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David Abad is no stranger to the award podium: the list of his acknowledgements include the Red Dot, Design Plus, IF Design, Good Design and Design Preis. In 1996, he founded DAB, a company based upon the premise that fewer things of higher quality make a space feel more refined than a glut of accoutrements. The designer’s current collaboration with Basque manufacturer B.lux has brought him further international acclaim, and we at Global Lighting can’t get enough of his highly refined products or his particular talent for aesthetically sophisticated architectural solutions for the T5 bulb. You can bet he will be leading the way with cutting-edge solutions for the LED as the lamping becomes the norm. It’s no wonder Abad knows how to think like a technician given he’s educated as an engineer and spent years experimenting with technology and his own ideas in the metal factory his father founded.
“I’m curious and I like to experiment with materials,” he says. “I’m not afraid of any material.” Proof of this is the wide variety of composites and natural elements in his portfolio. As he’s working with these, he’s spatially envisioning the architecture in which his lights will be placed—the spaces they will illuminate leading him along. Just 28 years old when he debuted his first collection to acclaim at Habitat Valencia in the mid-1990s, he notes his approach is simply to meld his sensibilities as an artist with his knowledge as an engineer. Those of us who are inspired by his lighting can be thankful he has experimented with design since he was a child. “I love aesthetics,” he states. “I love surfaces, materials and well-made things.”