Spanish Armada

The next international design stars will come from the Iberian Peninsula.

At international furniture fairs, the majority of the media buzz and buyers’ attention is focused on a small group of European designers—mostly from Holland (Hella Jon­gerius and Mar­cel Wan­ders), France (the Bouroullecs and Starck), and England (Jasper Morrison). That elite club seems to be expanding. A new generation of Span­ish designers, led by Patricia Urquiola, Martí Guixé, and Jaime Hayon, is the latest darling of the decorative jet set. Hayon’s theatrical Show­time furniture for Bd Barcelona, exuberant Camper stores, and Re-Deco collection for Lladró reflect a national sensibility that is modern, playful, and shot through with strong doses of color.

This month’s International Contemporary Furn­iture Fair, in New York, promises the biggest-ever contingent from Spain, with 22 companies debuting works by such rising talents as Fran­cesc Rifé, Mario Ruiz, and the design firm Lie­v­­ore Altherr Molina. The Spanish Insti­tute for Foreign Trade, which organized the ICFF pavilion, also has a new Web site, Interiors From Spain, that offers detailed in-for­ma­tion on Spanish products and designers. And if you still want more, be sure to visit Hab­itat Valencia Forward, an ever growing launchpad for emerging designers that takes place in the country’s third-largest city each September.

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