|THIS IS THE PUBLISHED INTERVIEW.|
AND THIS IS THE COMPLETE INTERVIEW.THANKS TO MONICA OTAEGUI FOR THE TRANSLATION.
Pablo Tellez, interior designer as well as landscape architect, has been collaborating for years with architecture,design and landscape architecture leading firms.
He has won several competitions and received acknowledgements and his work has been widely published.
He is giving lectures and seminars at different academic institutions as well as conferences cycles under the title and theme "ARTS&CAM".
In 2009 he founds in Barcelona his own firm Pablo Téllez©, focused on interior design and product design.
In 2010 together with Mariana Pestana founds in London, Mrs. Wolf; a new firm focused on the traditional fields of architecture, design and curatorship, relying on narrative strategies to deal with the design process, creating stories that are brought to the build space, creating a new sphere in the field of designing.
What are the biggest influences to your restaurant and bar designs?
Actually, I ‘m not aware of being influenced by any trend in particular more than by any other one not even of being fond of any special shape. As a matter of fact, I strongly believe in the powerful influence of the numberless stimulus that our current information society provides us with. The thing is that’s it’s plenty of them, of any sort and of a very different nature, that almost without us noticing are getting left as sediments in our imaginary, shaping it, feeding it; stimulus which essence and nature most of the times we can hardly distinguish, but that definitely inspire us. It comes to my head now, among many others, the video games I grew up with, the delicious smell from the fish “chiringuitos” (kind of stalls on the beach, very popular in Spain), and of course, one of my favorite cocktails: the walls in Vermeer paintings, the scenarios in Kaurismaki movies, the colors from Almodovar movies and from Hitchcok ones… very suggesting also the work of Ferràn Adrià and the one of Pablo Palazuelo,all with the soundtrack by Fugazi
What does the future hold for restaurant and bar design?
I’m upset that in most of the Restaurant projects that I’ve seen, it’s precisely the most essential for me, what it lacks: the culinary concept applied to the inside designing.
Cooks like Heston Blumenthal, Ferran Adriá,René Redzepi or Yoshihiro Narisawa are coming to break, at last, with clichés in gastronomy.
You just need to read their “cartes” and menus to realize that we still have a long and fascinating way to walk as regards restaurants designing.
For me the R&B designing of the future is the one that leads to a new narrative and sensory content, the one that plays with senses in a subtle, delicate way. It will be essential the Arts&CAM, as a digital tool at the “new handicraft” service, to allow designers to develop a larger field of expression in the same way cooks rely on their cooking tools.
What are the main trends, in your opinion, in restaurant and bar design at the moment?
I’ am afraid that in R&B designing the most widespread trend consists on the gratuitous ostentation and the excess of “catalogue”, that’s unfortunately the main trend I notice, although thanks god there are still arising exciting projects that bring you back to life, reversing that tendency of “dramatic” mediocrity. We’ ve decided to be optimistic, so we are going to believe that these kind of inspiring, suggesting and sparkling projects are going to become the new “new” trend. I’ve to say that we always manage to do our best, in designing, with low budgets, maybe when this changes and we begin to work with fabulous budgets, we’ll also get completely nuts.
Who’s hot now in restaurant and bar design and why?
I’ve seen many good and interesting ideas among the works of the nominees for the award, especially as for the detail level. I remember I liked the Germain by India Mahdavi, the Cut by Julian Taylor, the Pio Pio by Sebastian Mariscal and the work of Burdifilek.
Which is your favourite designed restaurant or bar and why?
The restaurant from which I keep my best memories is in Talamanca, Ibiza. It’s a small anonymous building, where delicious dishes based on rice and fish (their speciality) are cooked. The tables are just on the sand, so close to the sea and the rocks that water splash your feet, the tasty smells from the kitchen mixed and melted with the smell of the sea and from the aromatic Mediterranean “maquia” create a delicious atmosphere. Strings of naked incandescent light bulbs give a beautiful light to the place, so charm and soft that you still can see the stars, the moon shaking on the sea and the city lights from Ibiza far in the distance…to be able to bring that kind of atmosphere and feelings to my projects is today one of my main goals.
What’s the best / worst thing about your job?
Basically, I enjoy doing what I do, travelling, discovering, inventing, imagining new places, meeting interesting people…the best of all this is that sometimes you are even paid for that!!!.
What I cannot stand are the kind of people that makes you waste time, those who are systematically negative, and above all mediocricy.
What would be your dream brief restaurant or bar project?
The brief is not what I ‘m most interested in from a project; since from a just normal one it is possible to get a brilliant project. I’m definitely much more interested in the space, its light, and the location where we are going to work, things that I regard as fundamental. Now we are precisely focused on a project that I have been pursuing for a long time; it’s about designing the bar and restaurant of the Cinematheque of Cataluña (La Filmoteca de Cataluña).
Regarding places, I’m specially interested in UK, where we recently have opened MRS WOLF (is a narrative driven design practice. We add fictional layers to the spatial environment, playing with notions of identity and history, at times revealing less visible narratives within the built environment, other times creating new stories, games and adventures and unfolding them in the space); as for the restoration field we must pay fully attention to the new branch of master cooks like Heston Blumenthal, who is definitely in the vanguard or Jamie Oliver, whose target is mainly the mass, who are educating the masses to feed themselves in a proper and healthy way. I’ m sure that this together with the cosmopolitan factor and the crossing cultures will make arise a new batch of interesting restaurants offering affordable menus as it has already happened in Spain, where the joint vanguard cooks and the masses ones have achieved to turn the great recipes into dishes that everybody can manage to prepare. In a few years the clichés related to British gastronomy will disappear, and we definitely want to witness that.
How did you become a restaurant and bar designer?
We face the development of a very wide range of projects; from the design of public areas and green zones as landscape architects ,to the design of furniture, and Interiors for living, commercial and business purposes, as well as the scripting of “real games” with Mrs. Wolf.
What appeals to me most, from this kind of projects is that they belong to what we called “contemporary dreams to escape reality”, projects to get rid of the routine of a “normal” job, a “normal” life, like getting lost in a Caribbean island or having a four by four.
What I really mean is, that opening a restaurant on your own implies, to be engaged in your own business, to be involved in trying to materialize your own dream instead of stay working on behalf of someone else, what turns this kind of projects into something really challenging and interesting, since so many expectations and hopes are asked to be crystallized in them.
How is design important to the success of a restaurant and bar?
It’s one of the most important factors; what defines the nature and shapes the experience of attending a restaurant or a bar.
The interior design must achieve two goals; on one hand it must be absolutely efficient as for the invisible part of the project (the acoustics, smells, Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning) what provides us with physical comfort and for the other one, must be able to suggest, to evoke, to help us to develop our daydream skills.
Which Restaurant or Bar that you have designed is your favourite and why?
“Ara Pizza” has been a fantastic adventure for many reasons: The project came to us in the days of October-November 2008, the worst of the contexts to undertake a new business, when the worldwide financial crisis was shaking so violently our market economy that it seemed was about to collapse. My clients, young people facing their first business, who against any odds, achieve to get a loan from the bank; came to us with a tiny budget; NOBODY thought we were going to succeed.
The concept is clear; an eco-fast food specialized in pizzas. We knew this might shock many.
It comes to my mind, regarding the fast food meals, what Ferràn Adrià stated about it in an interview to The Independent. He referred to Mc Donald’s as the only restaurant in the world capable of offering such good quality hamburgers at the lowest prices,and he couldn’t fight this concept. I do agree with him in times when the “sold out”restaurants are the charitable organizations.I like the concept for Ara Pizza as a FAST GOOD.
Coming back to “Ara Pizza”; we gave the project a careful approach,we can say dignity, that has turn the place into a really well attended restaurant, whose target is large enough to welcome people of any age.
I want to emphasize the arising of a new tool, what we called Arts&CAM, which incorporates parametric design together with digital manufacturing. By means of this new tool and thanks to its new approach to handicraft, we are allowed to minimize costs increasing however at the same time the personalization quotas of the project.That tool worked very well in Ara Pizza that run with a very low budget.