A mosaic of cultural influences, Valencia, Spain, is home to a group of rising-star and well-established design firms who made a splash in the contemporary furniture industry with their exhibition Valencian Design Showcase: Live it! which opened last week during New York Design Week and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF).
The exhibition features furniture by 12 Valencian designers including Almerich, Bonestil, Capdell, DARC, Fambuena, Gandia Blasco, LFZ Lamps, KOO International, Naturtex, Point 1920, UNO Design, and Viccarbe.
The exhibition represents a range of modern furniture, lighting and flooring that reflect the character, climate and heritage of Valencia, as well as trends: vanguard and tradition, modernity and craftsmanship.
Photos: furniture by Koo International, UNO Design, DARC Design & Architecture
Victor Carrasco, designer and general manager of contemporary furniture design firm Viccarbe, finds the fusion of cultures in Valencia invigorating. “We are living in a spectacular moment. Fusion is the future,” he said.
Viccarbe’s aesthetic is simple and elegant, and designed for people who live in the present and think of the future. Carrasco’s background as a mechanical engineer informs his design process. “I talk with the piece while I’m designing it; I like to ask it questions: Who will be the client? What is its natural essence? I am always mathematical. I try always to get the conclusion—everything has a conclusion.”
Photos: furniture by Viccarbe
The Mediterranean climate serves as inspiration for Luis Eslava, a designer for Almerich and LFZ Lamps. “We pay a lot of attention to the sun. Even in our furniture you can see the sun,” said Eslava.
A light source that travels through wood automatically creates something warm, explained Sandro, co-founder of LFZ Lamps.
Eslava uses natural materials in his designs such as oak, steel and wood, and makes everything by hand. “These materials represent the past, and they will be the future. I’m always focused on being timeless,” he said.
Photos: lighting by LFZ Lamps
Quality and handmade are important themes for the contemporary lighting firm Fambuena, known for transforming designs into objects with an emotional language. “There’s great craftsmanship in Valencia. When applied by young designers with fresh ideas, it’s had great results,” said designer and president Francisco Fambuena, who describes the firm as executing unconventional ideas. The designers agree there’s an energy and passion in their work, which is rooted in their homeland. “We’re a few small companies doing what we can to elevate the name of Valencia,” said Fambuena.
Photos: lighting by Fambuena
The exhibition will be on display at the Domus Design Collection Building (DDC) at Madison Avenue and 34th Street in Manhattan from May 12-May 28, 2010