In Pixelated Color with Cristian Zuzunaga

  • Cushions created in collaboration with textile powerhouse Kvadrat

  • Cristian Zuzunaga

  • No 2 Alike: each cushion is slightly different according to where the square is cut on the wide swath of digitally printed Kvadrat fabric. Picture is the "Fire" colorway.

  • These luxe blankets are based on bitmaps of some of the world greatest metropolises.

  • Among the many Zuzunaga collaborations in recent years, these chairs were the result of a 3-way with Kvadrat and Moroso.

  • The Cuzco pouf [available by special order at A+R]

“The pixel is the icon of our time,” declares the Barcelona-born designer Cristian Zuzunaga. Certainly, with the elemental pattern in his command, he more than makes his argument with an expanding range of décor and fashion products realized in his signature graphic Technicolor textiles that are fast raising the 30-something designer to icon status.

Digital design in all its manifestations has not surprisingly become a fascination among many designers, and it’s much in part to the pioneering efforts only 7 short years ago by Cristian. As a student at the Royal College of Art in London, his explorations into letterpress printing and the mechanics surrounding this arcane process offered one avenue for the designer to better realize the 2-D to 3-D. Textures and colors manifest differently with letterpress.

Simultaneously, architecture and its specific relation to the urbanite became another interest in realizing his ideas. “Once you master type or type as image,” Cristian observes, “then you start to understand ‘Why not architecture? Why not the urban environment?’”

Cristian may have left RCA with a degree in typography in 2007, but his work was already being cut from a wide swath of cloth in design. Those postulations that first took seed at school continue to thread his collaborations with Kvadrat, Moroso, Ligne Roset, Danskina and even the Tate Gallery, as well as the evolving collection the London-based multi-tasker produces in Spain under his own name.

Sensitive to not wanting to become simply known as the “pixel guy,” Cristian has been exploring the abstract patterns that emerge from the dense architectural topography of the world’s metropolises and the human relationship to this radically changing environment. The aim, he says, is “to reflect the idea of time, repetition and space in color and form and to introduce a movement into the static-ness of the prints.” To wit, a design with 3 basic shapes endlessly repeats, suggesting familiarity with a place that is ever changing.

The ying and yang in Cristian’s oeuvre straddles the 2-D and 3-D, the macroscopic with microscopic, the static and kinetic. There is counterpoint between digital and analog that manifests by way of his prints on something as domestic as cushions or blankets. And the interplay between architecture and the urban environment, the “re-architecture” that colors his work.

The award-winning designer will talk about all of this, including the the emotional and psychological impact of colors and patterns and the human vitality that thrives within the digital world and externally in megacities globally during his talk with me June 19 at A+R La Brea.

Cristian’s bold and bright take will no doubt make for a colorful evening. After all, as he likes to quip: “A life without pattern would be like a life without identity!”

As part of the #LADesignFestival, A+R is thrilled to welcome Spanish designer Cristian Zuzunaga to our La Brea location this Thursday, June 19, from 6:30 to 8:30.

Attend for a chance to win a luxe Zuzunaga blanket ($406 value) and other Zuzunaga goods!

We’ll hold you a seat!



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Rose Apodaca