Alberto Sánchez and Eduardo Villalón are the founders of MUT Design, one of the design studios with the most influence in the scene. Their rule-free and experimental approach has led them to create increasingly recognizable objects, with remarkable and vibrant results. This is the case of GRILL, his first collection for Diabla, which will be released in a few months.
GRILL introduces a linear language, pure and light visually and invites us to blur the limits that separate interior space from exterior. GRILL debuted its first prototypes in the “A la Fresca” installation devised by the same designers for the “Das Haus” project at this year's imm Cologne fair.
We tell you a little more about them and their new collection for Diabla:
With your first design for Gandia Blasco Group, the PLY rug for the GAN brand, you have received various awards. How did the opportunity arise to extend the collaboration to Diabla?
The collaboration with Diabla came almost naturally from the relationship we have with Gandia Blasco Group. We had been working regularly with GAN for a while and we had discussed the possibility of doing something for Diabla. The idea materialized as a result of being chosen for the Das Haus project at imm Cologne 2020. Since we had to work against the clock, for Das Haus we only developed a chair, in advance of what will be a complete product family.
The GRILL design resembles the typical barbecue grill, hence its name. What was the starting point that inspired the collection?
The square aluminium tube that makes up the structure of the collection was what inspired us. It has a very particular shape that just evokes barbecue grills. From here we conceive a geometric, clean and simple design, which we will keep throughout the collection.
GRILL chairs are stackable and very light. What questions did you ask yourself when defining the functionality of the collection?
We wanted them to be outdoor chairs. This was important to us. Although they work very well indoors, the main thing was their outdoor use. Hence the material in which they are made. In the same way, we wanted them to be light and stackable, because this way they can be integrated into both more private settings and larger projects, such as restaurant or hotel terraces.
You approach design from emotion. What feelings do you think GRILL evokes?
We think that we have achieved a product that has a lot of personality and that could be considered, beyond its functionality, as an artistic piece, such as translating Mondrian into an object of daily use from a very free and current perspective. GRILL has a very strong aesthetic point, it is difficult to consider another bar chair for mass production.
In your work you play with geometry, shapes, patterns, always from subtlety. Minimalism, visual impact or both?
Both, without a doubt. The combination of the two always works very well in our designs and that is why we give them equal importance.
One of the distinctive features of DIABLA is the character of the tones that it includes in its colour chart, with up to 10 variants for the structure and about 20 possibilities for the texile part. Is any color or combination particularly attractive to you in GRILL?
It is difficult to stick with one in particular. If there is something Diabla has that we love, it is precisely its color palette. It has a lot of personality, it is very powerful, so we don't get wet. Any color convinces us for this collection.
In your “A la Fresca” installation at Imm Cologne you proposed a Mediterranean house, reinterpreting the classic Valencian barracks, in which the line between the interior and exterior spaces of the home blurred. GRILL made its international debut in that space. How was your reception?
It was very good, of course. Like a lot. And it was also surprising since, at first glance, it may seem like a heavy chair due to the material, but it is incredibly light. We think it was a complete success.
GRILL is designed to adapt to any type of environment. What features make it so versatile?
The design is very clean, very simple. It is very modern, but it allows you to fit in, let's say, a more rustic environment and at the same time, in a much more contemporary one. In a classic setting, you can add a casual touch without being shrill. And in the same way, the fact that it can be outside or inside also makes it very versatile. It gives a lot of game.
GRILL will come to our catalogue as the brand's most graphic and lightest collection. The series will include different seating elements and tables, allowing several possible combinations to create different spaces and environments. MUT Design has been developing unconventional, timeless and artistic products for over a decade, and its award-winning designs have placed Alberto and Eduardo among the most respected designers of their generation.