Ana Arana is a perfect example of the wave of young Spaniards making leads in the world of design. With the economic crisis that started in 2008 and is only now starting to improve, young creatives that graduated from university found themselves in a difficult employment market and had no option but to fend for themselves. This situation gave birth to one of the most exciting moments in Spanish design and creativity.
Bilbao (Spain) is not only the city where she grew up, but is also the place where she first got the goosebumps about architecture and design. After finishing a degree in architecture in Madrid, Ana decided to take her designs into a small scale focusing on product design.
When did you first realise that you wanted to be a product designer?
During my Erasmus year in Berlin. I had the chance to take courses that weren’t exactly part of the architecture curriculum. Luckily, the university was very focused on art and design and that gave me the chance to explore design in different forms and scales. In one of the courses we had to design an object, that felt more personal and which focused on detail. It was then I realised product design was my thing.
What makes good design?
Efficiency and beauty. The aesthetics of an object have to work accordingly to its functions, it has to be intelligent. Good design can be something beautiful, but you always have to consider why it’s being designed. I always look for the multipurpose in an object.
A trip I did to Japan, two years ago, opened my mind tremendously and made me think differently about my personal designs. Everything there is thought through as they prioritise efficiency above all.
Do you pay attention to design trends?
Not in a conscious way, but I guess nowadays it’s impossible not to notice trends if you read design magazines, follow blogs or have an Instagram account.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I find inspiration in everyday life by paying attention to the way people behave and live.
How does living in Madrid shape how you design?
Mostly by the lifestyle the people in the city have. Madrid is full of energy and movement and that’s a huge influence. Take the weather for example, good weather makes people spend a lot of time in the streets and socialise. People here spend less time in their house, unlike Scandinavian people for example, so houses are smaller and it’s all about maximising your space.
What are you trying to communicate through your designs?
My main goal is to communicate that versatility and practicality can coexist with beauty.
Favourite product designers?
My favourite product designers are, Bourollec brothers, Jean Prouve, Vico Magistretti, Patricia Urquiola, Formafantasma...
Tell us about one of your projects
Gali is the outcome of a research concerning food consuming, social and living arrangements focused on single occupancy living and how individuals perform their daily rituals of preparation and consumption of it. Rituals involving food have taken place since the beginningof human life and have develop until now. We no longer need a specific room to perform them, they happen anywhere imaginable and more and more often alone, like eating a sandwich on the street while running to work. So how to adapt that to a home? As a response to this growing trend of compact changeable lifestyles Gali is a revision of the kitchen. It is an essential part in the house but sometimes it occupies a space that not everyone would use in the same way. Gali is the intention of letting each individual distribute their space as wanted, having everything necessary to cook when needed but allowing the living space to embrace new possibilities.
How would you describe your dressing style?
Convenient and comfortable
-Do you think your day to day life affects the way you dress?
Yes! I don’t have to go into an office every day and deal with customers, so it varies depending of my schedule; it’s very different if I have to go to a factory, a construction site or to a meeting.
What is most important to you in a shirt?
It has to feel good. The fit has to be well made and thought as well as comfortable… The less wrinkles, the better.