ICEX, The Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade, in collaboration with the Economic and Trade Office of Spain in Tokyo, organised a group of exhibitions, temporary installations, seminars and lectures focusing on Spanish design during the recent Tokyo Designers Week (TDW), held from October 26 to November 4. These showcased the latest products created by Spain’s contemporary designers. These promotional activities form part of the event, Dual Year Spain-Japan. The event’s most eye-catching attraction was designer Jaime Hayón’s exhibition Backstage, A Journey into the World of Spanish Designer Jaime Hayón, held at the Spanish Embassy in Tokyo. This presented some of his most iconic pieces produced in collaboration with both Spanish and international furniture, lighting and homeware manufacturers. On display were 12 products, including for the companies Lladró and Bd Barcelona Design, and the process behind their creation – from initial, rough sketches to completed products. Hayón also held a seminar about his creative approach and how he transforms his ideas and sketches into polished pieces of design.A series of seminars about different areas of Spanish design, held at the Spanish Embassy in Tokyo, also formed part of TDW. On the industrial design front, participants included designers Mario Ruiz, Victor Carrasco and Carlos Tíscar and the design studios of Jorge Herrera, Silo Studio and Santiago Sevillano. Four interior design studios – Egue and Seta, ESL Interiores, Noviembre Estudio and AC Studio – also took part, all of whom promoted their services in Asia. Finally, design studios Mormedi and Stone Designs unveiled their work in the Japanese market to Japan’s press, advocates of products and manufacturers. Other events promoted a cultural interchange between the two countries, most notably an exhibition organised by Acción Cultural Española (Spanish Cultural Action) and curated by Spanish designer Juli Capella called Tapas, Spanish design for Food, based at the HQ of TDW from October 26 to November 4 and from November 4 onwards at the Spanish Embassy in Tokyo. What’s more, Spanish design studio Stone Designs, in collaboration with Japanese design brand Muji, mounted the exhibition Found Muji Iberia, while design outfit Outofstock put on the show The Weight of Blue in collaboration with Clear Edition and Any Tokyo 2013. Finally, Lladró organised an exhibition of its pieces launched in 2013 at its showroom in Ginza, Tokyo.
It’s in central Manhattan and aims to consolidate the company’s presence in North America. On June 5, Spanish contemporary lighting firm Marset opened a new showroom in New York. Situated in the city’s Flatiron District, it replaces the last shop the company opened in The Big Apple in 2011. The consolidation of Marset’s presence in North America in recent years necessitated finding a new space that needed to include an office and be larger and more versatile — somewhere where events and launches can be held and its collections attractively displayed. Architects practice Stefano Colli was responsible for the design of this venue where people can both work and feel at home — and welcome their clients. Founded in the 1940s as a family-run foundry, Marset began designing and making lighting in 1965. Today, it has two other showrooms in Barcelona and Milan, the latter space shared with Italian kitchen company Acheo. Here visitors can enjoy at first hand the Barcelona-based company’s flair for good design, innovation and creativity.
Located in central Barcelona, Marset’s showroom is a new space which has been designed to enable the company to display its lighting collection comprehensively in a more appropriate setting. Its aim is to showcase all its designs and their different qualities, textures, moods and effects.The project’s interior, which was undertaken by Barcelona-based architects Colli Martínez, reflects the philosophy and thinking behind Marset’s products, which are typically sober-looking but also imaginatively designed – and look fresh and new to the eye.The interior is inspired by wood sawyers and the way they stack and dry planks; in fact, the shop’s wares are displayed on planks, which give the decor a warm, natural feel. Arranged with gaps between them, the planks form a decorative lattice effect. The remainder of the space has been painted entirely white to create a calm atmosphere.The showroom is reached by a patio, which itself plays an important role in the project. The design of its landscaping and central pergola hint at the fact that the space aims to be multidisciplinary. Events and informal, alfresco meetings are held here in a setting surrounded by greenery – a haven from the hustle and bustle of urban life.The garden’s design is the brainchild of Valencian artist Josep Ferriol. Having taken vegetation as his chief material, Ferriol was interested primarily in creating a lively, ever-evolving space. The plants have been chosen very artfully, and the times they flower taken into consideration. There are plants for shady or sunny spots, and plants of different heights, textures, colours and smells. The planting is such that the patio’s walls are lined with a second skin of vegetation which changes constantly throughout the year, creating huge variety.Marset has been making and selling its lighting to over 40 countries since 1962, and, thanks to its impressive track record, it’s now a leading company in its sector. At the Light&Building fair held last April in Frankfurt, it launched several new very on-trend products, such as the Scantling light by Mathias Hahn, Christophe Mathieu’s Continua light and Joan Gaspar’s Plaff-on! ceiling light. Marset’s new collection puts the emphasis firmly on sound, good design. Its lighting pays particular attention to the nuances of colour and effects in order to create atmospheres with distinctive qualities.