The Design Circus is a three day event showcasing and stimulating understanding and the culture of design in Western Australia via an active and live experience, including workshops with some of the world’s most acclaimed and award-winning designers.
The most recent event welcomed Nina and Jordi of Santa & Cole, and here’s what they had to share with us…
What interests you most about your particular area of design?
For me, lighting in life is a very important thing, and when we work on a project we look at every small detail. I very much like the warm light.
What was it about the 80’s era that made you look back at more classic designs?
In 1985 the lighting in lamps was very cold. We didn’t like this so we worked to change it. It’s very important for us to choose designs from the past and update them. Selecting a design from the 50’s or 60’s, we don’t change the design but instead we simply upgrade it with LED technology and more superior materials. For us the most important thing is timelessness. No fashion, no trends, just products that will last the test of time and be around forever.
What is unique about the way you work. Do you have a particular process you go through for each design?
We like what we do, and all things in the catalogue are in harmony. I don’t like when I see one chair, a table and a lamp, but put together they don’t match. When you choose a Santa & Cole lamp, if you put it next to all other lamps in the catalogue, it works. I don’t have a very big house, but if I did I would have all of them! And that’s important.
Also, we don’t choose the object based on who has designed it. It is purely based on whether or not we like the design and if it matches with our philosophy for the company. Our focus is on the product rather than the designer. The question we ask is, “what kind of product is possible to create with this designer?” We think about the product we would like first, then we think about which designer would be best suited to make it happen.
What’s been your most challenging project to date?
The new LED era is very important. In the beginning LED was a very cold light, and I think for us the most challenging thing is finding what kind of warm light is possible to make with LED. It’s evolving very quickly, and so trying to domesticate it so it’s warm has been a big focus for us.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
The person for me who is the best advisor is Miguel Milá. For us he is the best designer in Spain from the 60’s and 70’s. He is very talented, and I always listen to him because he is excited by simplicity. There is always something that he says that makes me think deeply.
Where would we find you on your day off, and how long will you be staying in Perth?
You’ll usually find me in the ocean! Either that or in the garden, as I enjoy spending time outside. We are in Perth for five days, but we plan to come back. We’re looking forward to walking around the city and exploring, perhaps visiting Cottesloe Beach and Rottnest Island.
Santa & Cole products are available at Mobilia.
Santa & Cole