In Barcelona, design and culture go hand in hand. From the rich history of Catalonia to the beauty of the Mediterranean region, the city is high on the list of European and worldwide design influence. It’s here where Vibia thrives, with a collaborative and forward-thinking team that embodies the ideals of its location and the philosophies of its community.
One of those collaborators is designer Antoni Arola. Educated in Barcelona, he founded his own studio Estudi Arola in 1994. His innate curiosity and expressions have conferred many accolades upon him for his work in lighting design, as well as furniture, product and interior design projects. We had a chance to catch up with him to talk about his latest project for Vibia, the Flamingo series, exclusive to YLighting.
Can you tell us about the specific inspiration for this piece?
In this case, it was a “multiple inspiration.” I mean…by the client, we had the challenge of making a classic, a lamp that lasts for a long time, and we added different ingredients: discs, projection, concentration of the light.
For its grace.
How did you arrive at the thermoplastic construction? Were other materials considered?
Almost always in a product design process different materials are considered. And, in this case, plastic was chosen due to its resistance and lightness.
You design a variety of products. How does designing a light fixture like Flamingo compare with designing furniture, perfume bottles or interior spaces?
The design process ends up being, in essence, a mental state or even, if you want, spiritual; that is more complete. It’s not so much about the subject of work but how you face it. That’s what really matters.
What is your favorite thing to design?
Over the years, light has won me!
You’re the winner of many accolades. When creating a new piece, do you have a feeling of what will be well received or win awards? Does it affect your process?
Usually, I begin to design with the feeling that I won’t get what I want, although in the end, I know I have something to offer. It is my job. The awards don’t influence me too much, and they are always a bit unfair. The most important is to do very well done things.
Can you expand on the ancestral cultures that have influenced your style? And how has your home, Catalonia, found its way into your work?
Especially many African cultures, but also to a great extent, Japanese culture. In fact, I am interested in any traditional culture, they knew a lot! Catalonia is a privilege, living in Barcelona is a wonder.
What is on the horizon for you?
On the horizon, the light always comes back and, with it, the colors!
Thank you so much, Antoni, for taking the time to speak with us. The Flamingo comes in a variety of configurations to meet unique design and lighting needs. An LED spotlight hangs below (and sometimes above, as well), and has its light grabbed and diffused outward by the various stacks of polycarbonate discs. Find the right Flamingo to help your interior design soar here.
When she’s not polishing up promotions as a Web Content Specialist, Kelsey is practicing how to properly pronounce Danish, if only to be able to say “home is where the ‘hygge’ is.” Aside from Scandinavian design, she spends a lot of time thinking about organic gardening, mini farms, honey bees and England.