Launching alongside this year’s Maison & Objet fair, the windows of The Conran Shop Paris have undergone a transformation thanks to renowned lighting expert Santa & Cole. Editors of furniture and lighting based in an inspiring headquarters in Barcelona, Santa & Cole manages to be small and independent, yet global – with some of the stars of the lighting world included in their portfolio.
Indoor lighting editor Nina Masó enlightens us on Santa & Cole as a brand, its unique head office and introduces us to some icons of the collection.
How would you describe Santa & Cole’s ethos?
We created the brand in 1985, but we still feel like a young brand! While we’re youthful we also have an element of maturity, a bit like a 30-year-old. We only edit products that we like, and in which we can identify ourselves and our way of life – timeless products with great quality – a quality that you can feel and touch.
Something that we always keep in mind is visual comfort. We all have a constant search for good lighting, a light which will accompany us and be a good companion. It’s very important to us to bring together different views of design, collaborating with designers and architects with whom we share this idea of a relaxed, comfortable lifestyle; we find designers that share our rationalist, calm approach to design that values silence and not stridency. We don’t follow trends, but our instincts.
Why is lighting so important for a space?
Finding good light in the absence of the sun is our main goal – sunlight is always best.
You need good lighting to best see the objects and people around you, and to have an all-round better state of mind. To create the right atmosphere in your home, at your office, or in a hotel, you need to be able to interact with people comfortably. Light and objects define us as people, and speak volumes about us and our hobbies. Light is central to any space and will help always help define where you are, whether it’s a single room or an entire building.
Tell us a little bit about Santa & Cole’s headquarters.
We are based in a very inspiring place; an old former school called Parc de Belloch, 30km from Barcelona – right in the middle of nature. Santa & Cole took over the site in 2004, and we feel privileged to have such a unique building. Built in the 1960s, it demonstrates the rationalist architecture of that time, by the likes of Manuel Baldrich.
Our goal is to build a knowledge park, a campus completely dedicated to design that we can share with designers and architects.
We also have a unique tree nursery on-site. By planting trees, we can plant our seed of responsibility towards the future, with a firm belief in the enormous value of the natural design of social spaces.
We love the new Cestita Bateria. What do you think makes the Cesta and Cestita collection so special?
The Cesta family was designed in the 1960s; at that time the architecture of Barcelona’s coast was very horizontal, so they needed lamps that created atmosphere from the floor. Since then, Cesta has become an icon of Mediterranean light. Its original design already incorporated the handle, offering the possibility to move it around – even when it had a cable, the idea was to create atmosphere wherever you place the lamp. Nowadays, with the right technology, we have been able to accommodate a USB rechargeable battery, so it fulfils the lamp’s original goal even better. The craftsmanship of the whole Cesta and Cestita collection is also of such high quality, it’s hard not to be convinced of its charm!
From the first time you see the Cesta, you can tell that it will be your best friend. Cestita is more like a friend at a party, and is also the perfect companion for moments alone.
What are you most looking forward to seeing at this year’s Maison & Objet in Paris? Do you have any other favourite Parisian places to visit?
I haven’t been to the fair for few years so I hope to enjoy Maison & Objet, discover new designers and to find something that surprises me – I love to get new inspiration.
I always like to go to the Centre Pompidou when in Paris, but what I really hope to gain from my visit is to meet new people that can tell me new places to go, new exhibitions – in Paris there’s always something going on, so I hope to continue my discoveries.
Santa & Cole’s unique display will be available to view at The Conran Shop Paris throughout Maison & Objet 19th – 23rd January, and installed until the end of February 2018, alongside displays from our other partnerships with Matthew Hilton for De La Espada and Atelier Swarovski.