Raul Villares SoniaLab Director, Innovation department of Sonia.
Well, the initial idea is closer to art than science, that’s the part that most I love about my work -sketching ideas on paper. Later when things starting taking form is when the science takes over. We can say that combining both methodologies can have great results.
The general Specifications of a project are defined in a document generated by the commercial team. In that document we separate data as target Price, target market and range of measures. They represent the initial information that we use to start sketches and we always start from a design concept as a base. For Example in FRACTAL, we were began by playing with volumes starting from flat faces.
A Designer must provide ideas from the outside and question it all. On the other side, many companies acquires bad habits and take things for granted. We must maintain distance to be able to bring something brand-new to the table and only a designer can bring those kinds of ideas. Working with independent partners helps to push this capacity.
I was working in Barcelona in a studio dedicated to car design. The owner of the company contacted me directly through a friend of mine and proposed to me the idea to start a design department forSONIA. It was a challenge for me to start something new from scratch and I accepted the challenge.
Well, Sonia did start with the accessories and later on crystal. Metal was present in all creations – by the way the first collection was called Artica,which included glass sinks and metallic supports, very cold as a collection. There were handcrafted pieces which were very elaborate. Today there is not much left from that time, but I might consider keeping some of that style which represents the origins of the brand for future projects. I still see crystal as a fabric with multiple applications. Quality, fabrics, design and functionality, these are things that defines Sonia’s work. Quality and functionality. The first Designer in Sonia was Mr. Jose Maria Ferrer who also is the owner of Sonia. He is a person who did take great care to focus on the minimal details of each product, from using first class materials to the right suitable screw dimension. I don’t know if you remember that famous phrase of John Hammond in Jurassic Park “we spared no expenses” That’s my boss, and that’s the spirit we try to maintain today.
I was very surprise by the US market because it’s very classic even sometimes excessive. Since then I look much more closely at films sets and when you look more closely you realize that is true.
Fractal is really the one who I feel most proud of this year; it‘s singular and has never seen before. From the first sketches to final designs, we were very ambitious on this project.