Realism and surrealism merge and form a fluid harmony in the beautiful designs of the creative studio Six N. Five. The colourful images are visually very satisfying and almost transport you to another world that Imagicasa loves to lead you through for a magical trip.
Six N. Five is a contemporary design studio based in Barcelona. The studio specialises in still life visuals and videos which they create for other brands, architects or designers, but they also regularly experiment with their own projects. All designs have modern aesthetics and are a real treat for the eye. The colourful fantasy worlds leave no one unmoved. The creative brain and founder behind this company is Ezequiel Pini who tells us more about his designs and studio in an exclusive interview with Imagicasa. What’s the story behind Six N. Five? How did it all began?
“I was born in Buenos Aires and studied Graphic Design there. At first, I wanted to start my own studio there, but because of the experience of working and living in Madrid for six months, that did not happen eventually. I loved living in another country, so I founded Six N. Five in Barcelona in 2014. As a tourist I already loved the city and the same language is spoken there. You have a beach, you are close to the mountains and there are so many different cultures. Most of my clients also come from Europe. So this seemed to be the ideal place. Currently, the studio consists of a group of designers specialised in 3D design and Art Direction.”
Images with a wow effect and that confuse the viewer with what is real and what is not
Where does the name come from?
“Honestly, it was chosen rather randomly. It's the specific time when we wanted to finish and wrap up our day. And we thought the numbers also looked very good aesthetically and sounded good!”
How would you describe your work and style?
“My work is a bit peculiar and difficult to describe. I would say I am an art director who knows how to use one of today's greatest tools, 3D. It allows me to create digital images that look real. Some words to describe my style are subtle, soft, conceptual, graphic, pastel and sometimes provocative. The soul of the studio actually lies on the border of art and design. It is also important for us to create an image that brings something to the viewer, a feeling, a smile, pleasure or sometimes even discomfort.” Which idea lies at the basis of your designs?
“The main idea is to create eye-candy images, to create the wow effect and confuse the viewer with what is real and what is not.”
Where do you find inspiration?
“I really find inspiration everywhere and I think everything can be used as a creative source. Working with 3D with realistic results gives us the opportunity to combine textures we like with shapes we love and place them in a building or space we would like to live in. So we have a wide collection of references and sources of inspiration that help us in our job. As designers, we also see many images passing by and try to stay informed of all design trends in the different fields.” Imagicasa would almost call your work art. How do you feel about this?
“When I created Six N. Five, I hoped it would form a link between the design and art worlds. These two are naturally and historically connected. But nowadays, they have become more and more isolated, as if they were never related in the first place. I strive to reconnect art and design.”
Which aspects always return in your work?
“We have a great fixation on balance; objects and their relationship, both logical and illogical, with gravity. We are also obsessed with different material proportions. Sometimes we spend days exploring the limits of a certain material. We like to take a material to an 'uncomfortable' place so that it can become the protagonist of the story. Each of our works has some material exploration in it. It is also important to sometimes leave the design world behind you and seek inspiration as far away as possible. Designing is solving problems. We also like to investigate how nature itself solves its problems and analyse the relationship between people and objects as a result of social norms.”
The soul of the studio lies on the border of art and design
Can you tell me a bit more about the balance between realism and surrealism in your designs?
“We want to create a constant reality so that the viewer does not doubt whether the work really exists or not. But we also love the moment when the brain starts thinking 'how much of this is real?’. We like to live on that thin line between realism and surrealism. We also want there to be a sense that this reality really exists, and at the same time achieve the unreal with a more conceptual approach. It is very interesting to get feedback on the realness of our works, so we see that our goal has been achieved. We also like to make the viewers feel uncomfortable because they cannot find the line between what is real and what is rendered.” Why do you mostly choose set design and 3D?
“The sensation that a set gives us is very flexible. You can use it to generate empathy and familiarity with the viewer. Or to give importance to a product and create a large distance between the item and the viewer. A bit like window displays. It is a versatile method that offers a lot of freedom. Set design considers physical space. You cannot ignore it, it's everything. I really love the unlimited possibilities a computer offers: working in 3D, achieving realistic results and creating objects, spaces and situations that wouldn't be easy or even impossible to create in real life.” Can you tell me a bit more about the process with which you design these beautiful worlds?
“We are looking for references of lighting, materials, spaces and textures. After that, we start with the projection in a sketch, drawing or sometimes we immediately make a design with 3D software. Then, we model and place light and cameras as in the real world and start the shadow process. We test colour combinations, lighting, positions until we get a result that we are happy with and then we render that. The longest process is to achieve realism. We spend many hours or even days adding imperfections, dust and details that make it feel more realistic.”
Which colours and materials do you love?
“I mostly use pastel colours like pink, cream and light blue. But also electric blue or seaweed green are my favourites. In terms of materials, I like semi-transparent or reflective materials, but iridescent materials remain my favourite.”
This interview was originally published in Imagicasa Summer 2019. Images courtesy of Six N Five