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The Coolest Glass Chairs Since Kuramata

Guillermo Santoma's interior work shows an acute understanding of things like just how much geometry is enough and how interesting cuts in the architecture can lift a just-great renovation into something otherworldly. Over the past few months, Santomá has released a series of chairs that embody many of those same principles.
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A New Book Features the Botanical Decor of Your Dreams

File this one under "why didn't we think of it first?" This fall, Magali Elali and Bart Kiggen of the Belgian online magazine Coffeeklatch — a destination for lovely interviews and photography that's been on our must-read list for years — released a book called Greenterior, which looks at the homes of designers and artists through the lens of their abundant houseplants.
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Guillermo Santoma Barcelona home

A Designer’s Barcelona Home, Where Color is King

In the most recent issue of Apartamento, alongside really excellent pieces including an interview with Matt Connors, a photographic essay of Donald Judd's collections, and a paper still-life series, we found this gem: Casa Horta, a 1920s single-family Barcelona house now occupied by the young designer Guillermo Santomà, who used vibrant shades of green, pink, and blue paint to delineate space as well as provide a gorgeously saturated, incredibly dramatic backdrop.
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Week of June 8, 2015

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: a look inside Andreas Murkudis's new full-service design outpost in Berlin, a sneak peek at our favorite projects launching at Design Miami/Basel next week, and our first picks from this year's degree shows, starting with the vanity above.
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Los Objetos Decorativos by Rosa Rubio

Barcelona-based Rosa Rubio founded Los Objetos Decorativos with a focus on creating editions of handcrafted objects designed to forge a subconscious emotional bond with their owners. Her first collection consisted of Surrealist, unconventionally tactile brushes and mirrors outfitted with ostrich feathers and synthetic hair, while her newest series — Obj. No. 5, 6, 7, and 8 — is meant to evoke the emblems of an imaginary tribe or clan. "Their patterns provide a feeling of belonging," says Rubio, which in turn conveys a sense of "protection" and "gratification, which every culture stores through these kind of elements." The one-of-a-kind pieces are made from recycled textiles which Rubio has embellished with dried plants and small clay beads.
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Equilibrio Frágil y Simétrico by Cristian Montesinos

For his ongoing series of miniature totems, Barcelona-based graphic and furniture designer Cristian Montesinos collects and paints scraps of found wood, which he keeps on hand for the assembly and photographing of each piece. "Biking or walking in Barcelona I always find what I need," he says. "I keep the pieces, classified by size, and use them when I need them. When I work with these woods, I feel I'm returning to them a part of the dignity that was lost when they were thrown away. When I paint them I try not to completely cover the material, as part of the idea is to show and appreciate the tangible past of the object."
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Marc Monzo, Jewelry Designer

Barcelona's Marc Monzó has been designing clever, minimalist jewelry since the '90s, but we only found out about his work this month, thanks to a current solo show at Amsterdam's Galerie Rob Koudijs. On display until February 22, the exhibit features his new series of small brooches (pictured above) made from copper sheeting that's been cut up and reassembled like masonry, using sterling silver "mortar." We liked them so much we decided to delve back into Monzó's portfolio to share more of his pieces with you, after the jump.
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AOO Shop in Barcelona

AOO is a new store and brand in Barcelona started by Marc Morro and Oriol Villar, whose first collection is a mix of chunky wood pieces they've designed and built in their workshop and pieces they've commissioned from other designers and had produced by local craftsmen. The store's shelves are supplemented with outside objects from brands like Santa & Cole, and its graphics are the work of Eindhoven faves Raw Color. "We're a place where you can easily find things that are hard to find," say the founders. "For example, things to give to someone you really care about, like yourself if you consider it appropriate."
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Phantom: Mies as Rendered Society by Andrés Jaque

Considering Mies van der Rohe designed the 1929 Barcelona Pavilion to emphasize transparency and freedom of movement, you've got to hand it to the Spanish architect Andrés Jaque for his genius new exhibition "Phantom: Mies as Rendered Society," which plumbs the one part of the building that's always been both hidden and completely off limits to the public: its basement. When we spotted these images of the show on Dezeen last week, complete with broken window panes in the reflecting pool and an industrial vacuum on the patio, we kind of lost it — talk about sights unseen! Jaque's installation, the latest in a series of Barcelona Pavilion interventions by designers like SANAA and Ai Weiwei, takes what's basically an overlooked yet significant refuse pile and transforms it into something unmistakably gorgeous.
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Josep Román Barri, Graphic Designer

Josep Román Barri's latest project happens to be the art direction for a new website that's in the exact same spirit as our own: It goes behind the scenes in design, focusing on process rather than the final result. Should you ever have doubted that the world needs more of this kind of reporting, though, try searching for behind-the-scenes information on young talents like Román Barri himself, whose work has certainly made the blog rounds as of late but who might scarcely have a turn under the microscope if it weren't for sites like ours. When we first caught a glimpse of his fledgling oeuvre, all we could glean was that he was a 26-year-old Barcelona-born graphics graduate who studied technical engineering before turning his hand to two-dimensional design, and that he had a way with color and typography. So we emailed him and asked him to introduce his work, and he gladly obliged — now that wasn't so hard, was it?
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Black Markers: "My tools change all the time. I could be painting with acrylic or working on my Wacom tablet, but I usually have some black marker with me — Posca, Sharpie, Pentel — to improvise with in my dead time. These are the markers I've been using lately, and on them I have drawn some of the characters starring in this story: one orange, a gym towel, a dog, Maite (my girlfriend), and me."

Antonio Ladrillo, Graphic Artist

In the googly-eyed character world created by Barcelona-based graphic artist Antonio Ladrillo, you might see shades of Cartman, or maybe the Lowly Worm from Richard Scarry’s Busytown books. But though the 36-year-old artist counts among his influences illustrators like Olle Eksell, David Shrigley, and Bruno Munari, the one thing he returns to over and over again is Super Mario Brothers, the NES videogame created in 1985 by Japanese artist Shigeru Miyamoto. “It’s fascinated me for years, but I only started to value it as something artistic when I was older,” says Ladrillo. “It perfectly combines my main interests: rhythm, color, shape, and space. I often go to it as a way to find some aesthetic pleasure.” It should come as no surprise then to anyone familiar with Ladrillo’s drawings that, like a videogame artist, he can't help but constantly imagine his characters in motion. “So much so, that for a time I couldn’t draw anything that wasn’t moving because it looked unfinished to me,” he says.
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Xavier Mañosa of Apparatu

The world has its share of design couples — husbands and wives who work together in the studio day in and day out with seemingly infrequent urges to kill one another. But Xavier Mañosa, the 28-year-old Spanish ceramicist who goes by the name Apparatu, may be the only designer we know who works every day alongside his parents.
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