Lebrel Studio is directed by Fernando Abellanas for whom it is important to be continuously observing his environment since there can be a lot of inspiration in it. An example of this is the name of the studio, which comes from infinite moments of observation to his own dogs – two greyhounds that are part of the race Lebrel. When Fernando sees his dogs running he can not help thinking in “form follows function”, as he well describes: “His thin aesthetic is completely designed for a purpose, to be the fastest”
Since he started in design, Fernando has been limited to look for the essentials in forms, materials and colour. Also for production, he designs based on his own resources.For him this means that he must continually think about how to achieve the highest quality by simplifying the construction process, “more with less.”
Lebrel works with some companies related to refurbishment and interior design, collaborating with the design and production of furniture.
Fernando Abellanas, Lebrel Studio’s designer, at his place in Paiporta, Valencia (Spain).
Fernando, could you tell us a little about how the idea of the study was born?
Lebrel is really an attempt to shape my main concerns.It is really difficult to classify the function of this project since from its start, it has taken and will continue taking different ways, as I discover, learn and mature ideas.
Maybe at the beginning I wanted to restrict my projects and make only those small objects of design public, but soon I realized that my idea of “designer” was different.
I take design as a way to solve a problem or a concern. Along with my passion for manual work, I try to embrace all those challenges that arise daily, from a small table lamp to a large spiral staircase of thirteen meters high.
You describe yourself as a self-taught designer and craftsman. Can you tell us a little more about your career? How did you start and what projects did you do before starting with Lebrel?
I consider myself a craftsman and a vocational designer. Perhaps because of my father’s legacy, which has never give up to any DIY problem at home, I have always been interested in the operation of everything around me.
For various reasons, I dropped out of school at age of eighteen to work in a water pump factory. After a few years I started to work as a plumber, a job that I had been learning in a self-taught way in my spare time.
Over time, by achieving some economic stability I was able to pick up some design concerns and spend more time putting them into practice.
Nowadays I continue with my plumber job as the main source of income, giving me the luxury of working on different projects without differentiating those paid with those I carry out for pure personal motivation.
Fernando Abellanas playing with his greyhounds at his studio in Paiporta (Spain).
Lebrel has focused on the design of furniture, especially chairs, tables and lamps. Why?
In addition to the aesthetic and functional design, what all these objects have in common is that the structural design plays a very important role. The study of strength, weight and stability reminds me of the work of a small-scale of an architect.
As all these objects are of small volume and cost, I can work on them very easily, putting into practice all those ideas that arise almost instantaneously.
I am also interested in the role that these objects then play in different environments. The proximity with which they then live with us.
One of the lastest works of Lebrel that we found very interesting and which we published in November of 2015 in our website was B1009 bank. Could you tell us a little more about this project? How was the idea born?
The idea of B1009 bank was born from the analysis of the different spaces of a small house. In this case I focused on the lobby. I found interesting to create a module inspired by the classic changing room benches of the gym that could have the hanger for the coats and a bench to take off the shoes when entering the house. This design won the City of Valencia Award of the Valencia Crea contest last year.
‘I take design as a way to solve a problem or a concern’, Fernando Abellanas
The bench B1009 designed by Lebrel and made with wood and steel.
Lebrel products are characterized by the use of materials such as steel and wood. What do you rely on when choosing a material and what characteristics do you think are important?
I very much appreciate to observe how buildings used to be built with hardly any materials. They were only wood, mud and stone. Somehow I also look to restrict materials for my work. Regardless of the design, the material itself has already the greatest importance for me and therefore I avoid to hide its nature whenever is possible. With wood, for example, leaving in sight assemblies and details that reveal the authenticity of the material as a way of trying to stay away from the increasing use of imitations of materials.
What are your sources of inspiration or references when designing?
My references often arise from looking around. My interest in design means that I can not stop looking at every constructive and aesthetic detail of everything that surrounds me. The way a branch is attached to the trunk of a tree, a detail in the structure of the shopping cart while I queue at the supermarket or the design of a truss when I am stunned watching the roof of some industrial warehouse. All this somehow inspires and helps me when shaping a project.
Fernando Abellanas next to his greyhound dog that represents the inspiration of the designer.