Ever since José A. Gandía-Blasco Canales, president and creative director of the Gandia Blasco Group, took command over the family firm in the 1980s the company has been defined by its commitment not only to good design but also to the actual place where it was founded, Valencia, and the new generations.
At the Gandia Blasco Group we are always looking out for new voices, new ways of doing things, collaborating and giving a platform to up and coming entrepreneurs. We do that through initiative such as the International Outdoor Furniture Design Contest which is held yearly (this coming year marks the 14th edition), involving new designers for brands like DIABLA, the most informal and daring of the Gandia Blasco Group brands, with an open invitation to the Gandia Blasco House in Ontinyent, a refurbished former factory now a place for sharing design and the legacy of the company’s values.
On this occasion the students of the Masters in Architecture, Design and Innovation, MArch Valencia directed by Fran Silvestre visited the Gandia Blasco House in order to participate with a workshop that takes place yearly. The first day was spent visiting the Bocairent factory where they were introduced to our construction system featuring soldered aluminium profiles, used in the manufacture of most of our collections. They were also brought to the Durplastics plant that makes all the polyethylene and polypropylene elements, provider to the Gandia Blasco since its beginnings.
The last part of the visit with the students was to the Gandia Blasco House. In the company of José A. Gandía-Blasco Canales they were shown around the house which he shares with his family.
At midday after a short presentation by the Gandia Blasco Group given by José and Alejandra Gandia-Blasco, the students had lunch within the property’s winery, but before getting down to work they had the opportunity to have a refreshing dip in its beautiful swimming pool located within the patio area.
During the afternoon we began the MArch workshop in the Gandia Blasco House: the students were given a box containing a kit of aluminium profiles of different sizes and weights (the material of choice for the GANDIBBLASCO brand) giving free reign to their imaginations to create something with them. A game with which they managed to construct useful and sculptural objects: models of screens, lamps, armchairs, beds, mini-architectures…. The aim was to provide an unconstrained exercise in experimentation within a space that would inspire creativity.
The second day of the workshop continued within the classrooms of MArch, where the group choose a final piece and rendered it to contextualise it giving it a completed finish.
For the third day of the workshop José A. Gandía-Blasco Canales came along and picked out the best projects, some of which might one day even be produced commercially as happened with the NIT lamp and some of the architectural works of Fran Silvestre.
To sum up, the experience of this workshop was one of testing and sharing, creating together within an inspirational setting.
Till the next time!