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Emmanuel Babled

Emmanuel Babled

The Hand of Others/La Main des Autres

Text by Angela Vettese
Text by Veerle Devos


Publishing 25th Sep 2024
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Full Description

This monograph’s title, The Hand of Others/La Main des Autres, could not be more appropriate, as it aptly summarizes Emmanuel Babled’s work and essence. The French designer, who now operates his studio in Lisbon after stints in Paris, Milan, and Amsterdam, initially graduated as an industrial designer. However, early in his career, inspired by the great Ettore Sottsass, he realized that his true passion did not lie in the mass production of plastic objects, but rather in creating distinctive, precious functional pieces through close collaboration with master craftspeople. These artisans are situated in specific production centers where age-old traditions and highly skilled craftsmanship continue to produce magic today, albeit increasingly challenged by the signs of our times.

Babled’s objects encapsulate the collective knowledge of master craftspeople, his design talent, and his ability to collaborate with masters worldwide. His unparalleled talent for integrating out-of-the-box design thinking with cutting-edge technology culminates in limited editions that contain intangible world heritage. Precious traditions, local history, and groundbreaking innovation converge in Babled’s work, breathing new life into ancient crafts and precious materials such as marble.

Within this monograph, we gain a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Babled’s limited editions, delving into the spirit of the designer as he celebrates a successful career spanning over 30 years. Through him as an intermediary, we are initiated into the rare craft of highly skilled craftspeople in places inaccessible to the public, where secrets are passed down from generation to generation.

The book captures the essence of Babled’s career: he transcends the role of an individual designer and instead utilizes his brand to represent an entire industry and culture deeply rooted in tradition and local knowledge. He achieves this through an impressive multidisciplinary use of contemporary design and technological applications, propelling ancient tradition into the 21st century.

In this manner, Babled surpasses his own ego and individual signature, embodying the idea that a designer is not a solitary entity but rather a collective enterprise, beautifully illustrated in this unique monograph.

Text in English and French.

About the Author

Angela Vettese is a well-known Italian contemporary art critic, exhibition curator, and journalist. She has published several books on artistic production and its market, and she has taught art history at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. Veerle Devos, a Belgian historian and journalist now based in Lisbon, Portugal, has devoted more than 20 years to journalism, covering topics such as urbanism, design, craftsmanship, art, innovation, and human interest for publications such as DAMn° Magazine.

Five Continents Editions
Publish date
25th Sep 2024
USA & Canada
10.83 in x 13.98 in
304 Pages
247 color
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