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DESIGNERS

HÉCTOR SERRANO

Hector Serrano

Hector Serrano

Innovation at its most unusual

A very young Héctor Serrano set up his practice in 2000 in London. This highly multicultural city has a tendency to assimilate all creative foreign newcomers so efficiently that any cultural differences between them and those of its host city are soon erased. That said, Serrano has most certainly retained his Spanish identity, while his connections to his native Valencia remain strong.

Hector Serrano Studio, as his design office is called, is known for projects which combine innovation with the communication of familiar ideas in unusual and inventive ways. The studio's activities are divided into the following areas: ‘product’ (product design), ‘space’ (exhibition design or installations), ‘communication’ (for example ad campaigns, packaging and web design), and ‘lab’ (experimental research projects that allow the studio to put new formulae into practice, in addition to questioning existing ones).

Héctor studied industrial design in Valencia before moving to London where he gained an MA in product design at the Royal College of Art. Perhaps his most notable early success was the decision by cult Dutch producer Droog to take on his Superpatata project (2000), a surreal-looking, malleable object made of natural latex containing an 11-Watt fluorescent light that “can be used as a pillow, anti-stress device or an object to warm your bed,” according to Serrano.

His other commercial products include the Waterproof light (2003) for Spanish lighting manufacturer Metalarte. Waterproof was something of a breakthrough product for Serrano in terms of raising his profile since the product garnered a lot of press coverage.

He has created several interiors and arresting installations, the latest being the Waterdrop installation for bathroom company Roca. Created as a tribute to the beaty of water, it invited people to enjoy and explore water without using so much as a drop. Héctor was also the curator and designer of the exhibition space for Spain Emotion, one of the participants at this year’s Tokyo Designer´s Week. He also designed the show’s publicity campaign.

The Studio has received a number of awards including the Peugeot Design Award and the Premio Nacional de Diseño No Aburridos (National Prize for Non-boring Products). His designs are exhibited in a number of prestigious museums such as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum In New York and can be found in the collection of the Central Museum of Amsterdam.

Of Héctor’s more current projects his idea for a London bus co-designed with Minñarro García and Javier Esteban – an entry for a competition mounted by the city’s mayor, Boris Johnson – is the most high-profile. His idea has made it to the shortlist of three designs, chosen out of 700.

In parallel to this, he’s working on an installation for the Coachella Valley Festival of Music and Art in Los Angeles, and is busy developing new products for such pioneering companies as Spain’s Gandia Blasco and Arturo Alvarez, Japan’s Muji and Britain’s Worldwide Co.

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