Growing up in the seaside town of San Sebastian, Spain, Ibon Arrizabalaga liked to draw – a lot. It was his mother who nudged him to put his talents to use, informing him, “Ibon, this is a trade, and it has a name: designer.” Surprised to realize drawing “was actually a job someone would pay for,” Arrizabalaga decided on design school, and in 1996 he received a degree in industrial design from Escola Massana in Barcelona. He started his career in the automotive industry, part of a team of designers at SEAT who collaborated on the company’s Altea vehicle. In 1998, Arrizabalaga began designing furniture for Treku and has since been part of the company’s TARTE team, the group responsible for the design of Treku household and industrial products. In 2013 he founded Naoko, a design studio based in San Sebastian and influenced by Basque traditions and culture. Arrizabalaga describes the common elements in his work as elegance and simplicity, with inspiration springing from sources as varied as a painting, or a tree, or “sometimes just hard work – try, try, try.” His harmonious, minimalist lines are evident in his Forma, Lauki and Sen Collections.
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