New emotional and transversal spaces
The disappearance of the line that traditionally separated living, work and leisure spaces, together with a growing commitment to flexible and reconfigurable distributions, condition and define new interior designs. Much more 'humanized’ environments, designed around the well-being of its users, where both natural and artificial light and colour play a fundamental role, both on a sensory and psychological level. Two dependent aspects and directly related to each other, that with a direct influence on the state of mind of the people, condition the perception of space and objects - even disrupting dimensions and textures-, and for whose choice an exhaustive study is essential that takes into account both the users, as well as the activity carried out and the sensations that they want to generate with them. Versatile spaces and full of shades that, through a never casual use of light and colour, achieve the desired effects in those who inhabit them, inspiring, communicating, relaxing, surprising or stimulating.
Beyond uses and distributions, transversality is also present in shapes and materials, which are no longer associated with a given space or function. Velvety fabrics that go beyond upholstery and cover vertical walls, fringes giving shape to furniture and accessories, or stones traditionally used in floors, now applied to tables, kitchen islands or headboards. A dissolution of limits that, in line with the increasingly blurred line between family life, work and leisure, opts for an open and flexible design, where interior and exterior coexist. A tendency which the plants that are the protagonists of many of these spaces are partly responsible for, offer much more than just decoration: they humanize, illuminate, brighten up, oxygenate, distribute and order.
The power of light and colour to create spaces
All this and much more was seen in the 53rd edition of Casa Decor which, held between 15th February and 25th March, 2018 in Madrid, once again proved the good shape the decoration and interior design industry is in. Together with the University School of Design, Innovation and Technology, ESNE, and companies of the standing of Finsa, Fluvia, Simon, Vives cerámicas, NMC and El presente perfecto, Actiu was present in the main lounge – named Espacio Procolor (Procolour Space), in homage to its sponsor-, where the power that colour and light have in the transformation of spaces could be verified first hand, and how these have sometimes an almost "invisible" influence in the way in which the environment is perceived.
Students of the four years of the Degree in Design at the ESNE designed and built, with paint at the forefront, this lounge space where visitors could stop to relax and recharge one's batteries. An environment, as pointed out by the Coordinator of the project and the Interior Design Degree at ESNE, María Antón-Barco, “to be used and not only to be thought about, turned into a meeting point at the beginning of the visit and a place to relax at the end”. With an original wall made from samples of different Finsa materials mechanized in the digital fabrication laboratory of the school, the Espacio Procolor has made rosewood the dominant colour of the intervention. A subtle and warm tone, inspired by the tactile qualities of traditional wood, houses a serene and relaxed universe, the complete opposite of the increasingly fast and fleeting 'real' world.
"We are not aware of the power of paint to transform the spaces in which we live and work," say the project authors, motivated by the inquisitiveness to transmit the changing capacity of light and colour in living and work spaces, and its therapeutic power.
Through Fluvia – responsible for the lights – and Simon – in charge of the lighting mechanisms-, the installation demonstrated how lighting regulation systems modify and condition the perception of colour and, therefore, space.
Rosewood, comfort and well-being with no gender
Named colour of the year 2018 by Akzonobel, the multinational which Procolor, depends on, rosewood is added to rose quartz, Pantone colour of the year 2016, and millennial pink – also named tumblr pink due to its presence in RRSS–, all of them with a strong presence in recent years in sectors as diverse as technology, architecture, interior design, fashion or even gastronomy. Soft and harmonic tones, many of them inspired by nature, with which it is possible to generate an atmosphere of well-being and relaxation for the user.
"Faced with past cultural conceptions, in which pink was seen as a feminine colour, the pink chosen for the main lounge of Casa Decor can be interpreted as a colour without gender or focused on a more fluid gender” says María Antón-Barco, who highlights how this colour is frequently used in interior design to provide comfort and warmth. A neutral facade which perfectly combines with the rest of the colours used: the blue of the Bend soft seating from Actiu, to calm and reduce tension; and the green of the plants, which brings nature inside.
The increasingly blurred line between spaces and uses
With the ESNE wall as a backdrop, and surrounded by very different textures, colours and shapes, Bend presided over the Procolor Space. A modular and informal design, which although originally designed for meeting points and social areas in work spaces, proved its great versatility, allowing it to be used indiscriminately in public, waiting or leisure spaces. Designed by Stone Designs, Bend came up with the idea of providing movement and life. "It is a collection that walks through the spaces, generating different lounge areas adapted to all users," explains its creators.
Composed of several modules, shapes, structures and very different finishes that 'orbit' in space, Bend fits perfectly in the spirit of an intervention created based on the philosophy 'think, make and share', where all products have Eco-Certification and a clear sustainable use. “ESNE has designed an ephemeral installation, which tries to reflect on collaboration and social spaces through elements that reduce boundaries between home, leisure and work. Therefore, it was essential to create an 'in motion', flexible and reconfigurable space, from the colours and textures that attract and inspire young millennials," says Soledat Berbegal, Adviser and Director of Communications at Actiu.
Interior design and decoration are moving forward in line with the most current social and cultural trends, which are directly influenced by technological advances and greater mobility and collaboration, opting for the elimination of physical, emotional and virtual barriers. It is no longer just about designing places and objects associated exclusively to a single use or space, but to create options and alternatives that the user can adapt to their needs. Work and lounge spaces, whether for collective or individual use, with flexible and versatile furniture revolve around the well-being of those who inhabit them.
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