specific to them?
I started to develop projects for workspaces
and offices in 1999, although not in my own
company. In those years a collection or system
of office furniture was reduced to a “unitary
table, a buck and a cupboard”. It’s that simple.
44 spaincontract. Coffee Break. Aitor García de Vicuña
The industry designed and presented tables
with different legs, and talked about new
projects. Just connecting this type of furniture
to the necessary cables already in use during
these years they used to talk about technological
Today all this has changed, fortunately. The
table has given way to furniture systems. The
person now takes centre stage. The project is
made thinking about his needs, the relationship
between work teams. Electrical needs are
incorporated from the first stroke of the pencil.
The materials of a new corporate building
can be 80% equal to those used in a hotel or
a home. Incredible melamines alongside natural
wood, good fabrics, acoustic materials or
steel. One of the current trends with greater
power is the trans-versatility between the different
spaces within the habitat. All of them
must bring harmony, warmth and transmit
sensations. They must have soul.
Do you think that Spanish design is going
through a good time?
We are currently working 80% outside of
Spain. I spend my life in Portugal, where apart
from enjoying an incredible country, we have
very good clients. We are collaborating with
companies in Mexico, France, and now we
have started some projects for a Swiss company.
If to all of this my colleagues are signing
Spanish design worldwide, I have to be optimistic
regarding this question.
What would you say to an industrial design
student about what he will find when
he leaves university?
I would assure him that he will encounter a
thousand difficulties, disappointments, a probable
lack of recognition and often professional
and personal setbacks. At least I found
But with determination, great strength and
enthusiasm, and above all with the certainty
that we have the most beautiful profession in
the world, everything can be directed to and
come together in a job that will make you happy.
When he finishes studying he will have
to hook into professional design in some way.
There are a thousand possibilities. There is no
hurry, be patient and collaborate with teams
that are already designing.
What are your favourite materials when
For me there are two types of materials; the
classical and the technologic. The soul, history
and purity that can possess elements such as
wood, marble, leather, wool or steel are unique.
They transmit these values in themselves.
They have a life of their own. Contemporary
industry offers enriching possibilities.
Recycled wood, plastic materials that respect
the environment, porcelain or solid surfaces
that allow us to dream with incredible shapes.
For me the solution is a balance between
them. Between craftsmanship and technology.
What is the leit-motiv of Aitor García de
Vicuña? What inspires you?
Enjoy life, my people and my work. Everything
is a balance: work, creativity, artistic and intellectual
concerns have come together in the
way I earn my living. My profession rewards
me with being able to enjoy the diversity between
the big cities, enriching trips, new cultures
and the harmony and peace of nature
that I find in my small town, where I keep my
studio. I cannot ask for more!
And within the products designed by your
studio, which is the most attractive?
Without a doubt, the collection we designed
for FAMO, the Portuguese company, some
years ago. It’s called MAHIA. It is a system of
equipment for workspaces and offices. We
looked for something that was clean, diaphanous
with set amounts and personality. In
which the relationship with light was necessary.
We relied on iron and wood for strength,
durability and respect for the environment. In
recent years together with Mahia we have
been supplied buildings throughout several
continents the headquarters of Amore Pacific
in South Korea, by Alvaro Siza Vieira; the
Orona Building in Spain, the Museum of Modern
Art in Tel Aviv, by Prexton Scott; or the
headquarters of EDP in Porto or CTT in Lisbon.
What news can we expect from AGV for
This year we hope to present collections that
we have been working on in recent months
for sectors such as lighting, bathroom furniture,
equipment for work spaces and offices,
enclosure systems and screens and contract
business pieces. Also, some home collections.
We are very lucky to have the trust of our
clients and we can only work with humility
DECK, sistema de mobiliario de oficina producido por
DONASELLA, colección de sillería producida por Fenabel
DECK, office furniture system produced by Famo (Portugal)
DONASELLA, collection of chairs produced by Fenabel
Everyday object: I do not understand my
life without a pencil near-by
A material: Wood, without a doubt. Live,
warm, imperfect, timeless
A piece of essential furniture: A chair:
the Vitra Panton
A designer: I cannot and should not keep
one ... Leonardo Da Vinci, Miquel Mila, Jean
Nouvel, Piero Lissoni, ... I try to learn from
An inspiring space: The sea or a lake
A city: Porto
A contract project: In Spain we have two
good examples: The Puerta América Hotel
in Madrid as an example of transgression
and modernity, and the Parador de Santo
Estevo, on the Rivera Sacra, an example of
art history, Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance
cloisters founded intelligently with
good architecture from the 21st century
and dotted with pieces of the classics (Alvar
Aalto, Charles and Ray Eames and Mies
van der Rohe). I’m in love with those two
A pending project: A collection that achieves
a 100% honest relationship between
the user, the manufacturer and the designer.