Thursday, October 21, 2010

Barcelona to Palo Alto in twenty minutes

On Tuesday afternoon Isabel Roig of Barcelona Design Centre brought the four speakers from Day 1 of Barcelona Design Week on a design tour to the creative enclave located in the beautiful area of Palo Alto in @22 to the East of the city.

Palo Alto means tall stick and the creative area is in an old factory complex with three tall chimmneys - hence Palo Alto.

We had the chance to visit three amazing design companies.

It was really great to meet Javier Marsical at his studio and to speak with him and Tono Errando (co-director and younger brother) about his new animated movie 'Chico & Rita' (to be released in London on 19th November). Directed by Javier and Fernando Trueba, Javier told us it is a love story set in Cuba in 1948 between a woman from New York and a man from Havannah. But it is also a love story about the two cities and with the evolution of jazz. It took three years to write the narrative and scripts and three years more to animate the story. Animating with thick lines is very challenging and in addition to this, over the three years, the technology available to animators keeps changing. The movie has been very well received in Cannes and Javier told us that it is 'a very moving story of the heart' and promised us that we will cry when we see it.

Following this wonderful half hour, we then met with the guys at Equip a multidisciplinary architectural practice founded in 1990. They have three key premises in their philosophy: permanent reinvention in our approach to understanding; being closer to people and redefining approaches to respond to situations as they arise.

The practice is particularly multi-disciplinary as they are working on hugely diverse projects including high rise buildings; cutlery, jewellery, bathroom taps and, through a subsidiary company, on the design of the Galactic Suite Space Resort. Marc Zaballa Camprubi of Galactic Suite Design talked us through the development of the project.

It was interesting to hear this in the light of Richard Seymour's presentation on Virgin Galactic in Belfast earlier this month. (See my Blog for October 14th).

Space tourism is a reality.

Finally, we went to visit Josep Morera CEO and Creative Director of Morera Design, one of Spain's leading packaging & branding consultancies that specialises in the premium & luxury segment covering fragrance & cosmetics, luxury waters & beverages and wine & spirits. Also based in a beautiful building in the Palo Alto complex, Josep graciously gave time to speak with us even though he happened to be particularly busy at that moment in time (we arrived a little late) and definitely not helped by the fact there had been a power cut earlier in the day.

Thanks Josep for so graciously taking time with us to tell us your great story.

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