Nacho Cabonell proves that communities are usually always a good idea, especially for creatives where a sense of camaraderie can build styles and a mental sense of relevance for players.
“I came to Eindhoven initially for one year and now twelve have passed,” designer/artist Nacho Carbonell says. For five of those he has been based at Sectie-C with its outside inside feeling and a guaranteed community of designers.
Back in his student days (Man and Well-Being, Design Academy Eindhoven) Carbonell never thought he would make it. “I was a really bad student, “ he says. “I didn’t fit in because everything was so arty and I came from an industrial background.”
Which makes all his success as an autonomous designer with a signature and artistic aesthetic all the more remarkable. “I think this sort of work was always inside of me, “ he says. “But I was lost and didn’t know how to find or apply it. Not until the academy did I find the room to dig in and access what I really had.”
From industrial design via an introspective trip through school, Carbonell’s oeuvre of over-sized objects and tactile installations can now be found in some of the most important collector’s galleries in the world - Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Rossana Orlandi and BSL in Paris.
He designs and produces it all from his studio which is open every day during Dutch Design week at Sectie-C. “I like the community here,” Carbonell says. “At first I was attracted to the area because of the people, but pretty soon I came to appreciate the healthy competition. I like it when I am about to call it a day, look out and see that my neighbours are all still working. It gives me the extra push to also work a little bit more. I think when there is a good atmosphere everyone does their best.”
Seen in its entirety, Carbonell’s work is clearly his own. Occasionally he thinks to do something completely different. “But then I get lost,” he admits. “I am so involved in the production methods. It is all tied together and one thing leads to another. Often I rediscover something from ten years ago so I combine new with old and in that way things tend to evolve.”
What unifies the work is the general theme of perspective. He creates spaces, heights and volumes that disrupt typicality and comfort levels. “It is about reaching higher, looking higher and seeing from different points of view,” he explains. “And once there the objects offer the chance for reflection.”
Carbonell is also interested in the ironies of society. If one looks at the way we work and live there is an evolution that is hardly represented in design. “Do we really need a desk in the traditional sense anymore?” he asks. “Perhaps we use it, but I’d question if we really need it.”