We are Javier Díez, industrial designer, and José Luis Díez, interior designer, the two brothers that form the Madrid-based studio díez+díez. We are devoted to product design and we have created, among other projects, essential pictograms, shy cups, invisible bookcases, slow benches, madeleines with internal memory, packed up lights, earthenware pitchers for the new century, containers for memories, petrified pieces of the sea, pieces of furniture as obliging as C. C. Baxter, carpets that cause vertigo, etcetera.
We would like to work for MUJI or IKEA; we like to design for the people, for when they buy or use our designs, they do so because they like them or find them useful, because they bring something to their lives, not because they are buying a “díez+díez”.
We would also like to design a cafe for lovers to date, or a hotel where one could live a parallel existence, or a set design where the visible elements are more mysterious than the invisible ones; we feel like taking the plunge from the tale to the novel.
We work essentially with concepts, with ideas, with thoughts and we use shapes simply as a tool for revealing those, but through a whisper, we do not want our objects to speak, let alone shout; anyone willing to listen to them will have to get very close.
We like to work with ideas like pragmatism, reflection, concept, illusion, word, search, thought, chance, poetry, criticism, curiosity…
As the basis of our work, we use what has come to be known as transversality, that is, we use different creation fields as a starting point for our work, such as philosophy, films or poetry; we are bored and saturated with the world of design, we prefer to find, or better yet, look for inspiration in life itself.
We like to identify ourselves with a cross which conveys addition, the convergence between pragmatism (the horizontal) and idealism (the vertical), a sign, transversality, synapse, short circuit, fusion…
We are not interested in prizes, exhibitions, covers of magazines, or having our pieces exhibited in museums. In other words, none of these is interesting as an end in itself, but as a means to gaining the confidence of more manufacturers and reaching more people, which ultimately is our fundamental goal and, through that, making you happier? We would like that.
We do not understand, or rather, we do, but we do not like the idea of design as a boring media trade, more similar to the worst Hollywood than as a job whose aim, to the extent of its possibilities, is to make a better world; we believe that it takes a lot of modesty to approach people and expect our products to enter their lives, homes, offices and cities; we do not believe it takes camera flashes or glossy magazines to design a cup where, in a rainy autumn evening, someone, sitting in a chair also of our creation, drinks his/her favourite tea while minding his/her own business; we agree with Leonardo when he said: “the greatest wisdom lies in realising that what you are looking for already exists.”
We want our designs to have style, not a style; it is not our ambition to be cast in our designs. We do not want to design a table repeating the same stylistic patterns we have used for a corkscrew; we are not artists, we are designers, our ambition is to provide answers, not to raise questions.
We like to define ourselves as designers of the working days; as Baudelaire put it, we leave art “for Sundays”; in short, as Jean Renoir said: “art is the way to develop a trade”, we prefer to search for art in the way of doing rather than in the results.
We prefer to sell one million objects worth one Euro, rather than one object worth one million Euros.
We do not like to be called minimalist, we prefer the term essential; we do not design from the outside, from the shape, to the inside; thus we do not follow the process of simplifying and stripping the object of its qualities until reducing it to a skeletal formal cliché; we design from the inside, the project is determined by the object we are dealing with, we search for its essence; if someday we have a commission for an object with a baroque essence, we will design an excessively ornate and bombastic object, but we will never do it subject to the dictate of fashion or trend.
In short, we understand design as an existential activity, involved in life, and as Berger does with writing, design must be a manifestation of experience; we believe design is a job that requires, above all, curiosity, lots of curiosity, criticism and, especially, self-criticism, as ultimately we are buyers and users, besides designers; we could never design something we would not buy for ourselves.