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With Digital Sunset, designer Cristian Zuzunaga interprets the blaze of day’s end in a riot of digital pattern. Part of his signature Bitmap collection, the imagery is derived from the pixilated process of compressing a screen image for storage. In this case, a sunset from his native Barcelona. Rendered primarily from superfine Italian merino wool along with an added silk fiber, each blanket takes 5 hours to produce in the handcrafted jacquard technique by dedicated artisans in Spain.
“We are alchemists. We are not robots. We are so much more than something mechanical that is simply switched off when we die,” says artist and designer Cristian Zuzunaga. It’s an interesting comment from someone whose work focuses on the pixel, the cynosure of our digital life. Yet this Barcelona-born, London-based citizen of the world interprets that inspiration with analog traditions of the finest materials and a sustainable sensibility, grounded in hand craftsmanship. For the work, he has garnered awards including the ICFF Award for Best Textiles in New York and the coveted Les Découvertes award at Maison & Objet in Paris.
The son of a Catalan mother and a Peruvian father, Cristian set out at age 17 to travel the globe and define his place in it. Now settled in London where he finished his studies with an MA at the Royal College of Art, he also maintains a studio in his native city. Both his training as a graphic designer and his original interest as a student of biology inform his micro/macro view and use of color to provoke an emotional response. “We have to live for and through the senses,” he says. “That’s why I use multicolors.”