This is a summary of the “Conference of Communication with the Regional and Local Institutions”. It was organized by The OBS and held at the CENDEAC, in order to present “All Age City”. It is a project by Andrés Jaque Arquitectos & Moho Arquitectos; it is included in the proposal made by TISSPAS (Workshop for the Social Innovation and the development of Sustainable Architectonic Services and Products) to the region of Murcia.
The new global context of complexity faced by the entrepreneurs to define their strategies, politics and their final products and services makes the creation of interdisciplinary spaces increasingly necessary. These spaces would facilitate the interpretation of actual conditions, and specifically, of those conditions about new ways of inhabiting.
The matter of habitat is no more a question of engineers, architects, designers, strategists or commercial agents. It also concerns disciplines as sociology, environment or psychology. The transversal topics of this conference based on the habitat are the contract, the sustainability and the innovation through design.
The objectives of this conference are, first, to find out a specific answer to the creation of conditions to allow the enterprises of Murcia belonging to the sector of habitat to get closer and to assimilate the process of innovation. Second, to promote the cooperation and to communicate the advantages of this system of broadening the business activity. And third, to consolidate the strategic alliances between cluster initiatives, allowing a bigger development and an enriched and transversal vision of the innovation processes.
Companies participating in the conference: INFO, Sancal Diseño, Inmat Arquitectura, ECUS group, Areniscas stone, Ecoproyecta, Moho Arquitectura, Ability Diseño Gráfico.
Speakers participating in the conference: Juan José Beltrán, Juan Mellen, Ester Castaño, José Luis López, Javier Peña, Valerio García, Javier Arrinagarrementería, Pablo Carbonell, Cesar Caicoya, Ramón Sánchez, Aurelia González, Francisco Pons, Hans Gallardo, Miguel Miñano, Juan Francisco Abad y Javier Celdrán.
We found ourselves in a moment of philosophical change in the materials’ field. Until now, the materials were developed, and their properties were depicted to look subsequently for their applications. Nowadays, the materials are designed on demand. In other words, the industrial application is designed, and from there, the treatments for the materials are optimized. Or even a more adequate material is designed and created for a specific application. It is in this context that the concept of a new material appears.
The conference is articulated in three fundamental parts:
-The first one is about the relation between the material and the environment through the material´s intelligence. The adaptive materials have the opportunity of interacting with the environment, with the society, and obviously with the target market. The multi-function associated to the development of the product is much closer with these materials.
- The second part is the manufacturing, and the revolution that the new technologies of additive manufacturing have. It is possible to manufacture those things that we are not able to draw.
The third part is based on the new relations with nature and how these relations through materials open the basic ways to full sustainability.
Xavier Tutó was invited to the Conference Materials for the Innovation/ Material lntelligence. He presented his studio´s work, KX Designers, taking with him unique pieces, the result of his investigation. They are unique thanks to the new technology and to the additive fabrication they generate. Previously, we have listened to lecturers talking about sensitive materials or big textures; these pieces open the debate towards new concepts: they are conceived digitally. The piece acquires such a precision and a control in its fabrication that would be impossible to reach using more conventional methods.
Welcome to this Conference. The title of your conference calls my attention: “3D Printing, Description and Selection of Processes”. What does it mean in the design field?
In the studio KX Designers, we deal with three aspects: the communication, the product and the space; in addition to the possible interrelation between the different disciplines.
I talk about additive fabrication and all its implications when we talk about direct fabrication: it implies systems, machines, materials, linked concepts as the “morphing”, the generative design, the inverse engineering and other concepts linked to the additive fabrication.
It is one of the research topics we are working in. We have been experimenting and investigating the additive fabrication for a while, its processes with the existent materials and its applications. For us, it is a possibility for the design that allows us to realize products, objects, creations that other ways are impossible.
Could you explain it a bit more using the object you are handling?
This is a piece that we have generated or modelled; it is in 3D, but understanding it from the generation of the shape. In this case, we began from the natural shape of the giant lily of the Amazon: Its structure seduced us, and through the inspiration that this element of the nature gave us, we could make a product. This is a little sample of the product or object.
I would rather call it object, because it is a unique object, given the fact that each one is a unique piece. It is not mass-produced. Each one is manufactured digitally. That is why we say this is a product that is created, grown and generated digitally and is part of a group of objects included in the project “Growthobjects”. We work with CloneNature in this project, and we are going to present it in “Casapasarela” with unique designs. This designs are generated, created from a fusion of generative design with biomimetics, maths and the most advanced technologies.
Do you use fractals to calculate the formula?
Yes, in nature we find many things that explain how the nature grows. In this sense, fractality is a mathematical formula that underlies in nature. We find examples from the branches of the trees to the broccoli. We think that fractality is that geometry that we can´t define clearly, has its own complexity, is irregular.
What kind of products are we talking about?
We generate unique designs as for example, the piece we are developing inspired by the lily of the Amazon turned into a bright object thanks to LED technology. We expect to create objects that mix the design understood as functionality, the art as this freedom to create, and the science as all the processes and knowledge; this is the implicit engineering that is needed to create this kind of pieces.
What companies you work with?
In this common project with CloneNature, we are working with two European companies. They are services companies, and they have machines of additive fabrication. One of them is “Moldkar”, in the Basque Country; and the other one is “Axis” in Limoges, France. With each one of them, we work in different processes; for instance, the polyamide synthesized with laser or the stereolithography, it depends on the object we are creating.
So, we already have this technology here, in Spain?
Yes, in Spain, we have technological centres and companies that have those machines to create objects or products using this technology of additive fabrication.
Observing your objects, it seems that the laser makes the shape grow through layers.
Yes, the technology of additive fabrication consists of the creation of layers. Within this technology, we can find processes based in liquid materials, on powder materials or solid materials; from that point, there are different processes depending on the materials.
Can you explain how the process based on liquid material goes?
In the case of the processes based on liquid, the stereolithography outstands. The stereolithogaphy uses photosensitive resins. We are talking about a machine that holds inside a tray of liquid resin. In this liquid resin, through the laser or the ultraviolet light, each layer of the product solidifies.
I mean, if we manufacture the piece in the platform, the transversal sections would be constructed from the lower layer; the first layer would solidify, and a new layer of liquid resin would be placed and solidified again. Gradually, the platform would decrease until the piece is manufactured. We would lift the platform, taking out the remaining resin, and we would have the solidified piece already manufactured with liquid resin.
In the case of the processes based on powder materials using laser, the laser synthesizes the lower layer of the piece. In the same way, the platform would decrease; different layers are generated. The same case, but using polyamide; when we lift the platform we have a big “cake” with the piece solidified inside.
Each process has its characteristics and properties.
Therefore, does the technology determine the planning of the object?
Yes, the additive fabrication allows a lot of possibilities. Therefore, we always say that these pieces are born out of this knowledge, of this experimentation, of this previous investigation so you can have the greatest benefit.
Do you have everything planned before manufacturing a lamp, for example?
In this case what we decide in the creation using the computer. There you can plan everything you need, all the requirements of the product. You can actually control everything digitally.
It is a different way of thinking, a different way of creating.
Javier Peña mentioned before in his introduction that the Mater Library is about touching, feeling, smelling…but is it the design determined visually in this case?
Yes, everything is digital. Everything is based on visualizing; we have an extreme level of detail. Using the screen you can get as close as you want to the piece, you can incorporate every detail to the piece. It is an extreme control of the design that is not viable in other kinds of processes.
With regard to the materials, can you use wood powder or only chemical materials?
We have no process using wood right now. We have plastic materials, as the polyamide. Or in the case of the resin we have imitations. In this sense, we also have ceramic materials based on plaster and metallic materials based on titanium. Nowadays, we have different possibilities regarding the materials.
Basically, is it a technology for new materials?
These materials can´t be processed using any other system of fabrication. It is the same when we talk about powder materials with a low weight.
Which material are we talking about?
In this case is the polyamide. The companies that supply the systems, and the machines are the ones that develop the materials. In some cases, there are companies dedicated exclusively to the creation of the materials. These are the possibilities that we have nowadays, because there are a lot of materials being developed. And the number is growing, their properties and their possibilities; let´s say that everything is advancing very quickly.
Do these shapes come from nature?
Yes, in this case, they are inspired in nature, generated and manufactured. These pieces have been generated on a mathematical basis from algorithms. These snail-shaped pieces are based in maths, in this case, the Fibonacci sequence.
It is impressive the precision you can reach in the imitation of the nature using only numbers.
The processes of inverse engineering that allow to imitate nature are very interesting… But it is even more interesting to draw and to generate them. Once we are able to draw them, we can manufacture them.
The pieces you are holding, are they being produced?
We present two unique designs in “Casapasarela”. We don’t call them products because they are not serial produced, they are rather unique creations. We have presented them in “Casapasarela” because we want to let people know this research and experimentation, its applications and possibilities to count on them in the market.
We are talking about additive fabrication and, therefore, of final use.
Is this sculptural piece a lamp?
Yes, it is a lamp that can be for “Contract” or for “Habitat”.
To create a bridge between investigation and market, is it necessary to plan certain strategies or market researches?
It is the knowledge what leads you to that. I mean, once you know the possibilities, the initiatives and the ideas to make the most of this technology comes up applications for the market. Nowadays, we find a lot of applications, a lot of referents that are consolidated in that sense. Therefore, we are not innovating; we are simply incorporating ourselves to a process adding our own vision.
This investigation was initiated a few years ago, wasn´t it?
Yes, in 2007, we received a grant from the FAD for the investigation of additive manufacturing, “The Rapid Manufacturing”. Since then, from the aspect of the education, we have explained the possibilities of the additive fabrication in conferences and master classes, in universities and a collaboration in a book of Javier Peña about materials, in the chapter called “Rapid Manufacturing”.
Collaborating with “Mater” and “EOS” we have made the trophies for the ADI-FAD Awards of Industrial Design. The manufacturing and the sponsorship was provided by EOS. They were made in Munich, Germany. They were thirty trophies for the awards.
Which were the expected qualities for those trophies?
We wanted to make public this technology in a platform of industrial designers. We wanted the creation of scaffolding structures; that lightness, that immateriality that this technology allows; the fact of creating a structure with hardly any materials, with a minimum tubular structure. It also allows a visual effect with the logo of the awards, but in a way that it appeared and disappeared. This technology allows this kind of visual effects.
Why does it appear and disappear?
Because the parts that coincide with that logo have been scarcely increased in diameter. Therefore, that creates a visual effect depending on the point of view, so the logo appears or disappears.
And, can´t you reach that result without the additive fabrication?
No, this specific design would be impossible to create without using this technology.
It is a very attractive piece precisely because of the changing point of view.
Depending on the point of view and the light, there are many things that influence the piece. Maybe it was an added value to this trophy made of polyamide. Sometimes we associate a nobler material to a trophy, but this value added to the design counteracts the fact that it is made of polyamide, doesn´t it? I really liked it.
This technology and this way of working allow the mix of mass production and unique pieces.
Sure, this technology allows the mass production, but we must think that this technology allows to modify a digital file as you wish, and each time it is printed. Therefore, you can modify every file. There are no molds to deprive you of the possibility of that modification.
And does the manufacturing cost increase?
No, the cost is the same. You change whatever you want, and you send it to the printer. Therefore, those changes don’t influence the design as others would do.
Javier Peña Andrés was invited to the conference “Materials for the Innovation/ Material Intelligence”. In his seminar “The Life of the Materials and their Intelligence”, he explained how the materials interact within them and with the environment. In a scientific context, he defended the importance of understanding and considering the nature as a “teacher”. Therefore, we would be able to generate effects similar to the nature.
First of all, I welcome you, Javier Peña, scientific and lecturer at Elisava (Escola Superior de Disseny). Before introducing the topic of the new materials, it would be interesting to know your experience as Scientific Director and Commissioner of the “Mater Exhibition”.
What is “Mater”? What does this word mean?
The meaning of the Mater Project, I mean, the exhibition and the Material Centre, comes from two concepts. “Mater” from matter, and “mater” from mother (Latin). Therefore, the matter is the mother of all the products we have nowadays in the market; every idea has to be materialized. T the material plays a key role in this process of industrialization. These two meanings have taken us to choose this word as an icon. So Mater comes from matter and mother.
Only at the exhibition?
No. At the exhibition and at the Material Centre. In fact, the exhibition is Mater in progress, new material, and new industry. And in the Material Centre is Mater and that’s all.
Can you describe the goals of the exhibition of Barcelona in 2008?
The exhibition comes up because there is a necessity at a certain moment of a physical place where the materials can be touched, can be felt. That idea already existed in other places: New York, Milan, Cologne, Paris, Bangkok… The Department of Industries asked for help to create this centre. The Department transformed the project in a request to the Department of Arts and Design. They wanted to make a research and make it circulate before creating The Centre. The research had to show the situation of the development and of the technological and product innovation in different sectors like: economical, biotechnological, pharmaceutical, energetic, transport, construction and textile.
Obviously, if our idea is to create a material Centre, the logical guiding threads are the materials. And it is obvious because in all these sectors, the material is a key element; it makes the product successful and functional. Therefore, the aim was to divulge that we are surrounded by materials, and that they have a great importance from the point of view of the innovation and from any other critic point of view nowadays. The second objective is to gather the information and the knowledge needed to have a solid base to create the Centre of Materials. This Centre should be able to act as a consultant to the world of architecture, the engineering world, and to all the collectives (manufacturing, industrialization, material knowledge) from the technical point of view.
These have been our basic objectives. The first one was achieved thanks to three exhibitions: in Barcelona, in Madrid and in Zaragoza. The second one was achieved a year ago when the Centre of Materials of Barcelona was opened. Nowadays, it is doing quite well; it is giving service to all those professionals.
It is like a library!
Yes, it could be understood like that, but there are materials instead of books. You can open and read a book. The material can be felt and touched, and from there you can understand technically the behaviour of the material through their technical data and thanks to the help of the technics that work in the centre.
It is noticeable to me your emphasis on the “feeling”, on the feeling in the construction: the houses and the buildings do feel.
Right, obviously the materials are responsible for part of our welfare. They are also responsible for the shape and the geometry, and therefore, the materials contribute with them to make this product understood from the point of view of the senses. In fact, nowadays it is basic to design for the senses; you can´t design from an isolated point of view, separating it from the way in which you are going to understand the design, with your eyes, your ears, your nose, your taste… it is basic.
In the introduction of this conference, you mentioned the interaction between the materials and the society. From these sensations and perceptions, you talk about, can it be understood that the materials interact with the plan of construction?
Yes. Most of the times, when I explain the materials in the classroom, I explain that there are materials capable of killing you. Just because they are there, close to you, they kill you. Therefore, it is obvious that the material has a very important strength.
Nowadays, when you talk about sustainability, and about the sustainability of the plastics specifically; at the end, you reach the conclusion that it is a component, responsible in part of all this. And those components are usually volatile. When you paint and you inhale, that smell is “inside” of you, and it is doing something, that can be good or bad. We have to try to make it good and therefore, we have to understand that material from that point of view and that point of view is the sense.
Of course, there is a great interaction, because in architecture, there are a lot of buildings that born ill, and the people working in that buildings suffers from pathologies like the lipoatrophy. This pathology is not only due to the material, but it is partially responsible. The problem is that the material is not well applied to that environment. Those are buildings that are commonly closed, where the static electricity is condensed inside, and that affects people. If the material was capable of clearing those energies and the building would be open, this wouldn’t happen, and it wouldn’t be an ill building.
Nowadays, when an architect builds a building must know which exactly the orientation is and what there is under it. What kind of energetic currents there are, because they can be very harmful.
The entire environment determines your way of living, your situations, and the material is very important in this process.
This idea takes us to the technology and the importance of the scientific investigation. That is something that the Centre of Materials encourages.
It is basic! The science nowadays is the present. The science surrounds us and explains us what it is going on. Moreover, science has the tools and the knowledge needed to understand the reasons for the things. It has the capacity to transform and to do what is wrong, right. Therefore, I think we should understand science from that point of view. Obviously, science can do the opposite, but nowadays, we have to take things in the way that they make our lives and our way of living to be as adequate as possible.
In the catalogue of the exhibition “Mater”, you have quoted Ezio Manzini, “The Matter of the Invention”; he explains our relationship to materials based on the power. He stresses the importance of finding a balance, of living in harmony with nature.
What is our relationship with the materials?
When we considered the exhibition “Mater”, we had to divulge science and materials; those are pretty arid fields sometimes. However, I think that nowadays we have two obvious tools. The first one is the comprehension and understanding of the nature as a teacher. Furthermore, MATER NATURA is the mother and the teacher, and the one who has taught us everything. And the second one is that the science has reached a state. It is the nanoscale.
Science continues lowering the scale. First, it was the macro, later the micro, like the microchip, the computers. Now it is the nanoscale, and it is the closer we can get to nature. It is the understanding of the smallest relationship and of how this relation links to another, and of how we can modify and understand this relation. If we are able to understand it, we can generate effects similar to nature; f nature many times is efficient for the function it has.
The problem is that we think it is not efficient because we don’t understand its reasons. I mean, a rosebush generates many roses; what for? They get lost eventually! We could say: What a silly thing! A man generates many sperms, a woman just one ovum. What is this? Well, if we understood the function, we would understand that nature is efficient because it wanted to do it that way and it allows the life to function correctly, in a sustainable way. We don’t understand that function yet, and we don’t understand the smallest neither, so we are in a state in which we generate disasters, as we all know.
This challenge to understand relationships, would it be for you the concept of sustainability?
Yes, sure. But it is not the concept of sustainability; it is the concept of life. It is the concept of material creation. It is the concept of product conception. It is the concept of materials. Maybe, sustainability shouldn’t exist as a word, because it would be something inherent to the way of thinking and of acting. Therefore, it is not about eco-design or eco-anything. We shouldn’t be talking about that anymore, because it is something inherent to the person.
Laura Morata was invited to the conference “Materials for the Innovation/ Material Intelligence”. She is the fashion designer and the creator of the bran “Madre Mía”.
She explained that her collection is based on the emotion of the everyday act of getting dressed and how the technology helps to do so.
“Madre Mía” works with natural materials and uses technology to portray the emotional state of the people.
-First, welcome to this conference of Materials for Innovation. I would like to begin with this topic: “How to transmit what you feel through your clothes”. It seems a fundamental idea to understand your work.
Yes, it is exactly our point: to be conscious that, when you are getting dressed, you are doing something else than covering yourself. We think that for many years the way of dressing has been distorted, because it was way too close, or lately, because it is too open.
What you wear in contact with your skin gives you a lot of sensations; it can make you feel all right, or on the contrary, it can make you feel awfully. When you choose the wrong garment in the morning, according to how you feel that day, you don’t know why, but you feel uncomfortable and that makes you feel awful. That consciousness is what we defend.
We have structured our company using new technologies to give functionality to these clothes. Until now, it was only aesthetics.
We could say that “Madre Mía” is an addition of these concepts. You express it, that is why we chose this name, because it is an expression. All these emotions that you can feel through what you are wearing at a certain moment can be an exclamation that you express; so that is the reason for such a close name, because it is an expression very familiar to most of the people.
At any time? If I go to work, or if I am going to stay at home, or if I go out, etc.
We cover almost any moment that a woman can go through in a day, even for the little girls; there are also clothes for the little girls. We defend the fact that we make clothes for special moments, including that moments that can be special for each person. I mean, when you say special moments it is not necessarily a wedding or something. We have clothes to attend weddings, to go shopping, to go to work, or for whatever you want. You may wake up in a certain mood, and you say to yourself: “I need a flounce skirt because I want to spend the day jumping”. That can be a special moment as long as it is special for you.
Which is your way of working, your methodologies and technologies?
It is a fusion between both things, design and above all, new technologies…I took a moment to think because when I say, “design above all” I mean that all the parts of the design process are fundamental, everything that influences a design: the shape, the textile, the quality of the garment. All those things can make you feel, one way or another. If you are wearing a garment with a certain shape, it is not the same that if you wear a dress, a skirt or trousers. Each shape makes you feel in a different way. Depending upon how you want to feel that day, you will choose one thing or another.
It is not the same to wear red or to wear black. It is different to wear brown or to wear green. We try to change the habit of shopping. We try to change the relationship that we have nowadays with the habit of getting dressed. That is why we don’t have seasons, that is why we don’t fit in the circle of the strict fashion. We don’t have sales. We have a socially sustainable price, with a good relation quality- price. We don’t exceed any limit. Therefore, we don’t have to offer sales, moreover, when the climatologic properties that we had before don’t exist anymore, we don’t have spring, summer, autumn, winter… Nowadays, this doesn’t exist anymore, because of the weather and because of the architectonic conditions. We have great air conditioning machines, great heating machines and there is no room for wool anymore. If there is any room for wool it is because you suit it, or you want to buy it, or because you are going somewhere.
For example, we do our catalogues from time to time; they don’t belong to a specific season. The last one we did was “between 20 and 30 grades”. You can be everywhere in the world, it the temperature is between 20 and 30 grades you have some garments you can use, but you don’t even know if it is winter, or summer…
What is the application of the technology?
After all, one of the parts that affects more to the entire concept is the fact that it has functionality. After seeing a shape, a colour, a texture, a textile, you always detect small problems, and the solution is the technology. We use micro-capsules, plasma, luminescent inks and different technologies that were used for other sectors but not for the textile sector.
And we have worked so those natural textiles we use don’t change their characteristics with the application of this technology. If you apply micro-capsules to a textile, it continues to be the same textile, but for example, we make it mosquito proof, that is very functional. You can look great and beautiful. M you can go out in a summer night because the mosquitos aren’t going to bite you. Then, you have everything.
We are the only ones that produce a product like ours, I would say at least at an European level. Maybe, there are some prototypes, or even something on the conceptual level, but there is nothing like what we do. We make high-quality clothes with an apply technology that is almost invisible, because we have worked on it.
You are talking about introducing new threads in a textile, not in order to change the shape of the dress, but with the aim of making it more comfortable for the person..
We can maintain our personality. In fact, if you watch the pictures on Madre Mía´s catalogues, you can realize that we rarely use models for the photos. And, if we do, they are totally normal people. It is not that kind of “fashion victim” photography. We are against the compulsive way of buying. We are timeless. We believe that it is what is needed. At least, it is our target, and I think this is at a global level. We have costumers all around the world, in Barcelona and in Madrid, because in these cities, there is a high activity at the level of people movement: French, Dutch, English, Americans, Italians… from everywhere.
Do you use the marketing to reach customers?
Yes, we do, but a very specific one. We have participated in some fashion show, but, for the same reason we don’t create seasons. We prefer to do an exhibition. For example, not long ago, we did a “sitting room” in Madrid. We have gone to fairs outside Spain. We participated in fairs in Hong-Kong, and we are in contact with India. We also try that our marketing has a more social function.
Talking about that social function, what kind of investigations do you conduct to know where to go?
Our idea is to identify little daily problems that may seem banal, but they can make your day worst or better. For example, the use of the stain-resistant chemical with plasma in our textiles. This is a technology that hasn’t been used a lot; I would say almost nothing, because the machine we are using right now is the only one in Spain that is used as we do.
Every textile becomes waterproof: you can spill wine, water or anything on it, and it doesn’t get dirty. That is the solution for a specific moment in which you can feel very uncomfortable, and moreover, you don’t have to wash continuously a garment because it got stained. It is different if you sweat doing exercise so you have to wash it than if you got stained and the garment is wasted.
Are you linked to a concrete company that has that tool?
No, these are ours. We do the whole process. We think that our fusion of technology and design is Madre Mïa. There were five micro-capsules that were used in cosmetics, but not in textiles, and certainly not in the kind of clothes that we make. It is ours; it didn’t exist before us, same as this plasma application. We have been searching; we have been working with a technological centre that runs the tests for us. We are also trying to make certifications, but some of them can’t be done because there are no regulations about them. So we have registers the product but the application is a model of utility.
We are even helping to create specific regulations for a product like this, which does not exist in the market; maybe only Nike is creating products like this. In sports clothing there are many things, but not in everyday clothing. In sports and security clothes or in mountain clothes, or army clothing, there is that kind of products. However, that technology is not refined to use it on silk. Our work has been to compact different things, and with that fusion creating a different product.
What kind of people works with you? Not only fashion designers? Scientifics maybe?
Well, we started from the premise that I am very enterprising and the initial strategy was created by me. It seems logical that you need equipment to grow, and in this case, we do it through our own equipment. We look for suppliers to help us. The thing is that this kind of suppliers doesn’t exist. When we run a test, we have to know, for example, what is the amount of micro-capsules you need… we do that in the lab. We subcontract the lab. And in our technological centre, we work with the researchers.
You say it is not really expensive to apply this technology. For example, you have applied the mosquito proof technology to several kinds of garments, dresses, skirts, t-shirts, tops…
Yes, what we usually do are dresses because we think it is a very feminine garment, and it also gives us a concrete sensation. Women know, wearing a dress makes you feel gracefully. You wear it and you feel different. We tend to make dresses. It is our strength, to make dresses for different moments. It is true that we could make some trousers, but they would go with a blouse so it makes an entire outfit, but we usually make dresses.
Within our dresses, we have some that there are mosquito-proof, or aromatherapy. The aromatherapy works pretty well. It is studied with different essences depending on what we want: vanilla is different from strawberry; another one is acid apple, jasmine… with each one of them, you get different perceptions.
Don’t you work with perfumes?
No, we use them for aromatherapy, as a therapy to calm you down or to cheer you up, things like that. I think that the brand Madre Mía is thought for actual women because you can identify yourself with the people. You enter a shop, and you´d probably get a friend instead of a customer. This is the aim, one of the aims at least. That is why our intention is to sell our products in Madre Mía´s spaces, so that way you set the mood. You can’t sell them in a multi-brand shop, as if they were something else. We own the shops.
We are three sisters in the team. But at the beginning, it was just me. After that we grew and it was two of us: my other sister, Carolina, who has an experience of fifteen years in high fashion. She is a textile designer.
I come from the industrial design, but the high-fashion runs in our veins because it has been in the family for a long while.
The question “how do you feel about the future?” It does not make much sense here. Your way of working is to have a vision of today´s world.
Yes, sometimes I say that it is a sort of philosophy. It is, for example, like the price or the politics of the company, which is to apply sustainability also with the people, not to exploit anyone. All this is part of a way of doing.
That reminds me that most of the times the textiles are manufactured in China, India or Pakistan…
We do the opposite. If we go to Hong-Kong or to China is to sell our way of doing. We are never going to manufacture anything in China or producing anything there. What we do I s to export a context, the Madre Mía´s philosophy. We started in China because there is a lot to develop, and because they have a high density of population. Furthermore, there is a lot of movement and many other things, but we could be anywhere in the world. We are pretty sure about that.
Is your product manufactured here in Spain?
Yes, everything. The textiles are from here. The production is from here and the technology is from here. Everything is part of Madre Mía´s strategy.
Are you optimist about the economical conditions that we have nowadays?
Yes, we know the situation is bad. I think that this may help to change the textile field. Madre Mía thinks about the future to come, and the world is changing. We can´t manufacture that much cotton to throw it away five minutes later; and moreover, we don’t know what to do to recycle the cotton. That is a problem.
We try that you get garments, that you take care of them, that you know where they come from, where they go so you can be more conscious about what getting dressed means. At the same time, we want you to feel good because you are looking good, that is a necessity. We also defend aesthetics because it is important for living. And we try to facilitate living, even after the crisis. What we can´t do is to stop, because if we stop, the world stops. We try to do things right. What I mean is that together, we will try t do things right so the world gets better.
The designer Luki Huber and the general director of Lékué, Xavi Costa, came to the Observatory of Murcia full of vitality and with some product samples to talk about the design in the cooking.
Their intervention was divided into two parts: theory and practice. Xavi Costa told us how this Catalan company managed to be the leader brand world-wide of silicone products. According to him, it was a constant work, looking for new visions, apart from the incorporation of the marketing and the communication to the product from the very beginning of the idea.
On the other hand, in order to show how the company works with creativity technics, Luki Huber proposed a “problem” to the audience. To solve it, the audience had to participate in a process of “Brainwriting”. This way, a lot of alternatives were generated; even those ones that could be considered crazy, but still could work.