Design classics, now and forever lifestyle
Various iconic pieces like Miguel Milá’s ‘Cesta’ lamp or Jordi Vilanova’s ‘Tiracord’ chair continue to appeal to new designers who have re-released and restored their work.
These are design pieces which we’ll certainly take with us when moving home, every time. When we settle down, they adapt to the comfort of our interior spaces, although they almost slip by unnoticed in the home during each stage of our life.
A country’s design classics reflect its culture, the roots shown in our everyday actions and evolution. Also in the environment which comprises the objects we use and which surround us.
In Spain, society has been slow to realise the importance of design beyond its packaging, its appearance, or the essence of functionality with beauty. The importance of design is justified nowadays in the development of technology, materials, integrated sustainability and uses by people in their new ways of living.
We remember various key designs which are still going strong and look forward to the future. Rapid changes and the co-existence of past and current trends are no match for these patriotic designs, which have resisted the ups and downs and are re-released and valued even more as time passes.
Restoring the legacy of Miguel Milá
Nina Masó is an interior designer and one of the founders of the design studio Santa & Cole. A proponent of restoring design with value which transcends the piece itself, her favourite designers include Miguel Milá, who she has supported for years by re-releasing his pieces, as they are part of our history and culture: “He is a pioneer and a wise man. His mystical simplicity continues to surprise us. The consistency and quality of the Cesta lamp is one of the reasons for his success over the years. It is a Spanish design classic which adapts perfectly to the era, and being able to take it from one place to another is almost a necessity in modern homes”, Masó explains.
The LED light Cesta
Santa & Cole is a Spanish design studio which has never lost sight of the classics like Miguel Milá and his Cesta lamp. The transportability makes this piece a must-have. Especially in the new changeable interior designs in homes, offices or commercial spaces.
An industrial designer, interior designer, inventor and artisan, Miguel Milá started to create his pieces in the 1950s, becoming one of Spain’s design pioneers.
Through his company (Trabajos Modestos) he designed and self-produced, keeping in mind that throughout the creative process we must “focus on an idea and forget the rest”. This led to the Cesta lamp (1964) and his later series of table lamps, like Cestita.
Milá himself said that when visiting Barcelona in the 1960s, he came across a globe of opaque glass abandoned outside a glass factory. He decided to take it home and over the years, he turned it into the epicentre of many family homes. Like its name suggests, Cesta’s structure resulted from the need to take the lamp to different places. Over time and thanks, amongst others, to Santa & Cole, his pieces are continuing their journey and are seen as real modern classics.
Local design with a global dimension
Andreu Carulla is another person who discovered this new aspect of 20th century design in the 21st century. The industrial designer works from Banyoles for various countries worldwide. Sophisticated projects related to new technologies, recycling waste, creative management of various furniture brands and research into gourmet food with the chef Jordi Roca.
In his latest project, he is focusing his efforts on the importance of timeless design and the responsibility of restoration and local production as creative director of the Isist Atelier project.
Simplicity surrounds each rediscovery of classic design pieces, opening up our eyes to a new reality based on the tradition and craftsmanship of the designer which created them. “We searched for the soul of the most traditional designs from the past, bringing them into the 21st century. It is a classic restoration and re-release project which includes the designs of Miguel Milá, José Antonio Coderch, Antoni Bonet and Jordi Vilanova. Isist Atelier is not a design studio, but a producer which takes a bold step to offer its own catalogue of unique pieces made in its Barcelona workshop. It is home to artisan experts along with high-quality raw materials and highly-specialised machinery”, explains Carulla.
The original pieces from this first collection are found in the Design Museum of Barcelona. Isist Atelier, the company behind this project, aims to give new life to these objects, underlining the production’s faithfulness to the original design.
The butterfly flies again
Its flexibility, ergonomic adaptability and easy movement means the design of this chair is completely modern. Designed in 1938, BKF owes its name to its creators, the architects Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan and Jorge Ferrari, founders of the Grupo Austral collective. Inspired by nature, its steel structure has the shape of a butterfly (hence its name) and it is found in the permanent collections of the MoMa and the Design Museum of Barcelona.
Made with cow hide from Brittany and tanned in accordance with EU REACH regulations, all the hides are treated with mimosa and quebracho vegetable extracts without the use of chromium or its derivatives. This 100% plant-based tanning method ensures that BKF chairs are a completely natural, breathable and anti-allergic product. To reflect its authenticity, faithfulness to the original design and high level of quality, each BKF chair manufactured by Isist Atelier is signed and numbered.
He was one of the pioneers of children’s design in Spain by creating fun furniture which takes on a new purpose after childhood. Isist Atelier is re-releasing two of his most famous designs. Firstly, the Tiracord chair (1961), which was designed to be created with tiracord rubber strips and later made with seven leather strips. An extremely simple piece.
The children’s stool Delta is another key piece. Recognised by a Silver Delta Award in 1964, this chair evolves over time and adapts to the child’s growth, offering various additional functions.