World Design Spotlight: «La siesta»
14 Jun 2022 /

World Design Spotlight: «La siesta»

The project arose while we were studying at the Royal College of Art in London, it was in a conversation in which the three of us were talking about tradition compared to contemporary life, about how people drank water in the past and how they do it nowadays. We thought why not mix something totally opposite and which shares functionality. In a way, La Siesta arose as a metaphor of our own life and experience when we left Spain to live and study in London,” explains Héctor Serrano, the designer who, together with Racky Martínez and Alberto Martínez, invented La Siesta.

La SIESTA is a terracotta bottle that combines the aspect of a 1.5 litre bottle of mineral water with the advantages of a traditional “botijo”, or earthenware jug. It is a humorous look at a culturally iconic element. 

“The creative process was very fast. We drew the first sketch in a few minutes and a few days later we made the first prototype turned in wood. Later, we commissioned a ceramics student of the Royal to make the first prototype in terracotta. We exhibited it in Milan, but it didn’t attract attention. At the end of the master’s degree, we had to give an exhibition of our projects and we decided to make a small production run of 30 units that we sold and gave away.”

“Up to that point, the project went unnoticed. It was a curious bottle but nothing more. A few months later we contacted Silvia García, design director of La Mediterránea, who believed in the project and the firm began to mass produce it. La Mediterránea produced it for several years until, finally, it discontinued it. That was when José A. Gandia-Blasco discovered that it was no longer in production and decided to rescue and relaunch it. Now, thanks to Gandia Blasco, La siesta is still available. We couldn’t think of a better brand for our product.”

La Siesta is a contemporary reinterpretation of a traditional object, a fusion between the shape of a plastic bottle and that of a “botijo”. An iconic object with which to drink and serve water in a different way. It is a product that is more than just a decorative piece. “It is very social and interactive, since it can be shared in a way that, moreover, pays tribute to traditional habits,” explain its creators. 

The challenge in designing it was to be true to the idea of fusion, doing it in a balanced way so that it would be understood naturally and simply. For the object to speak for itself but without shouting. We tried to intervene as little as possible when shaping it, focusing on the iconic characteristics of the two objects and extrapolating them in the new product. In a way we tried to intervene as little as possible once the idea had arisen, so that it was almost instantaneous,” elucidates Serrano.

The result is an iconic piece that can now be found in books on design history and which has been present in numerous exhibitions, “but the most important thing is that since we designed it, it is still selling 22 years later and it is still as relevant as when it was created.”

 “It is an example of how, when you travel, you not only learn things about your new destination but also about where you come from and how your perception of the familiar changes and you are able to interpret it in a different way. It’s clear that if we hadn’t gone to study in London, La Siesta would never have existed,” he concludes.