“An object with much more than a random shape, a product with a good reasoning behind, lots of creativity and that has an expression of its own.” Reasoning, creativity, expression… Why do some products seem to have a life of their own? Why are some things we simply cannot resist? They drag and grab you like a close friend… or a passionate lover. Is there a key to breathing this type of life into an inanimate something? At Oitenta they strongly believe there is. Something deep down each person that can also be gifted to objects. They call it “soul”, and it’s the most valued asset of their offspring, their creations… their “soulstuff”.
Oitenta is a product design and development studio formed by Javier Boquete and Rafael Fernández, a pair of Spanish long time friends that where bored with their former jobs and started messaging each other dreaming about starting their own business, creating products, selling them… As many other great things, it all started to build up in cafeterias, drinking some beers and dreaming, always dreaming until the time to start the adventure came.
Both of them were born in the decade of Michael Jackson, Pacman and Playmobil toys. Rafael is the one in charge of Oitenta’s design and creativity and has always been very clear that the time they had to live has deeply influenced his creativity. “The people who where born and raised in the 80s could let their imagination fly with their Legos or Playmobil toys, or even with less! A stick could be a sword, a gun, and so much more. We identify ourselves a lot with that and love to give our products that kind of imagination.”
Now, the studio takes another step forward. “When you study design you immediately start learning about the big names and end up realizing they all have something in common: they’ve all designed a chair, and we had jump on that train too!” The result of this impulse is the Eira chair, the studio’s first big piece of furniture and one of the creations they feel more proud of. “It has been a complex project, but we have an spectacular manufacturer that has gotten involved with us and put all its effort into it. The chair also has a lot of features which we love in design such as the ‘form follows function’ motto,” proudly says Rafael. But a designer can’t make a living out of chairs only… Well, there’s the Eames and some other out there that do but it really isn’t the usual thing and at Oitenta they have other great designed and functional products like the Readme portable magazine rack or the Don’t look back wall hangers.
All of them serve a different purpose, they’ve been created with different uses in mind, but, beneath all that still lays something intangible, a spirit which makes them all alive. “An object with soul is one that reflects a way of understanding design. One in which the designer has poured all its soul inside.”
So there is where it comes from…
* Cover photo: Readme portable magazine rack.
Tiritas table mat. Project in development.
The Eira chair.
Javier Boquete, Business and management & Rafael Fernández, design, creativity and communication.