We interviewed our eleven winners of National Innovation and Design Awards
28 Aug 2020 /

We interviewed our eleven winners of National Innovation and Design Awards

Valencia World Design Capital 2022 is an unrivalled opportunity to speak of the history of Valencian design, from the excellence of its companies and professionals. Valencia is a land of entrepreneurs, creativity and a vibrant society. And without doubt, its maximum exponents in innovation and design are the National Award winners.

We have a total of eleven companies and professionals who have achieved this maximum reward. We present a series of videos to bring these professional designers and their excellence closer to society.

Daniel Nebot was our first National Design Award winner in the professional mode in 1985. The jury valued his fresh and personal approach to bi-dimensional and three-dimensional design and his status as a reference in the new expressive forms of contemporary Mediterranean design. “His work as a whole expresses a refined simplicity which makes it exceptional,” they explained. In this interview, Dani expresses his view of Valencia’s opportunity to become a worldwide reference in the international design sector

A family firm created in Valencia in 1980, Punt Mobles was a business project by the designers Vicent Martínez and Lola Castelló. It was set up to manufacture the projects of its founders, although since 1987 it has incorporated in its production the designs of other professionals, from Spain and abroad, and has consolidated its sales and export policy. Now led by Mariano Soria, the firm was rewarded for the rigour of its track record, applicable to all the areas of the company; because its products withstand the test of time, and each new collection maintains a relationship of continuity with the previous ones, disseminating the concept of well-designed furniture to large swathes of the population, and for the constant level of quality of its products and its sales service.

Javier Mariscal (Valencia 1950) began working in Barcelona in 1971, where he reached prominence as a comic artist and illustrator. From 1980, his activity expanded to cover the field of object and interior design, with work that soon achieved international recognition. In 1988 his design for a mascot, Cobi, was selected for the Barcelona ’92 Olympic Games. At this time, the era of Estudio Mariscal commenced, conceived as a graphic, industrial and multimedia design factory, without relinquishing other fields such as scenography or architecture. A multifaceted and original creator, Mariscal moves without difficulty through the most varied fields of design and the arts. With his spontaneous graphic art and narrative talents, he has created endearing and popular characters. With his designs he has created a personal universe which has also been that of an entire generation.

The history of Andreu World dates from the nineteen-fifties and it has its origins in a small cabinet-making workshop in Alacuás, on the outskirts of Valencia, where Francisco Andreu learnt his trade. His ambition was to make avant-garde chairs and first he learnt to make them. In 1960 he founded Curvados Andreu and became an entrepreneur. In just over a decade he had installed a second factory close to a beech wood in Navarra, remodelled the Alacuás facility and opened its doors to designers. Ximo Roca, Vicente Soto and Angel Martí arrived. When the exports began, the company was renamed Andreu World and it began to cooperate on projects with external designers, including Josep Lluscà, Jorge Pensi, Nancy Robbins, Lievore Altherr Molina and, more recently, Patricia Urquiola. The firm is a leading reference thanks to its general coherence in the use of design as a business strategy, successfully integrating the different design disciplines, and its work on creating opportunities for new talents and the dissemination of design culture through its international Contest.

Nacho Lavernia

is one of the icons of Valencian design in the world. During his career, which began in the eighties, he has worked with various economic sectors and tackled all the facets of design, both industrial and graphic. For his award, the jury also valued his condition of pioneer in many of the current identifying features of Spanish design, his informative and teaching work, since he has always shown a special interest in the theoretic aspects surrounding the profession: methodology, project culture, innovation strategies, design management… In his most recent stage, from Lavernia & Cienfuegos, Nacho Lavernia has contributed in a relevant manner to improving the presentation of mass consumption products, bringing good design closer to the general public, on projects for distributors’ own-label brands and for large international factories, setting an example of how design brings value to the Spanish economy and how it is able to compete internationally with integrity.

Royo Group

is a Valencian multinational specialised in bathroom furniture and equipment, considered the third largest company in Europe to manufacture bathroom furniture. Its business strategy in recent years has been based on two pillars: internationalisation and innovation. The opening in 2012 of its innovation centre, Royo Group Innovation Center, has enabled it to strengthen its competitiveness to meet the challenge of becoming the European leader in the manufacture of bathroom furniture. We interviewed the company’s CEO, Félix Lafuente.

Born in Alicante in 1965, Mario Ruiz gradated in industrial design from the Elisava University School of Barcelona. His professional career began in the field of industrial products. In 1995 he created the studio Costa Design, dedicated to the design and development of industrial products and technology. In 2004, he set up Mario Ruiz Design for the development of furniture, lighting, office and applied graphics projects. The two studios merged in 2008. During his professional career he has worked for around 100 companies in more than 10 countries. The Award jury valued his brilliant track record, since he has achieved an identity of recognised prestige in the design sector, and his timeless and enduring style, as well as his international projection and his capacity to create a brand that has become consolidated outside Spain.

Actiu, which commenced its activity in a small workshop, is an example of accomplishment and progression based on the strategic value of design, which has enabled it to position itself in the market as an international reference in the office and public or institutional furniture sector. The jury especially valued its continued and sustained growth, highlighting its capacity to enhance design in combination with communication, graphic design and its management skills in all fields. Also considered in its bid was its strong commitment to design and RDI, since the company has its own design department, collaborating with expert professionals from the fields of architecture, product, graphic and interior design, and a heavy investment in research and development committed to the environment. Furthermore, the jury valued its high level of international penetration resulting from the implementation of an ambitious strategy that has enabled the firm to be present with its products and showrooms in over 90 countries on five continents.

The designs of Marisa Gallén continue to transmit the same freshness and candour as when, in 1984, she founded the legendary design studio La Nave, together with another ten partners. La Nave became a symbol of modernity and the seed of the maturity now shown by the Valencian design sector. Gallén and Sandra Figuerola were the only two women in this group.

 

The jury recognised “her extensive, global and innovative track record”. Furthermore, they highlighted “the coherence of her professional career, from the founding of La Nave, which represented a revolution in the world of design, to her current work, highly influential in company strategy, showing a great capacity for projects. Highly committed to sustainability from the outset, her ability to interweave design and art in her projects is exceptional. Her associational activity and cultural involvement, transmitting the values of design to society, are an example of commitment,” they conclude.

POINT is an outdoor designer furniture brand that, after 100 years of history and four generations of the Pons family, has evolved from a small workshop founded in 1920 in Gata de Gorgos (Alicante) into an international firm, present in more than 70 countries. With more than 43 collections and 300 products, its furniture adorns over 1,000 interior design projects around the world. The jury valued “its continued and sustainable ascending development, with a business strategy highly oriented towards internationalisation which has contributed to disseminating and consolidating the design ecosystem and giving it visibility. With a responsible consumption strategy and willingness to reduce environmental impact, its commitment to the interconnection of craftsmanship and tradition with design and innovation is outstanding, maintaining its loyalty to natural materials.”

Porcelanosa es un modelo de negocio cimentado en tres ejes: tecnología, sostenibilidad y medioambiente. Una empresa presente en 150 países del mundo con más de 1.000 tiendas y que ha sido capaz de generar cambios disruptivos, desarrollando constantemente nuevos productos para ajustar su oferta a la demanda de nuevos diseños, lo que le ha permitido adaptarse al mercado con agilidad. El jurado valoró especialmente “su modelo de negocio fuertemente comprometido con la innovación en tecnología, sostenibilidad y medioambiente, así como su atención al crecimiento innovador y sólido de sus propias empresas y equipos y su capacidad de generar cambios disruptivos”.

A production by Valerosa Mèdia for Valencia World Design Capital 2022.

Written and directed by Eugenio Viñas
Photography and colour: Carlos Aparicio
 Informative production: Marta Moreira
Production: Alba Villanueva
Animations, graphic art and montage: Nacho Naya

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