Cheché Valdés is at the same time a craftswoman, industrial designer, carpentry enthusiast and now manager at RI HOUSE. With a sensible and sustainable yet practical eye, she invites us to participate in a constructive relationship between product design, Francesc Rifé and his team. A creative exchange that seeks to enlighten our curiosity, encourage respect for materials and get a better understanding of the furniture’s role in our daily lives.
MAKING THE ESSENCE OF A PROJECT LEGIBLE HAS NEVER BEEN AN EASY TASK. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK AT RI HOUSE?
I have always felt committed to design and in RI HOUSE we are looking for the perfect formula to make this project one that’s alive, breathing and in constant movement. We are part of to the digital age now, but as we build bridges and connections online, as humans, we seek and need physical contact, a sense of community and belonging. That’s why we want to make our new space in Barcelona a house to gather together and share around art, food, design and culture.
IT’S NO SECRET THAT THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE IS TRANSFORMING AS THE DIGITAL WORLD MOVES FORWARD. WAS IT TIME TO CHANGE?
The time came were we had to jump on board and ride the wave. Even more so when coming from a year like 2020 where we were completely isolated but still more connected than ever. Furthermore, in the digital world there are hardly any borders. It’s quite exciting the scope that can be reached, right?
THERE IS A LOT OF DEBATE ABOUT WHETHER DESIGN SHOULD TALK ONLY ABOUT FUNCTION OR EXPRESS SOMETHING ELSE. WHAT KIND OF THEMES DO YOU EXPLORE THROUGH IT?
Function will always be there. But certainly the design process leads us to explore shifting terrains. Balance, for instance, a very basic concept with as many layers as you want to deepen. There’s balance shown through a well designed and executed piece. Also balance between many different pieces coexisting in the same space, or balance and order of the space itself. I feel it’s like meeting someone, their family and their home. In the end I think one explores design through one’s unique experiences and paths and at least, on my journey, I’m always having a conversation with balance, in all its forms.
ALSO, RI HOUSE IS A PROJECT THAT HAS A LOT TO DO WITH TOUCH AND SENSORY EXPERIENCE. WHICH MATERIALS DEFINE YOU BEST?
I would say there’s no material in particular. We pay huge attention and give importance to the materials treatment and delicacy in the details. I think coherence in the use of materials is key. It’s not so much the piece of wood or leather for upholstery but where, for what and how you use it. Those are the questions we are asking.
IN ANY CASE, THE ESSENCE OF AN OBJECT IS ALSO IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN THE MUSIC THAT SURROUNDS IT. FOR INSTANCE, HOW DOES RI HOUSE SOUND LIKE?
RI HOUSE sounds current and classic at the same time. I think it also sounds like a feeling of well-being and comfort. When I play music in the showroom I want to create an environment that speaks to me in calm and peaceful terms. To make it easy to find focus while working and also for whoever that comes inside feels that they are entering a serene and pleasant place. What’s certain is that there’s always sound.