Max Enrich’s studio in Barcelona is “a total mess.” He confesses that his preference for working outside of the studio is part of the reason his workspace is so hectic. “I don’t like working on the computer so I just move around with an iPad and a pencil.”
Max doesn’t like to sketch anything until most of the details are clear to him, and he only sits down to draw when he absolutely must. For him a day spent in a workshop making ideas tangible is more rewarding than conceptualizing and sketching. He says that’s what being a designer is all about: “Designers don’t just have ideas, because everyone does. Designers make them doable and livable. We make ideas happen.”
Suspension lamps and floor light designs litter his desk. Max is currently working on building these lamps for clients using glass and stone—a favorite material for him at the moment. With stone, he says, “You don’t start from a sketch and start building, as in wood or metal. It is the total opposite. You start with a block, and you modify it until it’s done. It is more about erasing than adding.”
Max’s portfolio ranges from bubbly handblown glass water pitchers to contemporary lamps sculpted in upholstery foam, designed to contrast the organicism of their installation site at Antoni Gaudí’s revered Casa Battló. He’s also created furniture for clients like French design brand Petite Friture, Curated By. shop, and RRIO Architecture Studio, all of which experiment with the texture of familiar materials to create extraordinary works. “You can’t tell how a project is born. There are many ideas and random concepts dancing in your mind until you decide to bring it down to reality,” he tells me. “During that process you have to try and add sense and proportion to the project.”
In the case of “Tubs i llums,” a recent project Max completed with Galeria il·lacions, the project began to take form as he abandoned his planning sketches and instinctively bent metal tubes into arches of different sizes. “When I received the tubes and had them laying on the floor, the project took a new direction: I needed to find the most convenient combinations to make the whole family,” Max says. “It was combining bits and pieces that worked. I felt that way of working was very natural.”
A version of this article originally appeared in Sixtysix Issue 08 with the headline “Max Enrich.” Subscribe today.