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What is Spain?' Campaign Popularizes Essence of Spanish Design

This Interiors from Spain initiative presents a promotional video that celebrates the diversity of values that characterize the designers and companies of the Spanish habitat design industry, as well as its competitive position on the international market.

Innovation, tradition, knowledge, technology and the cutting edge are just some of the distinctive features of Spanish design highlighted by the 'What is Spain? campaign. These are qualities linked not only to the productive capacities and industrial talent of the sector, but also to its creative dimension, which have consolidated its foreign recognition and have made it a trend setter and exporter.

The campaign was presented at an online event held in early December, boosted with a talk on the international achievements of Spanish design. Participants included LZF Lamps - a lighting firm that has received the National Innovation and Design Award 2020 in the companies category; architect Ramon Esteve; the founders of the Mayice Studio design studio; and Pablo Conde, director of Fashion, Habitat and Cultural Industries at ICEX. The meeting was led by Marisa Santamaría, director of the Association of Design Companies of Spain (Red AEDE).

“We have two great traditions in Spain: craftsmanship and, perhaps less known, the legacy of the modern movement. With these two cornerstones, we have trained excellent professionals who know how to technically solve a product, while at the same time giving it a design that reaches people's hearts," said Ramon Esteve during the talk.

“Our country has many different and very rich cultures,” added Mariví Calvo, co-founder of LZF Lamps, along with Sandro Tothill. “There is now a major concern with not losing our cultural values and learning from artisans and traditions.”

In the words of Marisa Santamaria, from an international perspective, Spanish design is characterized by a blend of passion and poetry. In our case, says Mayice Studio’s Marta Alonso, “we always work with a lot of emotion: we love nature, music and beauty. In the end, these kinds of references are full of rhythm, silence, noise, lights and shadows... So, poetry may somehow be a part of our subconscious.”

Another of the issues that the talk participants agreed on was the close collaboration between designers and manufacturers that usually takes place in Spain, which is essential for the quality and success of a product. “In Spanish design, there is a natural exchange between designers and manufacturers, like in jazz improvisation,” said Imanol Calderón, co-founder along with Marta Alonso of Mayice Studio. “Communication between the designer and the company is crucial," agreed Sandro Tothill from his position as a manufacturer.

"Spanish design is a blend of passion, technology and flexibility. And flexibility is wonderful trait nowadays because it is an attitude that provides solutions and allows you to quickly change and adapt to the market or new lifestyles,” architect Ramon Esteve also reflected. Sandro Tothill also stressed the good quality of the products: "We work just as well as the Scandinavian countries or Italy."

Regarding its notoriety and international projection, Pablo Conde stressed that Spanish design is beginning to take its rightful place. “Not everyone knows about the importance of Spain in the world of design. At the Salone del Mobile, one of the most important trade fairs in the sector, Spain is the most represented foreign country. With the What is Spain? campaign we want to promote this reputation and celebrate its values.”

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