André Ricard talks with Andreu Carulla

Two industrial designers.

Two different generations.

One way of understanding design.

AC: One of the values we want to convey with each piece in Calma is responsibility. Not responsibility as understood from an environmental perspective, but from a design perspective. We respect design and that is why we want to contribute something real. We’re trying to be completely different from the rest of the market. We don’t follow trends. Each piece must have an individual character, giving it its own reason for existence.

AR: It’s true, the market is saturated. New products are being made that have already been made before. Unfortunately, the trend is that if a new product is successful, many manufacturers rush to release a replica. This is not a healthy way to compete. If it isn’t authentic, it won’t last.

AC: I don’t know if you’ve ever found yourself in the situation where a client commissions a design from you that has been overly inspired by another. A design which isn’t going to contribute anything, which will only further saturate the market.

Never mind the potential legal problems that may bring.

AR: Yes, but it’s up to the client to worry about the legal aspect, what worries me is the ethical aspect of such action. The best way to rise to the challenge of competition is not by copying but by improvement. Objects can be improved. Improvement is always a possibility. I believe in evolution over revolution.

AC: Looking at international exhibitions, I can see a standardisation across all the brands, all the products. The market is offering the same thing. It’s up to us, the designers, to avoid that.

AR: Of course. Something that is well designed should stand-out for its ability to be of useful true to its original intention. I want to reaffirm this spirit of design. Because design is responsible for improving people’s well-being. And that well-being is generated by creative people who are capable of discovering opportunities for progress.

AC: We have already mentioned that Calma acts responsibly when it comes to the design of its pieces. But it also acts responsibly when it comes to the history of design. That is why we are salvaging pieces from the past that are different now, they’re exemplary. Styles which have meant something in the world of design. That led to deservedly salvaging the first chair you ever designed in 1951: Boomerang.

AR: Salvaging pieces is great if they meet a need which does not exist.

AC: I’ve been designing for 17 years. I’ve seen tools, techniques and processes all evolve. When I started out, even computers were barely used. Now there is 3D design, 3D printing. If I were to put myself in your shoes…

“Ideas don’t come out of you

that weren’t already there”

AR: Years ago, someone once said that computers and the advent of artificial intelligence would put a stop to creativity.  It’s not like that. The computer is an amazing tool. But it is just a tool, and tools like it exist to finish the work at hand.  It will always be a great help but it will never be able to realise ideas that are truly unimaginable. “Ideas are a gift from  god”, said the poet. To capture these ideas, always fragile and fleeting, the software of the pencil outdoes the hardware  of the machine. Sketching and drawing with a pencil is important. Firstly, to remember ideas. Secondly, to talk to other  people, to be able to ask someone: Do you like this? I believe that drawing helps us express what is on our minds.

AC: Does the tool influence the design?

AR: We were the first studio to have a computer and it didn’t change life for us. Creativity is still inside our heads and in  our hands. Our brains are our best tools.

AC: And does the place where you design influence the way you design? Is designing in Switzerland the same as designing in Cadaqués, in Spain?

AR: Of course, everything influences you. at the very least on a subconscious level. Any nub of an idea that seems to  originate internally has always come to you through by way of a seed planted by something external. In any case, everything  that surrounds you is constantly emitting information that you absorb by way of influence or image. Although you may not be  consciously aware, these bond together and form structures inside your head that lead to the formation of ideas.


  • Trebol collection is Sillón apilable de estructura de aluminio pintado al horno, y asiento y respaldo en tejido pretensado de Batyline ISO con costuras.

  • Trebol collection is Sillón apilable de estructura de aluminio pintado al horno, y asiento y respaldo en tejido pretensado de Batyline ISO con costuras.