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by Miguel Milā

I started designing in the year 1961. If they call me a pioneer, it is because I was one of the first people to venture into that field, but not the first one, far for it. I had joined the group then formed by André Ricard, Antonio de Moragas, Bohigas, Pellicer, and all the people who set up the first "board" of what would later be called the ADI-FAD. From that time on, industrial design and interior design have been my regular spheres of professional activity. For me, interior design constitutes a useful source of information about people's requirements, but I feel much more at ease doing industrial design, a field in which, even though I am a self-confessed autodidact, I have learned quite a lot through my numerous architect friends. With the passing of time, I have come to think that one ought to do what he feels like doing, what he considers to be right. When I first came into contact with the Memphis movement, I got rather nervous because my own ideas did not really fit in with their approach to design, even though this experience basically proved to be an exercice in freeing myself from certain collective clichés. On the other hand, such "formalist" movements have further strengthened my own rationalistic conception of design.

When you design a new object, the simpler the result, the more complex the process. Which is to say that an object, an implement, a piece of furniture, etc... gradually evolves into a form which is absolutely linked with its most strictly defined, purest function, because this is where people's actual interests lie. There is quite a lot of effort involved in arriving at a result that embodies such a synthesis, and it is really much easier to create a more or less attractive, innovative and spectacular shape than to think out what an object should be like, elaborating on every idea. Some people think that it does not take me more than an afternoon's work to create a simple-looking design, but this is not true. In any event, some products can compensate for your efforts as, in my case, the TMC lamp, which was awarded a "Golden Delta" in 1961 and, 25 years later, won the same prize again at the event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Delta awards. It gives me cause for deep satisfaction that a design of mine should have remained valid for so long and that, 37 years after its creation, this product should be a better seller then ever before. It makes me happier than if it had sold a lot at a given point in time, especially considering that I never had to make the slightest alteration to its design. But the fact is that I had honed it to such an extent that it would have been very difficult for me to hone it further. (...)


The "Koco" boutique
by Josep Maria Fort

(...) When you design objects, it is important not only to endow them with inner serenity, but also to allow for some concession to the environment by including some instable, unexpected element that might create a real link between the object and its surroundings. What designer Miguel Milā has achieved in the "Koco boutique", a shop that sells household implements, can be considered an exemplary exercice in serenity. The "dialogue" he has established between spaces, display fittings and objects on sale, stems from a subtly staged arrangement in which each element plays the role it is meant to play. The surrounding space appears as a neutral, protecting setting that does not project any special image and is purposely kept out of the limelight. The products on sale, all of them carefully selected by Blai Puig, come across as interesting, varied, attractive and truly desirable objects. And the pieces of furniture - designed by Milá - on which these objects are displayed meet all the requirements for achieving such a favourable effect.

According to the author's comments, the main objective was to dignify simplicity while designing an infrastructure with the capacity to shape the general arrangement of exhibition and circulation spaces and, at the same time, the versatility to adjust to the shop's ever-changing requirements. The sets of shelves - with built-in lighting in every fixed unit -, low platforms, cubes and wall panels form an ensemble of framing and supporting elements that effectively set off the products whose dimensions and display requirements vary widely. The presence of wood appears to surround the products on sale in the manner of a "passe-partout", making them an integral part of the dignified atmosphere. The resulting image stands out for its overall equilibrium, but the visitors' memories will necessarily end up materializing in the shape of the objects they wish to purchase. But this is exactly what the place is all about.