It is not the first time that this journalist-a point of reference in the design universe- puts words to Diabla's visual imaginary and that is a privilege. She has collaborated with media such as El País, El Mundo, Neo2 and Experimenta writing about design, architecture and trends, she is the author of the book "ArtesaníaEspañola de Vanguardia" –publishedby Lunwerg in collaboration with Fundesarte– and she has even curated exhibitions from time to time.
She is the creator of the story in our new catalogue, which you can download here, and is one of the minds that has portrayed this spirit and personality the most over the last few years. Today, Tachy lets us ask her questions and we get her to reveal some of the secrets of her work and, of course, a bit more about her love story with Diabla. Read on and find out what unexpected colors she would combine black (her fetish color) with, which of our latest designs is her favorite, and which corner of the world she would take it to.
Although it is complicated, could you define in a few words this spark that we talk about when referring to Diabla?
Diabla is a brand with a very fresh and creative design, not only in its products, but, in general, in all its proposals: photos, catalogues... Creativity is the thread that runs through everything and its way of differentiating itself from other outdoor brands, looking for new ways of living outdoors, with a flexible, cosmopolitan and open-minded approach to outdoor spaces. This is the basis on which it builds its repertoire of proposals: some with an experimental and groundbreaking conception, others ingenious in their design or in their details... but always with an exceptional study and application of color, with palettes of tones and combinations that even, in certain cases, offer very different personalities in the same collection.
Your career as a journalist has focused on design, trends, architecture and interior design and you have witnessed the birth and evolution of Diabla in its heterogeneity of color proposals, materials and types of furniture. What do you appreciate most about its latest launches: GRILL, ARP, LILLY and PLISY UP?
I like the fact that they are collections with a bit of a graphic touch, which is a feature often present in Diabla's proposals, sometimes in an obvious way and sometimes latent. I also think that they complete Diabla's general range, extending families or introducing new series that make it possible to design more versatile outdoor spaces.
You define yourself as a lifelong lover of objects and architecture. What do you think sets Diabla apart from other projects in the field of outdoor design?outdoor?
As I mentioned before, its flexible, cosmopolitan and open vision of outdoor spaces, which is not limited to the fact that the weather is strictly good or that we have a setting such as a garden, patio or terrace. On the other hand, there are other brands that also work with this equipment in a creative and experimental way, but in Diabla is differential that their proposals tend to look for a casual and elegant style at the same time, with a surprising balance to which contribute, without a doubt, their intelligent design details and their color proposal.
What has it been like working hand in hand with Diabla's alma mater, Alejandra Gandía-Blasco?
Alejandra is a person who is used to working with a mentality and a creative process, due to her training and parallel work as an artist. Maybe that's why she gives you a lot of freedom. She is very selective with her collaborators and has very clear criteria for choosing which studios or creatives she wants to work with, both for the design of Diabla's collections and for the photographs and catalogue. As she does this prior research, she already knows the line of work of each one. So, maybe also because of this, she gives you a brief and lets you do it, because she already has a certain certainty beforehand about how your work is going to fit in with the project she is working on.
We know that, in your personal universe, the color black has a special strength or presence. How has it been to immerse yourself in this other cosmos full of color that is Diabla? Which of its risky combinations is your favorite?
My universe is very black, I can't help it, my eyes go to anything black... I also think it's a perfect canvas in decoration to add a powerful color, like, for example, Diabla's pink, which I also like a lot in combination with olive green.
Diabla inspires all kinds of audiences, but especially those culturally restless people who enjoy not only design but also art, cinema, theatre, music... When you were shaping the storytelling of the catalogue, did you have a particular profile in mind?
Not really, no. When I write texts of this type, I am more concerned that they tell the story well and that they connect with the brand and the feelings they seek to convey, as in this case it was travelling. This is something we can't do right now and it's so frustrating. Traveling, moreover, to unique places, which in most cases are totally real, but seem invented. The idea was to make whoever held the catalogue in their hands, for a moment, feel that they had spent a period of time travelling, spatially and temporally through the seasons, as if they had momentarily entered and left another dimension.
Your narration of the Diabla lifestyle has hypnotized us into believing for a moment that it was possible to travel to the other side of the world through a page of paper. Nature, the passing of the seasons, color... are an inexhaustible source of inspiration for Diabla, a brand that moves in these fields without apparent limits. What are your references and influences when it comes to writing? We imagine that before being an excellent writer, you are also a very good reader.
In this type of texts, I don't use references. It's about finding a language that speaks for the brand, that reflects its personality. So, you have to create your own. My style, in general, is to say a lot with little. It's quite journalistic. My references go more that way. I don't like convoluted texts, where you get lost and get nowhere or where there are too many unjustified twists and turns and too much rhetoric because, in the end, they are empty of content. I like clear speeches; from experience I know that, in general, they hide a lot of reflection behind them. I particularly love this when I interview someone who expresses themselves in this way. In most cases, it is a reflection of a very solid intellectuality.
Each of the collages in the catalogue designed by P.A.R. seem to become an almost pictorial work of art. Which of them have struck you as the most striking or poetic?
I especially like the one from the LILLY collection in the Carrara quarries, because it's a bit confusing and ambiguous, you don't really know what kind of landscape it is. And also because of the color mixtures and the styling.
As an expert on trends in the design industry, how do you think our way of inhabiting and interacting with outdoor spaces is changing, perhaps accelerated by the current context? Is it an intimate refuge to reconnect or an escape to freedom?
There is not so much a shift in the industry, but rather in people's preferences. The home has become the center of our existence, so this is changing our need and desire to make it a refuge. In countries with extreme climates, this is very clear to them. Now is when we see it and appreciate it in places with more temperate climates that used to allow us to do a lot of outdoor living.
For obvious reasons we have not been able to travel the world discovering new designs from fair to fair for some time now. Do you think that in this context, in which clients often cannot experience the designs first hand, creating conceptually strong catalogues is an important weapon for brands in this sector?
Yes, of course it helps. But the experience of seeing a design live is irreplaceable. I know this from my own work. From a photo to reality, designs sometimes gain or lose a lot. Experiencing the feel, the dimensions, the ergonomics, the details... is crucial. I hope that soon we will be able to recover that part of the old normality.
If you had to choose, where and at what time of the year would you escape with Diabla, and with which of the latest releases?
I visualize myself quite a lot on LILLY in autumn... maybe in the middle of the Parco Sempione! Or on the terrace of the Triennale overlooking the park.