet’, or bury it and gain a living plant.

The PVC shower curtain: This is a humorous approach to raising people’s awareness of the products they buy. The cheerfully styled graphics and text on the curtain details the harmful effects of PVC on our health and environment.

We cannot promote Marti Guixé as a full on Eco-designer in the traditional sense; using ‘green’ materials, conserving energy or recycling are not his first priority. Rather he sets out to challenge the consumer, makes us think and question the status quo. It is his ideas that are sustainable.

The challenging oppositions in Guixé’s work are what we find so interesting: an ex-designer who designs, innovative yet pragmatic, philosophical and anthropological, a man who produces ideas in the form of objects. The essence of Martí Guixé’s work is in the areas where these opposites meet. While most people struggle to sum up his work, he felt that one journalist’s description of his work was so appropriate that he has adopted it as his own.
"Brilliantly simple and curiously serious"
That’s just what I was trying to say!


research & images by Petz, written by Leonora