Last month I visited Spain as part of a Spanish Design Tour – SunnyDesign – which took in lots of different brands across 3 different cities. It was a whirlwind tour jam packed full of incredible design, bloggers and journalists from across the world and memories to last a life time.
You may have already seen the post talking about my Barcelona hotel, but in today’s round up I want to show you some of my favourite brands, designs and products from the first few days of the tour.
Welcome to #SunnyDesignDays
Firstly I have Marset, a company that cares about lamps and lighting. Spending an afternoon with them in their showroom in Barcelona it was clear they have a deep passion for more than just creating lights. Their ideas and creativity stretch much further, and understanding the processes and attention to detail that goes into every single design was breathtaking. Constantly striving to produce innovative products, they won four major awards in 2016 including the NYCxDesign Award, a global design competition.
Following on from the visit to Marset in Barcelona, we were taken to meet the designer that produces Marset’s Pleat Box and Scotch Club collections. Xavier Manosa, is a master ceramicist and a visit to his atelier on the outskirts of Barcelona, bought us to the heart of Spanish design.
Another day and lots more sunshine in Barcelona gave us the chance to meet the team behind Simon, a leading Spanish and worldwide company in the making of low-voltage electrical materials. Basically if you’ve ever been to Spain, or indeed Europe you will have turned on a light with one of Simon’s switches.
At the Design Museum of Barcelona we were taken on a #SimonInterfaces journey – a history of the light switch over the last 100 years. The fascinating exhibition showcased how the light switch has evolved over this time and how much its design has changed.
Just a 10 minute walk away was an old Simon factory turned into the most stunning pop-up space to showcase the products and much more. Simon has created a space where the user can experience the possibilities that can be seen, touched, heard and felt through its products.
The shot below was taken in a dark room, with flickering light and artificial rain. All created through the touch of a switch.
As you can see so far, the design companies we met in Spain were diverse and varied.
Nanimarquina design rugs, indeed they are one of the leading rug manufacturing firms, exporting 60% of its products. One of the most amazing aspects of visiting brands and companies like this, is the behind the scenes passion that always comes through.
Nanimarquina showed us how they work closely with their weavers and artisans to produce pieces full of texture, colour and shape. Digging deeper into how products are made gives you a greater appreciation of the piece and a better understanding of the passion behind a brand.
The visit to Santa & Cole outside Barcelona, one beautiful sunny evening is one that will stick with me for a long time. Created in 1985, the company produces design in four different areas; indoor lighting and furniture, books, urban lighting and trees for urban reforestation. The common factor – original high-quality contemporary design.
This was a company where I connected strongly with the designs; where I was drawn to the lighting, shape of the furniture and the many, many books.
The design shown below was of a kind of shelf lamp, easy to move and reposition. In fact, we saw it several times throughout the tour; later at dinner and again in a hotel, Casa Bonay.
Following our Santa & Cole tour, dinner was served by another company sharing space at the design centre. Headquarters is situated at Belloch, where other design companies are starting to form part of the group that shares a similar ethos and attitude.
Dinner was served in the gardens. Made from totally home-grown organic produce, just for us. Beautiful.
I hope this gives you a sense of the design I experienced (and the food I ate!) on the tour. All of these brands were incredibly pleased to host us and I felt welcomed and well looked after for the whole week. In return I’m showcasing some of my favourite moments, pieces and images from the week.
Come back soon for another sneak peek into Spanish Design with part 2 of the tour.
All images by Jen Stanbrook
Take on location in Barcelona at the #SunnyDesign Tour 2016
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