World Design Spotlight: «ENSOMBRA» parasol, by ODOSDESIGN
11 Jul 2022 /

World Design Spotlight: «ENSOMBRA» parasol, by ODOSDESIGN

A sunshade that opens and closes like a fan. As simple and as useful as the design “Ensombra”, by Odosdesign.

“The design for the “Ensombra” parasol was not a commission as such. We had to present new projects for the Nude exhibition in 2005 and it occurred to us to concentrate on the general idea of outdoor furniture. In the creative stage we focused on developing a parasol precisely because we knew the company Gandía Blasco and we had seen that this type of product was not on offer in their catalogue. We came up with the idea of “Ensombra”, we submitted it for Nude and it was selected. Before the event we showed it to the marketing director of Gandía Blasco and he liked the concept very much, but he said that he would wait to see it in person at Nude. Finally at Nude it was love at first sight and ever since then it has thrived and is an iconic piece in their catalogue,” explain the designers Ana Segovia and Luis Calabuig, who head the studio.

“With Ensombra we reinterpreted the system for opening and closing fans in another type of product, a parasol, with the aim of obtaining a simple system that could be opened and closed over a single slat. This allows the parasol to be opened and closed to obtain sun or shade to the user’s liking.” 

This designer sunshade is manufactured with a galvanized steel base and a thermo-lacquered stainless-steel pole in a wide range of colours. The slats are strips of phenolic board that unfold according to how much light and shade is required. “It is more than a decorative sunshade, it creates an array of colours, lights and shades that transform the outdoor space into an idyllic place that is full of life,” they point out.

The greatest challenge, they explain, was to find the ideal material for the slats, since it had to be sufficiently resistant to be used outdoors, as well as not bending excessively or being too rigid. 

Another of the key pieces was the design of the central piece of each slat. Its design enables the joining, opening and closing of the slats thanks to a blocking system that makes sure that when one is moved the rest follow behind.

Ensombra was awarded first prize for the best outdoor product at the Grand Design Awards 2007 in London, first prize in the Italian Gioia Casa Award 2007, the Delta selection in 2007 and was a finalist in the professional section of the CDIM awards in 2006. It was also selected to participate in different exhibitions, including Spain Color: Fresh Air in Spanish Design”, in Tokyo, Editorials” curated by the VIA in Paris, Suma y Sigue” and “100% Valencianos”.

“For us, this specific piece was what gave us visibility and encouraged us to set up the studio to make a living from what we were passionate about. That was 20 years ago now. As a learning process I would say that a product is alive and that as the years pass it is necessary to update its production processes. The parasol was about to go out of production because of a technical problem and we had to improve it and redesign it. Luckily the problem was solved.”