The exuberant Spaniard has established himself as an artist and a designer – and has infused his playful sensuality into everything from sofas to ceramics.
Your designs are always joyful and colourful. Do you see a return of interest in the decorative?
It’s more a mix than a return, a new mix that balances the playfulness and spontaneity of the decorative with the clarity and functionality of minimalism.
What trends do you see taking off these days?
Longevity. Also that things have to make sense to people.
You’re an artist, too. What are you doing in the art world, and how do you balance that with your design projects?
I had a retrospective at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands of my work – art pieces, sculptures, ceramics, commissions – and it is now travelling to South Korea and Spain. I’ve been working for three years to make a series of public art sculptures for Southmead Hospital in England. At the same time, I’m someone who loves design, who loves furniture. There’s not one without the other. It’s one dialogue among different platforms.
Where do you turn for inspiration?
Anything can serve as inspiration. It’s a matter of training your eye, a way of looking at stuff and at people.
What interests you these days in terms of colours, shapes and forms?
Materiality is very important for me. The character of the materials should be underlined by the choice of colour and shape.
What makes you jump out of bed in the morning?
I live in a village near Valencia. I have my kids and a garden. It’s super-simple. But that basic quality makes me understand the world. On the weekend, I’m dedicated to my family and to having fun. I make my own wine. Then, every Monday at seven o’clock, I fly to Paris, where I’m working on a Japanese club and a bread shop, and I come back in the afternoon. I come back, and I’ve got my garden, I’ve got my tomatoes. This is life!
What does the design world need more of?
Passion and playfulness, combined with consciousness. The responsibility we have as designers is crucial.