Last summer was a productive one for designer Jorge Penadés: he moved his office to the Spanish island of Mallorca, set up a temporary fabrication shop in a warehouse in Binissalem and, with his team, completed the studio’s first interior design-build. Using four basic elements – perforated metal profiles, corner plates, nuts and bolts – Oficina Penadés created a bespoke retail environment for footwear brand Camper.
The rise of the design-build – delivered by full-service studios that provide concept and construction under the same contract – is helping to unify drawing and realization. For some, this ‘master builder’ approach is a means to combine multiple interests: the ideation of design and the physical satisfaction of handcraft. For others, the project strategy provides a means to control construction quality, rather than outsourcing to a contractor.
Oficina Penadés’ work for Camper suggests yet a third reason designers are turning to self-fabrication. Designing through making is unlike designing digitally – creating in 1: 1 arguably enables a more intimate understanding of material. For the store, Penadés worked with industrial metal, building vibrant display shelves by mixing the material with wood. Other bespoke interior elements include a red checkout counter with an undulating profile, yellow stool and a graphic bonus – custom typography. Steel numbers are affixed to blue-hued brackets dividing the storage shelves.
Cracked glass – sandwiched between two layers of tempered glass – was used to make a tactile counter surface. Overhead, colorful metal profiles mimic the look of LED-strip lighting, with inconspicuous white bulbs installed beneath them.