Since 1994, Valencian designer Miguel Herranz has been working in practically all areas of design: furniture, lighting, car and bathroom design, ceramics, product design, experimentation with technology as well as interior design and exhibition stand design.
According to the designer, his methodology is ‘not having a methodology’. His way of working, he says, is ‘analytical and anarchic – I benefit from being in a state of anarchy which stimulates me to be more analytical’.
Herranz brings a fresh, highly individual feel to the companies he collaborates with. His work has a focus which isn’t diluted by the dullness of the more mainstream elements of the industry. It’s steeped in a knowledge of other sectors, while Herranz has an itch to explore new avenues.
He is currently exploring a range of ideas which he dubs ‘ordered choas’ – an approach he applies both to his product design and interior design projects and exhibition stands.
His career to date has seen him collaborate with very well-known Spanish brands in various sectors: lighting (LZF Lamps, Grupo B-Lux, Blauet), furniture (Viccarbe, Celda Diseño and Concepta) and bathrooms (Novum). He has also overseen the design of exhibitions both in Spain and abroad and has given lectures in schools and design workshops. And, at the same time as working as a designer, he has collaborated with others as a teacher and has sat on the jury of a number of interior design competitions for young designers.
He has won many awards, most notably for his Mikado lamp, manufactured by LZF Lamps, in 2006, the Design Plus prize awarded by the German Design Council, and the Good Design Award given by the Chicago Athenaeum in 2008.
We approached Herranz to find out more about his work and future projects:
Interiors From Spain: Tell us more about your working method which you call ‘ordered chaos’. How does it help you with your work? Does it mean your designs all have common traits?
Miguel Herranz: The ordered chaos idea is a plastic and creative resource to help develop projects which are highly individual and have great formal richness in stark contrast to the simplicity of their structure. Entropy, as a measure of disorder in any system, inspired the name of this collection of work which conveys the serenity found in disorder in nature yet is adapted to industrial production.
I ought to say that I use this methodology (or non-methodology!) in projects only when I think it’s appropriate to them – and when it’s likely to be productive. I always aim to embark on projects from different, unexpected perspectives. My real methodology is what I call ‘no methodology’; I describe my working method as ‘analytical and anarchic’. I enjoy taking a very anarchic approach which stimulates me to be more analytical.
The designs I undertake with this ‘ordered chaos’ approach share the characteristics which I’ve mentioned before: individuality, a sculptural quality, complexity, formal richness and structural simplicity.
IFS: Do you have a favourite design of yours? And do you have a new product in the pipeline or one you’d like to create?
Miguel Herranz: My favourite design is always the one I’m working on at the present moment.
As for products in the pipeline – that’s everything! From the moment I started designing, I’ve yearned to design all type of objects and I’m especially interested in designing ones which haven’t yet been created. I think it’s very fulfilling and enriching to work in different design fields and apply knowledge learnt in one to another. And, as I say, as for future projects I want to design everything: toys, watches, high-tech products, yachts, cars… At the start of my professional career I won a design prize for a car design in Japan. But since then, despite the fact I’m very attracted to it, I’ve not been involved at all in the automobile industry. Being freelance and busy with other things, I haven’t managed it, and yet for me car design is an area I’d like to do more of in future. Luckily, my professional life is swamped with potential projects and exciting challenges.
I’m interested in doing a project very soon – an interior design one on the margins of industrial design which is audacious and ambitious, and in which, without being constrained by any limits, I could develop really individual, daring spaces by drawing on the ‘ordered chaos’ approach I take when doing my industrial and interior design work.
IFS: Can you tell us what new projects you’re currently doing or which you were involved with until recently?
Miguel Herranz: Well, I’m designing lamps, of course, and a family of street furniture, very functional office furniture, a chimney, taps, sanitaryware and bathroom furniture, sofas, chairs, a height-adjustable stool, outdoor furniture, a bookcase… I also want to try to proceed with my future aforementioned projects.
IFS: Finally, what new trends do you see emerging in the world of industrial design and which sectors do you think offer the best opportunities for designers to work in today?
Miguel Herranz: The true consolidation of globalisation in the business world, which I think we’ve been experiencing in the past few years, is creating a panorama which is contradictory yet very interesting. While globalisation encourages cultural and social and, of course, aesthetic homogeneity, the more competitive nature of a global market raises the bar – encourages the pursuit of character, individuality, innovation, cultural cross-fertilisation, the appreciation of local cultures and artesanship on an industrial scale. These Utopian conditions are great for industrial design – it makes it highly efficient and an indispensable tool for the industry. What’s more, I believe there’s always room in industrial design – in contrast to many other areas – for both global, homogenised design and non-global, individual and personal design. Industrial design gives equal importance to both. And there’s another point to make: perhaps globalisation – even if this is thanks to a growing global environmental awareness – will gradually reduce the excessive damage industry wreaks on the environment.
Certain regulations are being imposed on globalisation in all sectors and consequently I believe that great opportunities lie ahead for us. What’s truly important is to be able to reinvent oneself in the new conditions found today in all sectors of the global marketplace.