We announce the winners of our 15th GANDIABLASCO International Outdoor Furniture Design Contest
November 17, 2022 | Contest /
Valencia, November 2022 – After the break forced by the pandemic, we are once again recognizing and supporting the creativity of young talents passionate about design and outdoor life through the 15th edition of the GANDIABLASCO International Outdoor Furniture Design Contest.
On this occasion, the applicants faced the challenge of designing a functional and innovative outdoor office. The proposals had to meet three fundamental requirements: they had to be original and original, industrially reproducible, and produced without using any plastic material that was not 100% recyclable.
Poster of the 15th GANDIABLASCO Contest
The aim was to create outdoor workspaces prioritizing criteria of versatility, flexibility and dynamism. Ideas closely related to the global context of recent years, with the COVID-19 pandemic marking our lives and changing the way we live and work.
In this fifteenth edition, the experts who evaluated the candidatures were José A. Gandía-Blasco Canales, president and creative director of Gandia Blasco S.A.; Álvaro Matías, CEO of ALMADÁS and director of Madrid Design Festival; Marta Alonso and Imanol Calderón, architects and founding designers of Mayice Studio; Marisa Santamaría, researcher, teacher and disseminator of global design trends; and Mariví Calvo and Sandro Tothill, co-founder and creative director at LZF, and co-founder and CCO at LZF (National Design Award 2020).
Deliberation of the Jury at La Casa Gandiablasco
The award-winning designs were Midsommar, by NMASA Design Studio —which won first prize—, Humpys, by Eduardo Mora Castedo —recognized with second place—, and Eclipse, by María Pía Palacio, Mariana Paccieri and Lucia Rush —deserving of a special mention—.
Midsommar, by Javier Masa Rodríguez (Spain). NMASA Design Studio
Midsommar is an outdoor collection formed by four pieces of furniture that play with the indoor-outdoor and work-leisure dichotomies. It allows transforming the terrace into a multipurpose meeting space, full of possibilities, where nothing is only what it seems: the main table, for example, maintains an outdoor essence inviting to enjoy a meal “al fresco”. As Marta Alonso and Imanol Calderón of Mayice Studio said, “Working outdoors is a luxury”.
This design “looks beyond, taking into account the special situation we live in, reacting to adapt to the needs of the future” according to Mariví Calvo and Sandro Tothill of LZF. The components of Mayice Studio, for their part, insisted: “it stands out for its freedom and adaptation to different environments.”
Humpys, by Eduardo Mora Castedo (Spain)
The 2nd prize in the competition is defined by its simplicity and versatility: a single typology that offers multiple possibilities. Composed of two joined cylinders molded in 100% recyclable polyethylene, it functions as a desk, can be used by one or two people in an informal meeting, its ergonomics allows relaxed postures for moments of rest… And it also takes up little space, is lightweight and easily stackable. A project that has delighted the jury for its improvisation, courage and freshness.
As Marisa Santamaría explains, “we are gradually becoming accustomed to uncertainty, which leads to a constant concern to accommodate new trends and advances in design to the speed of transformation of labor needs. Resolving the tension between working at home, nomadic working and the new office concept is the challenge for design brands today and as they evolve into the future”. Humpys is the solution to these types of changing situations.
Eclipse, by María Pía Palacio, Mariana Paccieri and Lucia Rush (Argentina)
The special mention of the 15th GANDIABLASCO contest went to the Eclipse panel. The original lattice allows the creation of intimate functional environments to favor concentration and creativity, easily convertible into spaces that favor interconnection and cooperation. Marisa Santamaría emphasized the benefits of working outdoors: “it improves performance and efficiency, we must take into account these new areas to create dynamic, flexible and adaptable elements. Nomadic and multipurpose designs that can change position and create different environments for different times of the day or type of activity.”
José A. Gandía-Blasco Canales, for his part, recognized Eclipse’s ability to “conceive the exterior in an integral way, creating spaces”. Something fundamental for us and which can be seen in some of its most innovative designs, such as the ELECTRIFIED PERGOLAS.
This edition of the GANDIABLASCO International Outdoor Furniture Design Contest has been very special, after the 2021 pause. A return to normality, to boost creativity and talent anywhere in the world, with an eye on the future and the innovations brought about by the changes produced in recent times and which have affected us all as a society: with the aim of rethinking the spaces around us, placing value on the time lived in outdoor spaces and putting design at the service of well-being.
Working outdoors: these are the keys according to the Jury members
Have you explored the territory of outdoor lighting? What do you appreciate about the integration of your designs in outdoor spaces?
Outdoor lighting is one of our concerns, a challenge for us that involves the inclusion of new materials that are integrated into our way of “doing”.
Light changes everything. Imagination is what makes us connect the space in broad daylight to transform it, at sunset, into another that speaks of other corners and other sensibilities, of discovery. We live in the Mediterranean and this sensitivity with which we are born paints the spaces created by our lamps, tinging them with the peace and contemplation created by the breeze.
Mariví Calvo and Sandro Tothill, co-founders of LZF Lamps
Among the positive effects that working in an outdoor work area can have, which would you highlight? What can young designers bring to these spaces?
We would highlight the freedom, the adaptation to different environments and climate changes, how you work with ambient light. Working outdoors is a luxury.
We like the designs for these spaces to surprise us, since young people have a conception of life sometimes because of their experiences and the current world we live in that other generations don’t have. We love the naïve part, as well as the improvisation and courage, the freshness…
Marta Alonso and Imanol Calderón, architects and designers, founders of Mayice Studio
¿A qué desafíos crees que se enfrenta el diseño para espacios de trabajo?
The first challenge is constant change, we are gradually becoming accustomed to uncertainty, which leads to a constant concern to accommodate new trends and advances in design to the speed of transformation of work needs. Resolving the tension between working at home, nomadic work and the new office concept is the challenge for design brands today and as they evolve into the future.
Brands and designers must focus on empathetic and suggestive offices, they must seduce the worker and employee, generate parallel actions of connection between professionals, coexistence and experience, and constant training.
How do you think that an outdoor space contributes to well-being at work?
To be outdoors is to be connected with nature, even if it is only a view of the sky. Human beings have a vital need to have this feeling on a continuous basis. The design elements that accompany comfort and well-being have to do with innovation, quality of materials, resistance to climatic changes, durability, and an aesthetic evolution according to the context of each time.
It has been proven that working outdoors improves performance and efficiency; these new areas must be taken into account in order to create dynamic, flexible and adaptable elements. Nomadic and multipurpose designs that can change position and create different environments for different times of the day or type of activity.
Marisa Santamaría, researcher, teacher and disseminator of global design trends
On the enhancement of our environment
The change of perception around the idea of the office has changed radically in recent times. How do you experience these new trends and what does the “garden office” model suggest to you?
I think it has to do with the approach of redesigning the world. Three years ago this would not have been an issue, but now things have changed. Today, we spend a lot of time at home. We have lived through the most complicated situation we have ever had to live through and we value more being at home surrounded by our comfort. The fact that there is a competition for designers with this idea shows us that things have changed and that they are going to stay that way. And the fact that there are designers who are now able to create following this premise and who have this idea shows us that the world is changing.
Álvaro Matías, CEO of ALMADÁS and director of Madrid Design Festival
What do you think outdoor environments bring when it comes to workspaces?
It’s very nice when the weather is nice to sit at your computer on a terrace, either in a garden or on the terrace of a café, and sit down to work quietly in the sun or in the shade, depending on the temperature. A protected space, such as a pergola, has all the essential ingredients of an ideal outdoor workspace.
Beyond the design of projects or collections, GANDIABLASCO proposes a lifestyle. What language does the brand speak that makes it understood everywhere?
We try to create spaces, furniture and pergolas that allow you to enjoy the outdoors in a pleasant, stylish and comfortable way.
José A. Gandía-Blasco Canales, president and creative director of Gandia Blasco S.A.
The GANDIABLASCO International Outdoor Furniture Design Contest will return next year for its 16th edition.
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