Design August 26, 2010 By Nika Knight


Photography courtesy of MSB estudi-taller d’arquitectura i disseny (Click images to enlarge)

essence title ESSENCE
Associations with “steel” might be “cold”, “hard”, and even the bitter mortal sound of the word “slab” — but Spanish architecture and design studio MSB brings us something entirely different. MSB estudi-taller d’arquitectura i disseny (”MSB architecture and design workshop-office”) was established by architect Miquel Subiras in 2008. MSB’s 2010 ESSENCE collection of furniture is “made entirely in carbon steel, strictly selected for each piece, finished with varnish, preserving its unique materiality and personality”. The sleek, spare design shows the soul of steel to be that of a living, expressive, and even warm material.
     MSB created ESSENCE with the goal of exploring the essence of steel — the finish of the varnish coating each piece is selected to display the grain particular to it, as well as to allow the differentiation in shade and color that naturally occurs in steel over time to show through. The collection also takes advantage of steel’s extraordinary strength, as many of the designs form shelves and seating that have the potential to carry weights much heavier than their sleek, minimalist lines would suggest.
     Of the collection, Subiras writes, “When you feel [steel's] density, you realize it is an earth’s son. When you see its expressive skin, you think about the influence time has had. When you know its possibilities, you discover a raw material with a richness of endless nuances, and surely you would have never thought its presence could provide so much warmth.”

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