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Designer of the Year according to Maison et Objet

In 2016 Maison et Objet Paris honours two designers that closely fit the profiles of their two tradeshows. One of them is more product-oriented, for their January edition, while the second one is closer to the world of interior architecture or décor.

Maison&Objet Paris Designer of the Year for January 2016 is Catalan designer Eugeni Quitllet.

Eugeni Quitllet was born on 17th April 1972. He graduated from Llotja Art School in Barcelona. He readily describes himself as a ‘Disoñador,’ a Spanish contraction of designer and dreamer. His invented future is gravity-free, with incredible aesthetics summarised in a combination of digital precision and flowing curves. This Ibiza-born industrial dreamer first witnessed a rural stretch of the beach become an informal hub for ultra-modern electronic music, before growing up in Barcelona, a place of architectural divide where Gaudi’s organic outbursts fraternise with the Pavilion designed by Mies van der Rohe, a rationalist marmoreal jewel installed in Catalonia before taking root in the United States. Eugeni Quitllet hence lives and works in Barcelona. Keep your finger on the pulse of our ever-changing paradoxical period by keeping your eye on this pioneer.


Eugeni creates bestselling objects between drawings and sculptures, mastering fullness and voids to reveal elegant silhouettes hidden in the material. His creative vocabulary surpasses the simple relationship between function and style introducing new objects to the contemporary design scene, always with unwavering enthusiasm: the Tabu chair is an explosion of life for Alias, an event at the Milan Fair 2014, like a blossoming that develops into a seat synthesising nature and the robotics required for its digital sculpture.


In 2015, the Tube chairs at Mobles 114 and Dream-Air at Kartell embody the designer’s passion for weightlessness. The former with its tubular structure mixes the vocabulary of modernity’s 20th century design. The latter designed “Like a scarf in the wind, a dream suspended in the air. Dream-Air is a simple frame capturing the beauty of the curve of a body sitting in empty space.”


The same year and the same idea of lightness with the Cloud-io chair and Vase-O like water droplets condensed in the space to form a seat and a translucent vase at Kartell. As for the Dream Tool collection for Lexon again in 2015, small flowing landscapes are invented where the functions are suspended in a frame: a signature process which naturally reappears in several of the designer’s projects like the Shine vases (2013) and the Light Air lamp (2011) for Kartell.


The designer from Ibiza launched his first outdoor collection for Vondom in 2014 with organic and evolving seats, connected via Bluetooth and capable of disseminating music: like shells for listening to the sea according to the designer from Ibiza. A plastic collection pursuing the strong relationship of the designer with this material, one of the best examples of which is Masters for Kartell co-signed with Philippe Starck in 2009. This fusion of 3 contours of legendary seats by Eames, Saarineen and Jacobsen is a commercial hit more than ever.


As for the VK-1 (2011) headphones at Aëdle, another bestseller in the process of becoming a reference in the music industry, Eugeni Quitllet designed it like a true blueprint for headphones, using the best manufacturing processes.


Adept at working at polar opposites, in 2014 he conceived a collection of archetypal and luxurious cutlery for Christofle, as well as a disposable plastic service for IPI, a manufacturer for whom he had already designed the Air France trays (2012). Nothing unusual for someone who says, ‘As soon as we try to refine a form, we end up with a knife, whether it concerns a design for a boat or a skyscraper.’ Continuing to produce the most direct and cutting-edge revelation of form as possible. From object to space, Eugeni Quitllet is a design maestro with a unique vision for rethinking our surroundings with ever-evolving innovation.


2010 Good Design Award – The Chicago Athenaeum for the Kartell ‘Masters’ chair co-signed with Philippe Starck
2013 Red Dot Design Award for the Kartell ‘Masters’ chair co-signed with Philippe Starck
2014 Talents du Luxe et de la création Prize for Innovation
2014 Eugeni Quitllet exhibition at the Centre Pompidou shop, Paris
2014 Compasso d’Oro Honourable Mention for the Alias ‘Elle’ chair
2015 Red Dot Design Award for Aëdle headphones

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See also: Talents à la carte – January 2016