A meeting with
In your own words; how would you define Clap; what is your design philosophy?
It’s often very difficult to define ourselves. I think from the outside you can see something that is close to a fun minimalism or a playful simplicity. But from the inside there are so many nuances that don’t allow us to see it as simple 🙂 At the same time we know and are aware that we are constantly evolving personally and professionally, and this can also be seen in our projects in some way. Our design philosophy has always been “more with less”, a nod to our initial project which was an architecture and design magazine with the same name. Although “more with less” is our philosophy and is defined by using few materials and simplifying forms, etc. we always see it from a conceptual and playful point of view. Often when we think of the mythical “less is more” by Mies, sober and neutral spaces come to mind, which is not our case.
A key reference for you?
Undoubtedly Oki Sato with his studio, Nendo. For us, he is our greatest reference. He is the one who always plays best with concepts and their representation in all his projects, whether they are product or interior design projects.
Do you think there is a recognisable style in your work? Is it something that comes naturally or do you work being conscious of this style that you have developed?
This is a question we tried to answer while preparing a talk and we ended up doing a whole talk to answer that question hahaha. Somehow we know that our projects have a defined style but at the same time we know that we keep growing and evolving, and it’s nice to see it in the projects. We don’t really work thinking that we have to be stuck to what we have done so far. We have a very rational way of thinking and designing that later becomes something more expressive or artistic when it comes to translating a concept into a space or product.
A couple of years ago you moved from having a separate studio and house to combining everything in the same space, how do both parts coexist? Did you have it in mind when designing the new space?
Yes, and it was the best decision we could have made. We made the change in November 2019, we moved to a townhouse where we merged our living and working space. Suddenly in March 2020 the pandemic broke out and while everyone was looking for ways to balance work and life, we were already experts. 🙂
The decision was actually a simple one. We were coming from a chaotic 2019 in which we finished a project in Hong Kong and Belarus, with all the travel that that entailed. I remember arriving at the studio at 7.00 in the morning and leaving sometimes at 23.00 at night. We soon realised that the best solution was to have a space where we could combine our life and our professional project. Both parts, work and our life, have always been very mixed and have gone hand in hand, so the space where we are now represents our way of understanding our work, which is none other than being part of our personal life. This new space is divided into two parts that are never really 100% separate. The main floor where we have the kitchen, dining room, living room and studio. This is where we and our team work and live. Then we have an upper floor, where we have all the wardrobes and the bedroom, the most personal space that becomes the rest area.
Do you think your house reflects the way you conceive your projects?
Not really. We work for brands and institutions with very different needs to those of a private individual at home. In our case this space really reflects what we look for in a home or in a space where we spend most of our time. Perhaps it reflects more our “more with less” side, it is a space full of light and breathes a calm atmosphere, perfect for living and working at ease.
A key object or one with a special value in your home. Any story behind it?
All the prototypes of projects we have carried out. We have a module from The Sea installation we did for WDCValencia 2022, the prototypes of some stools we did for a project for Valencia City Council and others. They all have their own story behind them but the best thing is to see them all living together. 🙂
Let's talk about Eclipse, could you tell us a bit about the creative process you followed?
As we do with all our projects we always start from a concept and then try to represent it in the simplest way. With Eclipse the concept is clear. 🙂
We knew we wanted to play with the base, which would be the seat, and move it in relation to its structure. In this way we achieved the same effect as in an eclipse.
How did you integrate your vision with the aesthetics of Teulat? Was this a challenge for you?
It wasn’t really difficult, firstly because Eric gave us total creative freedom and secondly because we knew the materials that Teulat works with perfectly and we were able to feel comfortable in the creative process.
And how was the experience of collaborating with Teulat? Any particular memory?
The truth is that we worked very comfortably and the word that would best define our relationship with Teulat would be closeness. Both Carlos and Eric are people with whom we feel completely aligned in terms of design, but at the same time they exude warmth in their personal relationships. We have many memories, from the first day we went to the Teulat offices to get to know the brand better, the day at the Habitat fair where we were able to present Eclipse to the last event, a boat trip and an incredible meal that perfectly reflects the essence of Teulat.
Looking at the final result of the chair and the armchair, what do you think of the result? What would you like people who are approaching your design for the first time to think?
The result surprised us. Actually, when we design products and interiors, we make renders that are very realistic, but when the project is finished and you can touch it and feel it, the sensation is something else that you often didn’t expect. We always say it, the finished product or the finished interior is always infinitely better than the render or the mock-ups you can make. With Eclipse it couldn’t be otherwise. We were especially surprised by the comfort of the chair and, above all, of the armchair.
Favourite piece of Teulat
Really the whole collection of chairs and armchairs you have. It can be perfectly appreciated in the great work of curation and direction that you do. The nice thing is to see that although they are all different from each other, they really coexist perfectly with each other. They all breathe the same young, fresh and Mediterranean essence that Teulat represents.
What plans do you have for the future at Clap?
Lots of plans! For example, to have our first workshop/studio in a warehouse that we have just rented. This project is still in progress but we are very excited, and we really need it, to have a space where we can experiment with materials, work with our hands and get away from the computer a bit more. Our plans for the future are simple, to continue doing what we do but always evolve and grow both personally and professionally. 🙂