Are we aware of how much warmth a good furniture design transmits to our environment? Do we enjoy the feel of wood? Do we like the tonality of the surfaces? What do we appreciate more, functionality, or a combination of textures and materials? As far as Vicent Martínez is concerned, wood is an emotion, the soul of a piece of furniture. He told us all about it when we talked with him about Libris System, his latest product for Capdell.
A table that comes with a multitude of options. It can be individual, functional, shared or for meetings… and it can be used both at home and in other spaces such as training and education centres, libraries and also in gastro-bars and restaurants. We talked with him about his inspiration, his work process and the full functionality of his designs.
– How does the story of Libris System start?
Capdell called me and said they wanted me to be a magician. They wanted people to be thrilled, to vibrate with a new product. And the truth is that I’ve already been a magician quite a few times in my professional career. I have managed to do this by creating products that became transformed, that generated surprise. Products that also required user participation, their complicity in handling them due to their dual uses, to their capacity for transformation. Products that had to excite.
– What did they need?
Capdell needed an extendible table. But I designed a folding table instead.
– What inspired you?
I had a kind of table with hinges in mind. But that was an element that annoyed me and then I remembered books, the way they open, the way they are bound. That’s why I bound the tops of the Libris folding table with a carbon fibre spine, which provided cleanliness and the ability to incorporate technology.
– Capdell has a very special relationship with wood…
Indeed it does. Capdell’s woodwork is exciting. In the case of the Libris System, I was able to be present at the development of the table and I could see how the workers who were involved in the process felt and lived that development as if they were craftsmen and women of days gone by. They were experiencing the pleasure of working with wood as something personal, as a transmitter of their own emotions.
– And how did your creative process evolve?
When I thought about the possibility of extending the wood, I discovered that its interior was visible. In my first sketches, I had in mind that there would be spaces on the underside of the tables where you could store objects, depending on the use they were put to. For example, if the table was going to be used at home, these lower spaces could store tablecloths, plates, and so on. From there, I proposed that the table could grow, that they should think about rows of fixed tables, so that they could create a continuous space with the legs of the table. That way the table could grow like a centipede. In fact it could be extended indefinitely.
– Did Capdell make any suggestions to you?
The firm suggested that I should adapt the table to add electrification to it, and I included that option on the same structure. So now in the final design, the table lets you add lamps, which are integrated into the central tray and you can also change their position. In all its sizes, the table also allows you to collect data. All the accessories and connections are concealed in an aluminium tray fitted between the benches.
– Would you say that the Libris System incorporates Capdell’s Wood Vibrations? Do you think it has soul?
Absolutely. It is a very functional yet charming table due to the surprise offered by the underside, which also has adjustable hooks you can hang bags from. And if we’re talking about the surface, you can place endless objects on it, from plants to lamps… so we can use this same table in lots of spaces: a gastro-bar, a library, an office…
– A table that was initially designed for the home. That has all the warmth of a household table… but one that has taken on so much more life…
This is because it offers many more uses and it’s ideal for many varied contract projects. This table exudes the spirit of Capdell, based on all the TLC they pour into the wood. That’s why it looks the way it does, with that rotundity and forcefulness. In this version we have tables that start at 120cms, and then we can add more and more of them, without limit. Now is that magic or is that magic? Mission accomplished.