Francesc Rifé: design, simplicity and achievements


This month we want to pay tribute to some of Akaba’s collaborators with two interviews well worth the read. This time, it’s the turn of Francesc Rifé, one of the brand designers, who tells us not only about his career, but also about his recent interview for the famous design magazine, AD.

For many people around the world the way we work has changed, and with it, the way we conceive the spaces and furniture we use to go about different functions. Understanding a designer’s point of view may help us to improve our environment and to change the way we relate to the place we live in. We’re not only talking about houses, but also refer to offices and collaborative workspaces.

Francesc gives us his opinion in this respect: "No concept is definitive and spaces must adapt to what we are. We can’t press a button and return to our lives prior to Covid-19 as if nothing had changed. Now we need hybrid ideas, multipurpose products, versatility and, above all, order".

Knowing what’s behind a design gives us an idea of the functional features we can give it, over and above its basic purpose. We asked Francesc about the transfer of emotions and feelings from his products to people, and this was his answer:  




"For me design is an act of service; I therefore start by thinking of usefulness, but after that, almost immediately, comes the beauty and the emotion of everything that goes into it. I therefore always seek to convey many things; although I would say that, above all, harmony and tranquility".

That tranquility referred to by the designer can be found in the designs of Bat Office and Bat Executive represented in a certain depth of space. This undoubtedly generates an impact on the way we go about our everyday work. 

"When I design, I always try to put myself in the place of the person who uses the product: what they will want to see, what they will want to feel. In this respect, the matter of spaciousness is essential; we all need a spacious workplace, more personal, in which to better express who we are".

Turning to a more personal aspect, we wouldn’t like to miss the chance to ask Francesc which of his designs for Akaba he remembers most fondly and why.

"From a very young age I had dreamt of designing for Akaba, meaning that for several reasons I would talk about Hanna, our first joint collaboration. I believe that for all of us this chair represents the change from aseptic workplaces towards warmer and more emotional spaces".



Butaca Hanna

Sometimes it may seem easy to do a job when you have some kind of talent, but if everything were that simple life would become boring and working or carrying out our projects would no longer make sense. That’s why, one question we couldn’t avoid was:

Francesc, what do you like most about your work and what aspect of it would your highlight?  

"Although it may sound simple: solving problems. It’s gratifying to find answers to complex questions. And, if I’m lucky, I’ll never stop learning".

And finally, a last question for the designer who, far from telling us about his point of view, invites us to reflect on life, our work, our achievements and how we feel about these things.

"I have a very special relationship with order, and that has helped me to develop our work with a good deal of common sense. However, our world has never followed a straight road, but rather one with bends. So we must never stop researching, testing, transforming, learning new things. We must never take anything for granted."

Thank you Francesc for giving us the opportunity to get to know you better through this space.