interview with architect and designer ramón esteve
interview with architect and designer ramón esteve interview with architect and designer ramón esteve
jan 01, 2016
interview with architect and designer ramón esteve


interview with architect and designer ramón esteve
image © alfonso calza

 

 

 

in 1991, ramón esteve founded his own studio (RE_E) with a belief that architecture was an expanding global discipline. since then, the team has grown with work encompassing the fields of architecture, interiors, industrial design, and graphic communication. through placing a substantial emphasis on the process of design, esteve’s studio conceive every project as an individual brief executed by a multidisciplinary team. based in the spanish city of valencia, RE_E is currently working on several architectural projects, as well as design commissions for brands such as vondom, vibia, and porcelanosa. designboom recently spoke with the architect, who discussed his design principles, the creatives he most admires, and the advice of woody allen.

ramon esteve interview designboom
sardinera house, alicante / see more of the project on designboom here
image by mariela apollonio

 

 

 

designboom: what originally made you want to study architecture and become an architect?

 

ramón esteve: In my case, I just had a feeling about it. I am glad I had chosen architecture at an age when it is difficult to know for sure what to do in life. I was certainly attracted by art and technique. when you chose to be an architect you don’t know exactly what you are dealing with. you find it step by step — as you advance in your studies — but it is day by day more fascinating. my passion for architecture comes from my passion for beauty, for everything that conveys emotion and makes you feel good.

ramon esteve interview designboom
sardinera house, alicante
image by mariela apollonio

 

 

 

DB: what particular aspects of your background and upbringing have shaped your design principles and philosophies?

 

RE: I don’t follow an established pattern or any kind of recognizable style. I rather try that every design becomes a unique work leaning only on some inherent factors, related to my interests and the research line that I would be following at the moment, and on external factors such as place, cultural environment and client. the continuity of my work comes from my attitude towards it and some constants that can be summarized in six concepts: harmony, timelessness, atmosphere, serenity, universality and contextualization. the combination of these concepts together with inherent and external factors generate the spirit of each project.

ramon esteve interview designboom
sardinera house, alicante
image by mariela apollonio

 

 

 

DB: who or what has been the biggest influence on your work to date?

 

RE: I am indubitably influenced by the great architects of the 20th century, especially le corbusier, frank lloyd wright and mies van der rohe. also by vernacular architecture, specifically mediterranean vernacular architecture. I see the mediterranean sea as a constant reference of a thousand-year-old culture. in design, my references are arne jacobsen, dieter rams and miquel milá, but I am also fascinated by common objects and their capacity to leave their mark on everyday life. I must also bring up the eames because they joined together architecture, design and communication, making something indissoluble: a way of living.

ramon esteve interview designboom
forest house, valencia / see more of the project on designboom here
image by mariela apollonio

 

 

 

DB: overall, what would you say is your strongest asset and how have you developed that skill over time?

 

RE: I can say without indulging in demagogy that my main asset is making architecture and design that connect emotionally with their inhabitant or user. I always search for that empathy between the person and the object. this empathy can be achieved by developing all your designs with the maximum passion. when something is done this way, the passion that I invest in my designs is conveyed through the work itself.

ramon esteve interview designboom
forest house, valencia / see more of the project on designboom here
image by mariela apollonio

 

 

 

DB: now that computer generated visualizations are so commonplace, is there still a place for physical model making or sketching designs by hand?

 

RE: I start all my designs sketching on everything that I have around, especially at the least appropriate moment and place — cafés, flights or even meetings that are not related to the design that we are dealing with. I travel a lot, so ideas always appear out of a professional context. that’s why I always carry pencil crayons in my pocket: formality is little inspiring. the process starts, both in architecture and design, with those freehand drawings, using crayon pencils or watercolors. then, when I decide that I have a strong concept, I start measuring it. in order to do this, I draw it directly with the computer and continue printing and redrawing by hand on the prints.

ramon esteve interview designboom
jaume I secondary school, valencia / see more of the project on designboom here

 

 

 

DB: can you talk about the relationship between architecture and industrial design, and what do you enjoy working on more?

 

RE: I like the idea of using architecture and design working together to create experiences. they are inseparable and they are both created with the same conceptual rules in order to transmit a surrounding universe of sensations that is related with my outlook on life. most of the time, architecture commissions and design commissions come independently. I love both, but I am more attracted by the possibility of generating those global concepts that include both of them.

ramon esteve interview designboom
jaume I secondary school, valencia

 

 

 

DB: outside of architecture, what are you currently interested in and how is it feeding into your designs?

 

RE: I really love art in all its aspects, especially contemporary art and music. traveling and learning first-hand some work is one of the most exciting experiences you can have. on the other hand, cinema is the one of the closest subjects to the way that I understand architecture. I think that generating an experience by means of a sequence of scenes that can control perceptions or even feelings is somehow similar to architecture and design.

ramon esteve interview designboom
faz daybed for vondom / see more of the project on designboom here

 

 

 

DB: which architects or designers working today do you most admire?

 

RE: I am really interested in the work of rem koolhas because of the conceptual transgression of his architecture, and the fact that his work includes fields like communication or design. I am also interested in the experimental character of the works by herzog & de meuron, because they don’t follow a formal established pattern. regarding design, I love lighting by tom dixon and the materiality of konstantin grcic’s work.

ramon esteve interview designboom
country house in fontanars, valencia / see more of the project on designboom here

 

 

 

DB: can you tell us about any projects you are currently working on that you are especially excited about?

 

RE: I only take commissions that I believe to be stimulating: in design, we are developing some furniture pieces, and also doing art direction for vondom; a lighting program for vibia and a new concept that contain all the potential of porcelanosa that we have called ‘premium collection’. also for porcelanosa we have designed a line of kitchens and bathrooms.

 

regarding architecture, we have started some very interesting collaborations with developers supporting advanced quality design, for whom we have designed several buildings in madrid and alicante. we are also working in an office building and a hospital. but I enjoy working in dwellings such as ‘la finca’, ‘la cantera’, ‘la pinada’… they are a challenge in regard to the use of materials or structure.

ramon esteve interview designboom
myrtus convention center, valencia / see more of the project on designboom here

 

 

 

DB: what is the best advice you have received, and what advice would you give to young architects and designers?

 

RE: I really enjoy woody allen and he’s got a sentence that I like the most and I could recommend to any young architect or designer: ‘I don’t know the key to success, but I know that the key to failure is trying to please everybody.’

ramon esteve interview designboom
casa cala ambolo / see more of the project on designboom here

 

 

 

DB: what is your personal motto?

 

RE: I like designing objects that look like they haven’t been designed, objects that make you think they look just the way they should be.

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architecture interviews (81 articles)