Martín Ruiz Azúa graduated in 1995 from the University of Barcelona with a
degree in Fine Arts and Design. Alongside his design practice, he teaches
History of Design at the Elisava School in Barcelona. Ruiz Azúa is an uncompromising designer. Through his research, he arrives at almost
immaterial forms that conceptually address ecological, economical, social and human aspects. Far from providing marketable solutions, his work questions, presents statements and ideas, and enlightens.
‘Casa Basica’ (1999) is a project about improvised urban dwelling. This proposal, which remained in a prototype phase, consists of a virtually weightless house – only 200 grams! – that fits into your pocket. It is made of metallic material that is used for survival blankets.
The house inflates through your body heat or the heat of the sun, expanding to 8 m3. It is a dwelling fit
for a life on the move without material ties. ‘Human Chair’ (2002) is a collective
conceptual chair, that requires people to sit on each other’s laps – the ‘product’ is a collaborative activity rather than a proprietary thing.
Giving waste a new positive connotation is the underlying message of Ruiz Azúa’s ‘Plaited Fence’ – a fencing system for public space into which the public can plait waste materials like plastic bags, stray newspapers or coke bottles. This way, the waste floating around the city’s streets acquires an aesthetic second life, and the fence becomes a creative communal activity instead of a barren barrier.