Q&A: Gaudí’s Calvet Bench and Chair

Antoni Gaudí
Calvet Bench and Calvet Chair, 1975 (original design 1902)
BD Ediciones de Dise–o
Mireia Riera, Interior Designer and Owner, BD Ediciones de Dise–o, responds

Where did the idea for the bench and chair come from?
In the 1970s, these Modern furniture pieces were available only in museums. At that time, no one was interested in their production. BD, a company created by architects, had a real admiration for Antoni Gaudí, who was still rather unknown then because only a few could appreciate and understand his works. So BD decided to contact Professor Gaudí to ask for permission to re-release his masterpieces…with success.

What’s innovative about the Gaudí style?
The most innovative thing about the Gaudí style is its organic quality: shapes and materials are joined in solid wood and manufactured in a special artisan process.

What was the greatest challenge to realizing the design?
The biggest difficulties were faced in creating plans from the original pieces, because of the organic shapes. But we had another problem to cope with: getting Professor Gaudí to believe in such a new and young company.

Did anything interesting happen during the development of this product?
Bigas Luna, the famous Spanish movie director who discovered the actress Penelope Cruz, was one of the people who developed the initial idea with BD. Another funny anecdote is that the principal artisan in charge of manufacturing had an ache in his wrist, and the BD staff had to rush to find a sport specialist in order to get the first orders ready in time.

What’s your favorite object?
The Batlló bench.

Is there anything you absolutely must do while you’re in New York for the ICFF?
Stroll through the fashion quarters of this magnificent city and visit some of the current exhibitions.