The Spanish design duo is on the jury of the award’s new edition. They are ready to evaluate the submissions

‘We will value aesthetics as much as function. We believe that good design has to take both of these into account, merge them and find a perfect balance,’ reveal Alberto Sánchez and Eduardo Villalón. They are the creative minds behind the Valencia-based MUT Design studio who return this year to serve as jurors on the prestigious Archiproducts Design Awards panel.

Listed as one of the most influential design offices of their generation, MUT Design has already won many awards and is regularly featured in magazines worldwide. Founded in 2010 in Valencia, MUT is a multidisciplinary team whose values are based on the principle of ’emotional design’ – as the two founders like to call it – which translates into constant experimentation with colours and materials to redefine everyday objects.

The Spanish duo’s creative flair will be on display during the 2022 Valencia World Design Capital celebrations. For the occasion, MUT Design, part of the ADA 2021 jury, has designed five wood pavilions to showcase Valencia’s best 50 designers and celebrate the city’s historic crafts tradition.

We asked the studio’s two founders, Alberto Sánchez and Eduardo Villalón, the subjects of our weekly appointment with the ADA 2021 jurors, about their expectations from this year’s projects and their personal vision of the near future of design, a sector undergoing rapid change even in light of the global pandemic.

 


MUT Design, Valencia 2022.

Interview with MUT Design, on the 2021 Archiproducts Design Awards jury

What do you expect from the entries, and what features should the winning products have? 
We are looking for the most innovative, the most original, the most interesting and the most creative pieces. The pandemic has ‘given’ us a lot of time to think and to create! We are sure that many good ideas and many exciting projects were born during the lockdown period. Our expectations are very high! We will value aesthetics as much as function. We believe that good design has to take both into account, merge them and find a perfect balance. 

 

How should contemporary design evolve to meet the needs of the community? 
Design evolves with society and the context in which it finds inspiration and implementation. One of the prerequisites for designing new products for everyday use is to adapt to human needs, which is why design must always keep up with the evolution of society. The pandemic has forced us to live with fewer resources, so perhaps design will also have something to do with this. We will have to be more creative to make the most of what little we have. Design is all about imagination, creativity and making the most of the things at hand. In the end, it’s not so different.

 

In the post-pandemic era, how can design define a ‘new normal’? 
We don’t know if design can define the ‘new normal’, but one thing is sure. People are now paying more attention to design because they have been forced to stay indoors. They are taking a different approach to what they expect from a home or an office. Maybe before, the chair you sat on was not so important, but now that you use it for 8 hours a day, you realise that it is vital because you want it to be comfortable and ergonomic. We are certainly paying more attention to the interiors of our homes and our furnishings. Our perception of the home has been radically altered by the pandemic. 

 

How do you think the pandemic has affected design? 
In some areas very much. For example, consider the health sector with its clinics, hospitals, medical equipment, health products. Objects like masks are now more visibly part of our daily lives. We can all see how design has had an impact in this specific field. Maybe because of new safety regulations, we find antibacterial fabrics on a sofa, but apart from that, we don’t think the pandemic has changed product design very much. Obviously, the industry has been affected by the lack of trade fairs, which help us explore new design, find inspiration and get in touch with new people. Now, technology lets us have video meetings and virtual design tours. But it’s not the same! Seeing, touching and meeting people in person is definitely an essential part of our work.

 

The call for entries for the 2021 Archiproducts Design Awards is now closed.

The jurors called upon to vote on the entries for the award’s sixth edition are now ready to assess key aspects of innovative, ethical and sustainable design.

The jury’s vote will lead to the definition of an initial longlist, a selection of proposals that will participate in the final stage of the Award.

The winners will be selected from the longlist and announced during the first week of November.

MUT Design Team. Ph. © Daniela Trost.

MUT Design Team. Ph. © Daniela Trost.

Ph. © Yosigo

Ph. © Yosigo

MUT Design Team. Ph. © Yosigo

MUT Design Team. Ph. © Yosigo

Roll Chair. Ph. © Yosigo

Roll Chair. Ph. © Yosigo

Ph. © Yosigo

Ph. © Yosigo

MUT Design Team. Ph. © Yosigo

MUT Design Team. Ph. © Yosigo

Ph. © Yosigo

Ph. © Yosigo

Ph. © Ernesto Sampons

Ph. © Ernesto Sampons

Ph. © Yosigo

Ph. © Yosigo

Ph. © Yosigo

Ph. © Yosigo

Ph. © Klunderbi

Ph. © Klunderbi

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