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Lagranja Design: More than just designing spaces

Lagranja Design: More than just designing spaces

José Manuel Fernández, Director of interior design

What does LaGranja specialize in?

LaGranja is a multidisciplinary studio which complements interior design with the creating its own furniture and lighting.

Who founded the studio? And when did you start working here?

The studio was founded in 2002 by Gerard Sanmartí and Gabriele Schiavon.
In 2004, María Ruiz joined the studio to take charge of the product department, while I took over interior design.

What do you like most about your job?

The fact that we see every interior design project as a fresh challenge. This is something that the studio has always done and it is what I find most inspiring. I still get as excited about each new project as I did on the first day.

And what do you like least?

I generally take a positive view of each stage of the project, but I do sometimes despair a little when projects take ages because of bureaucracy and so on.

What do you think your company excels at?

I think we chiefly excel in creating dynamic and multifaceted projects in which we combine the design of spaces with the design of furniture, lighting and distinctive objects. We have always been known for trying to bring a fresh vision to interior design, based on the needs of the project rather than the latest trends.

What is your main challenge?

We want to continue to take an upbeat approach to design, but to ensure we are seen both as a “fun” studio and a serious benchmark in the sector.

Where is your company located? Do you know why this location was chosen?

We are located in a building that used to be an old biscuit factory in Calle Pamplona 96-104 in Poblenou. We have been here for about 12 years. Before then, we spent 5 years on Calle Ciutat de Granada, also in Poblenou. We decided to base ourselves in this innovation and design quarter years ago.

What do you like most about the neighbourhood where you work?

I particularly like the fact that it is changing constantly. Movement and change always bring the energy that is necessary for our work (the noise of construction sites is not so inspiring, but it’s not so bad...).

How important is Barcelona for your company?

We have a really great international reputation and the Barcelona brand has always helped us to keep us on the design and creativity map. On the other hand, some of our favorite work will always be linked to this city: the Espai Gaudí in La Pedrera is one example.

Which city would you compare Barcelona to?

That’s a difficult question. Barcelona has both good and bad sides, but its personality is unique. I think that’s what defines it best: you can like it or not, but there is only one Barcelona.

Which city model you think Barcelona should resemble?

I think that Scandinavian cities are always a good benchmark, but it is not right to consider a city separately from its own unique context and its inhabitants. I think we could be more public-spirited, but I don't think it's so much a matter of the city as of society as a whole...

What good practices from other cities would you like Barcelona to adopt?

When talking about public-spiritedness, I always like to refer to the metro in Bilbao. It is always impeccably maintained, not only because resources are invested in its maintenance, but because it is an excellent project that its users have understood and take care of. Well thought-out cities are well understood by their citizens.

What do you ask of the Barcelona of the future?

I would like it to recover the spirit of improvisation it used to have. We also need to understand that cities have to embrace the relationships and reflect the society within them. The most important challenge we face is to make cities more sustainable, but there also should also be a commitment to make them more beautiful every day. And this affects the small details in city design.

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