ISHAC BERTRAN: Organic, Analog, Digital

By Teresa de Andrés. August 21, 2012


In the work of the designer and engineer from Barcelona Ishac Bertran, technology talks the language of art and design. His projects challenge and question the limits of all that is known in an enviable balance of technique, creative thinking and innovation. In the following conversation we try to discover some of the secrets hidden inside this privileged mind to start September with sharp teeth, alight inspiration and renovated energy.

On your website we find a sort of declaration of intent that I really like and which I think truly describes your practice. "Organic, Analog & Digital". Why these three words?

They are the common denominator of the projects I like to work on. Analog processes inspire me with their tangibility and that unpredictable ingredient that makes results have their own identity. Of the digital processes I’ll keep the precision, reliability and speed. Each technique provides different features: I like to take advantage of how they complement each other in order to look for new results.

I added the term “organic” because I am passionate about materials, organic constructions, natural patterns, etc., which are an underlying source of inspiration.

Your work falls within the union of technology, design and art. What relationship do you have with these fields? What made you want to work in that intersection?

I studied industrial engineering, working on projects that were very technological, leaving my creative side for my free time. Throughout the years I’ve looked for a formula that lets me combine technology and creativity in design or artistic projects. Nowadays, technology and design are more related than ever and these are the fields I work with professionally. Artistic projects let me explore new areas more freely.

What are you working on at the moment?

Currently I am working on a project for a client from Taiwan on products for domestic media consumption and I am also in the final stage of the code {poems} project, which is about to be published.

A few months ago we talked about this book, which proposes an interesting reflection on poetry and code. How’s it going?

A few weeks ago we selected the poems that are going to be included in the book. I am now giving the final touches to the book, of which a first limited edition of 100 copies is going to be printed.

Which would you say is the best of your designs?

It's hard to say. I've never been a hundred percent satisfied with any of the projects I've done; from the inside you are more conscious of what it could have been, of what is missing and what could be improved. From a conceptual and technical point of view, Pas a Pas is surely the most complete, from the conception to the making of the prototype.

Experience has showed us that often the present is set on not becoming the future. Do you have any project you wanted to carry out but couldn't?

Many! It would be great to have a few months outside the established calendar to set in motion those things that are left on the road. Sometimes, leafing through your notebooks is frustrating. But if there is anything good about all this, is that time forces us to make decisions and manage our energy in what we believe we can enjoy the most, or learn more.

What inspires you?

The greatest source of inspiration is probably everything that surrounds me. I am very curious; I think I learn a lot observing, talking to people. Then I like to give some space so that, internally, those connections between the little details –those generating an idea or motivation– are made. Anyway, with the outburst of information and content to which we are exposed today it is sometimes complicated to find a balance between external and internal inspiration.

How do you imagine the future? Dark or bright?


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