Ramos y Bassol is a product design studio co-founded in Barcelon ain 2004 by industrial designers David Ramos and Jordi Bassols
The studio produces contemporary design that always aims to balance form, function and aesthetics and creates clean-lined, warm, attractive and user-friendly products. It has collaborated with such Spanish firms as Vibia, Actiu, Escofet, DAE chimeneas and Porvasal and Italian brands including Paola Lenti, Kristalia and The Italian Lab as well as such Portuguese companies as Famo. What’s more, it has scooped many internationally prestigious awards, among them the Red Dot award and an IF Design award in 2015 for its Wing chair, created for Actiu and a Gold NeoCon award in 2016 for its Longo collection, also produced for Actiu.
Bassols and Ramos chat to us about their design vision, work in Spain and abroad and future projects.
Interiors From Spain: How did you come to set up the studio? Had you worked together before doing so?
Ramos & Bassols: We studied at the same university, the Escola Superior de Disseny (ESDi), and even though we were in different years we happened to meet in the studio, G Bernal & Associats, where we both worked from 1998 to 2004. In 2004, we decided to co-found our own studio.
Interiors From Spain: ¿What is your vision of contemporary design, and what is your way of working when you embark on new projects?
Ramos & Bassols: Contemporary design encompasses so many different styles and trends that we don’t worry too much about what these are. When we design, we simply want to create seductive products we’d love to have in our own homes.
We always take the same approach to how we work. Some products spontaneously spring from an intriguing sketch, others emerge after we’ve created maquettes. For us, maquettes are an essential part of developing new products since we can work on a scale of 1:1. It’s the only way to contrast ideas and finish defining products.
Interiors From Spain: Do your products have characteristics that distinguish them from others? What qualities do companies look for in your products?
Ramos & Bassols: We’d say we’re not the best people to answer this question, although we like to think we have a signature style. We think that it’s for those who use our products to define what that is. We believe our products are sober-looking, formally balanced and attractive. We love to lavish attention on details as we believe that the quality of products is often judged by the quality of their details.
Interiors From Spain: Your studio has recently specliaised in lighting and furniture for the domestic, urban and contract markets. Are these the sectors you feel the strongest affinity with? Are there other sectors you’ve worked in or others you’d like to work in?
Ramos & Bassols: Throughout our career, we’ve been lucky enough to be able to work in very different fields. This has made us more resourceful and enriched our knowledge. We like to work in all these fields as we think it’s professionally good not to be pigeonholed and this prevents us from getting stuck in a rut in a single sector. It’s true that lighting has always been a priority to us in our work because of our close, good relationship with the company Vibia. It’s hard to find companies that are as wholeheartedly committed to good design as Vibia is — an approach that has proved successful.
We’ve worked in many other sectors such as tableware — a sector we’ve worked in a lot — and we’d would like to work again if possible in other areas such as urban, office, product and outdoor furniture design.
Interiors From Spain: Many studios don’t get to work with such leading Spanish companies in their sectors as Actiu and Vibia. What’s the secret to your success?
Ramos & Bassols: Tenacity, hard work and a bit of luck! In Actiu’s case, we spent about three years sending them ideas until they eventually gave us the opportunity to take part in its own competition which, fortunately, we won. This led us to develop different products for the company, once we got to know each other.
Interiors From Spain: What has your experience of designing abroad, such as for Italian and Portuguese companies, been like? What advice would you give a Spanish studio that’s trying to become internationally known?
Ramos & Bassols: It’s been very good. But it’s always hard to secure foreign clients. At one point we were hit by the recent financial crisis which many companies suffered from and which forced many to disappear or reduce their output.
But our experience shows us that it isn’t that much harder to get clients abroad than in Spain. But at the end of the day, sharing the same language helps and when two companies are interested in working together, this makes it easier for us to understand each other.
Interiors From Spain: Your studio has won many internationally prestigious prizes. What do these awards mean to a small studio?
Ramos & Bassols: It’s always exciting winning an internationally prestigious prize, since it’s confirmation of good work and hugely satisfying. It also makes it easier to do business when meeting companies which we’ve never worked with before. The downside though is that these prizes are not given to all companies as these need to have made a certain level of investment to enter competitions, and this means that lots of good designs fail to get the recognition they deserve.
Interiors From Spain: What about the future, can you tell us about any upcoming projects, including any outside Spain?
Ramos & Bassols: It’s not easy to look ahead to future projects since some can be delayed at the eleventh hour.
But we’re currently working on a wide-ranging collection of large-scale lights for Vibia. We’re also developing a collection of outdoor seats for a Danish company, outdoor tables for Paola Lenti and a chimney with DAE Chimeneas, a pioneering Spanish design company. There are other projects that have aroused interest but we can’t say any more about them now as we haven’t signed any contracts.
We’re also currently working on a personal project — a collection of solid wood products which we’ll manufacture ourselves and want to sell on the internet.