We spoke with Fernando about his long career as a designer and his experience as Product Manager at Acquabella. Originally from Puerto de Sagunto, Fernando studied Industrial Design Engineering at Jaume I University in Castellón. His own vision of the world of design opened the doors to large companies before he arrived at Acquabella 6 years ago.
Fernando, when did you start becoming interested in design?
Since I was little, I always liked games where you use your imagination, like building, drawing, etc., so I believe design has always been in my life.
What are the most important elements for making an exceptional design?
Generally speaking, quality, beauty, and functionality, are some of the qualities that an optimal design should have. A good exercise is to try and accomplish, at least mostly, the 10 principles established by industrial designer Dieter Rams: a good design is innovative, makes the product useful, is aesthetic, makes the product understandable, unobtrusive, honest, long-lasting, thorough down to the last detail, respects the environment and is designed as little as possible.
Fashionable or timeless?
We move with the fashions, and what is more, new trends emerge approximately every 2 years, so we must always be innovating and releasing new products according to the market. In our case, we present all our innovations annually at the Cersaie fair.
But if I had to choose, I would opt for timeless. At home I have the Lounge Chair created by Charles and Ray Eames in the 1950s and I am sure that in 50 years it will still be a design icon. Only very few designers achieve this…maybe one day I will manage it too (laughs).
Acquabella has changed a lot in the last few years. What has the experience of this development been like for you?
It was a complicated time when I started at Acquabella. At the end of an economic crisis, things had to be clear and focused on the importance of the design, not just at the product level but also at the graphic level. In the beginning there was not the range that we have now, but from the start the company knew to opt for design.
Currently we have a wide range of products and formats, from furniture, panels, countertops, accessories and, of course, shower trays of which we are a national and international benchmark. It has only been a month since we opened a R&D centre, which also coincided with the celebration of the company’s 25th anniversary, which will allow us to improve versatility and efficiency, and to develop new designs and prototypes.
Explain to us what happens in your day to day. What is the process from when the idea first arises to the production of a new product?
Like in all jobs my day to day is not just to design but also to coordinate, both for new products as well as for those already in production. We work to continuously improve, meaning that we are always trying to improve our products whether it be the production, the packaging, or redesigning the products, for example.
Regarding the design process, I like to look at each product as being unique. It is important to begin with the concept and then develop a form around it. Once we have had the idea, we start sketching and modelling it in 3D and checking whether this idea can be put into practice, a task that we carry out together with the production department and R&D. Afterwards, the prototype is made and the corresponding tests and checks are carried out. The greater the challenge, the greater the certainty that we will be dealing with a different and unique product.
How do you see the future of Acquabella?
It is a smart company, I see a promising future.
What do you like most about the company?
Camaraderie is very important when you are working in a team, it something I value a lot and I am lucky to have.