IBERITAL & Andreu Carulla Studio

Specialized in Machinery Design.

IBERITAL & Andreu Carulla Studio

About IBERITAL & Andreu Carulla Studio

Can’t imagine your morning without a cup of coffee? Spanish company Iberital is making your routine a sustainable one. Iberital has developed a coffee machine with a new design based on the introduction of lead-free materials, energy efficiency and internet connectivity. The company received an SME Instrument grant in 2016 to design an ecological espresso machine. Iberital is a family SME born in 1975 in Barcelona out of the hobby of its founder Blai Farré, who was passionate about metalworking and parts machining, including for coffee machines. His hobby quickly turned into job for businesses and restaurateurs and he soon began manufacturing pieces for the coffee-machine manufacturers themselves. He manufactured his own moulds using casting processes and successfully sold his own parts and spare parts. 40 years, a new factory and exports in 90 countries later, Iberital wanted to scale-up the production of its sustainable coffee machines. That’s when the company successfully applied for the SME Instrument and obtained funding by the EC. Andreu Carulla Industrial Design is a creative consultancy focused on design and development of technological projects, packaging and UX/UI. Keeping the essence and style that have made Andreu Carulla Studio one of the leading and most inventive design studios in Spain, ACID conceives products for their mass production. With functionality, craftsmanship and sustainability as goals, Andreu Carulla creates beautiful, lively objects with timeless appeal. Following his childhood dream of becoming an inventor, in 2006 Catalan-born Andreu Carulla founded the product design studio that carries his name, becoming one of the most experimental design firms working in Spain today. Constant exploration of materials, old-school techniques and contemporary processes hallmarks the studio’s projects, of which include furniture, jewellery, tableware, lighting, interiors and more.

  • Winner of the A' Design Award.
  • Specialized in Machinery Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Machinery
Iberital Vision Professional Espresso Coffee Machine

Iberital Vision Professional Espresso Coffee Machine

Machinery Design

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Interview with IBERITAL & Andreu Carulla Studio

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
Ever since I was a boy, I wanted to be an inventor when I grew up. Then when the time came to choose a career, I realised that meant becoming either an engineer or a designer, so without hesitation I chose the latter.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
It’s a small studio located 1 hour away from Barcelona and 40 minutes from France, in the midst of a natural park. Banyoles is a relaxed town, where distances are easily walkable and cycling around is second nature.I started the studio by myself in 2006 and now we have a satellite office in Scotland and a representative in Japan. Nevertheless, we try and maintain a small team so we can be closely involved in every aspect of the projects we work on. At the moment there are 6 of us, but we can shrink or grow between 5-8 people depending on the workload.After years of taking on a broad array of projects, in 2006 we founded a sister studio named ACID (Andreu Carulla Industrial Design) that could focus on more ambitious technical and future-facing projects whilst granting Andreu Carulla, our signature studio, freedom to work on objects related to homeware, furniture and crafted design.
What is "design" for you?
It may seem like a mere subject of interest, but for me design is a way of living. As a designer, there is no way to detach your day-to-day life from design. Regardless of where you are or who you are with, it’s impossible to avoid thinking, analysing, evaluating, feeling everything that surrounds you.With more or less intention, design is everything, and everything that surrounds us has been designed or made by someone at some point. The scope of the profession is relative to each designer, with the same resources you can have a completely different result depending on the outlook you may have, and therefore the consequences can also be very different for the client.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
The truth is that there is not one type of work that we prefer more than another. The key is in the amount of influence you are allowed to have on each project. Projects in which we are allowed to have significant participation are the ones that we normally enjoy the most and usually they are the ones that end up yielding the best and most complete results.In the case of Vision, we were able to start the project from scratch and the entire team at Iberital had total confidence in us from the very beginning, giving us a very pure and intended result that totally aligns with the concept we had at the outset.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
My favourite designs are usually those which are totally anonymous, those which standout for their simplicity, their intelligence and their discretion. These are typical examples, but the paper clip with its optimisation in the use of material or the drawing pin with its ease of use and simplicity are two products that come to mind.I also like to think that every period has its own particular needs and that the majority of objects need updating to meet these. Therefore I am not an unreserved fan of every classic piece of design and apply the same criteria when buying a contemporary object or a historical one.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
Before graduating from university I was already working in an R&D department of an international manufacturer of water pumps. So my first design was an ultra-technical and functional object, a water pump.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
I don’t have a favourite material or technology. What I believe is that each project, each piece or geometry deserves a material and a manufacturing process that is right for it. When these come together, that’s a favourite moment for me.On the other hand, what I’m currently excited about is the simultaneous use of the 3D scanner and the 3D printer, both of which we have in our studio. They can be used so easily to create objects that 10 years ago would have seemed like science-fiction.
When do you feel the most creative?
As you can imagine, we don’t depend on spontaneous inspiration. Our work is fruit of hard and constant work, therefore I feel the most creative when we do deep market research, scrupulous analysis of product usage and its users. Because then its when we see where we can improve upon what currently exists. Otherwise it’s normally first thing early in the morning when we achieve clarity for new ideas for new products or solutions that take projects to the next stage.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
We take extreme care in regards to aesthetics, functionality and manufacturability. Each one of these aspects helps a project launch successfully.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
Truthfully, creating objects from nothing is really satisfying. Helping a company position itself in the marketplace, changing perceptions of a brand, achieving successes for our clients and creating products that people love to use are all really rewarding as a designer. We are always conscious we are designing for a client and their users, so we always keep their best interests at heart.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
Its a feeling of elation that, like it or not, does not last that long because not long after you are already thinking about what else we can do, what’s next on the horizon. Be that to complete the work we have just finished or to create new work. You could say we are almost clinically obsessed with design.
What makes a design successful?
There is no magic formula to creating a successful product. But it is rare for a project to be successful when it is underworked or there is a misunderstanding of the people it is intended for. For us, there is no other formula other than work, work and more work. Luckily its something that we love.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
As stated previously, I value its relevance, the way it works and the way it looks. One thing is to create a “follower” product, one that dully sits alongside all its competitors, and the other is to create a “leader”, one that breaks away from everything that is already established and makes you reconsider the entire sector. When a product is free from existing precursors, you can then judge if it is well designed and if it has real value to add.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
The designer has a significant part in the responsibility in the use of resources used in the manufacture of a product, together with the manufacturer itself. You can have a positive or negative influence depending on the decisions that are made at this stage of the project, along with the end of life decisions of disassembly, recycling and repair of the product. This is why I believe that as designers we should strongly fight for the preservation of our natural environment.The same goes for our role in society, we can design products that integrate in a harmonious way with people’s way of life, not causing physical or mental barriers for any prospective user. Packaging is also an important part of these responsibilities and often both product and packaging need to be designed together to create a harmonious experience.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
This is a really interesting question. Not so long ago I believed our profession was not in danger and that we would be employable for the rest of time in the way we design today. Now I think differently, I think AI will surpass us and that in 15 year we will start to see the first products designed without human intervention.In any case, we can always rely on human imagination that will lead us to irrational objects that will break through robotised design, I hope…
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
Our latest exhibition was in Milan during Milan Design Week. And we are next showing in Helsinki for the design week in September. Although, until then, our clients are exhibiting objects we have designed for them in New York, Athens, London, Edinburgh, Tokyo and more…
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
As Pablo Picasso once said, “inspiration exists, but it has to find us working”. By analysing in depth all of the potential problems is when we find the right solutions. As I said, we are obsessed with design and are always looking how the things that surround us are made and for us, everything that surrounds us is an infinite source of inspiration.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
We don’t have a style that is easily identifiable. We are more like design chameleons as we adapt to the needs and objectives of our clients. Having said that, this is always guided by our singular outlook and an ever-present rational and assured criteria.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
I live in Banyoles, the same town where we have our studio, a small town in the north of Catalonia. In general, Catalonia has a defined culture that has a profound impact on us: an austere nature, moulded by hard work and ability to work in collaboration with others. All values that have shaped us and that inform our design process.
How do you work with companies?
The relationship with our clients is closer to that of a business partner rather than a client in the traditional sense. A close and honest understanding from the beginning leads to a better relationship and better results.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
It may be one of the most difficult things to do because design is not an exact science and companies have to give a vote of confidence to the designer when commissioning a project because what will be presented is unknown. It has to be someone who is capable of inspiring confidence and showing they are capable of working in collaboration.In the case of Iberital, they are the company which have given us the most thorough background check before taking our services on board. They even ran a competition to redesign an existing machine as a precursor exercise to designing Vision to see which designer was more suited to their company. Luckily we won that initial round and therefore maybe a good way to choose a design studio is to come to us first!
Can you talk a little about your design process?
Our process is not an academic one. We go against “design thinking” which we never use because designing already incorporates this, which makes us design thinkers by default.Even though the initial stages of a project are always rooted in strategy and market evaluation, the creative phase is much more chaotic and results in an explosion of proposals that have to be filtered down to three, two or one, depending on the client’s needs.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
A rocking chair for reading and thinking, a juice squeezer for making orange juice, a wireless speaker for ambient music, a projector for home cinema and a bed (also for relaxing…)
Can you describe a day in your life?
My Monday morning normally looks like this:5:40 - Wake up6:10 - Hit the pool and swim for an hour 7:15 - Reading the newspaper over breakfast8:00 - Wake up the children and take them to school9:00 - Meet with the team who have been in the studio since 8am13:00/14:00 - Lunch15:00 - Back to the studio19:00 - Family time00:00 - Bedtime
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
You can never stop working, so you have to balance family life and personal health with work. On the other hand, its never a struggle to work and our Mondays are like other people’s Fridays.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
Don’t ever conform. If you are not 100% satisfied with a design, work on it until you are. That’s how we always end up rushing until the last minute…
What skills are most important for a designer?
To be observant, attentive, restless imaginative, hard-working… These for me are the essentials amongst many
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
Pencil and paper in the initial stages which then moves on to modelling, 3D modelling, 3D scanning, 3D printing in the development phase.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
I don’t have the answer to that yet. Time manages me more than I manage it, unfortunately. Now with three children I’m trying to set limits as that is my greatest passion: spending time with my wife and kids.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
It really depends on the project, in the case of VISION for Iberital we spent close to a year before the first prototypes were made.
What was your most important job experience?
Our own experience in the studio, which makes us learn from our mistakes, better our way of working and have a sharper focus on our objectives.
Who are some of your clients?
We work with every type of company, from small startups to big multinationals in Spain, the UK, Scandinavia, USA, Japan…
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
We don’t think there is a type of design, but a type of client that aides the process. If you have a good fit, the relationship and end result is always much better.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
We want to concentrate on not growing in size too much, instead focusing on being selective by maintaining and nurturing the quality of our work over quantity.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
Always as a team. It is impossible to design something as ambitious as we are currently designing, which is a bus, all by yourself.
Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
We are working on a very ambitious recycling project which consists in making beautiful, useful products for one of the world’s best restaurants, El Celler de Can Roca. We have great affection for this project because of its purpose and because of the client.We hope to soon start work on a new professional coffee machine for Iberital
How can people contact you?
Today its easier than ever: email, instagram, linkedin, phone, postcard… the only thing we don’t have is fax
Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
I hope what this award allows for is to demonstrate that it isn’t necessary to follow trends to be successful. The needs of the user are what define the design. We want to also give our thanks to Iberital, the jury and to congratulate the team on this achievement.

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