The Magnificent Seven Friends
by Uta Abendroth | 7/22/2016
35 Bentley Road
N1 4BY London
Tomás Alonso is a cosmopolitan craft designer born in Spain. He appears to have initially been influenced by the resounding but very concise charm of the pioneers of the Modern Movement, from Weimar to Milan. He eventually opted for London and a Master's at the Royal College of Art after an entire decade of study and professional practice in the USA, Australia and Italy, which merged into a clear and pragmatic vision of life, soon translated into his own line of elegant, linear and poetic objects finding his own dimension in the field of the "authorial" design.
His method, which might be described as "à la Castiglioni" due to its ideological simplicity, can be summed up as an intelligent morphological synthesis of a technicist type, which focuses on functionality as an absolute value and turns it into an idea for products which are quick and easily understandable into their constitutive elements. The very simple aesthetic qualities of his objects reveal the expressive potential of each specific material, which is also his main source of inspiration, conveying an expressive immediacy which makes his products universal and transgenerational. He uses both wood and metal in a sober, soft and practical manner, skilfully inverting the usual way in which these two materials are perceived: wood is reduced to very slender, squared, vectorial sticks, iron is curved, warm and coloured.
For him the boundary between art and design is never hazy. Even his publishing work, developed "with his own hands" in his big fully-equipped workshop shared with OKAY Studio collective of designers, never crosses that line which now tends to be rather vague and the cause of frequent, paradoxical misunderstandings.