In February 2020, Beyond’s head designer, Juliana Oliveira, traveled to Spain with a group of Dallas designers to tour the home facilities of Porcelanosa. As an international modern design firm, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to learn from the elegant, cutting-edge, design-solutions company whose products we often use in the spaces we design. We thought the trip would provide us a sneak peek into their latest innovations, but the experience gave us so much more.
One of the central elements of the trip was the tour of Porcelanosa’s home facility. As Daniel Sacco from NMDArch said, “Experiencing Porcelanosa firsthand is a discovery paramount to any relevant designer today.” For Juliana, this couldn’t have been more true. “[The tour] gave us a completely new perspective on innovative design and fabrication of top-of-the-line products and solutions,” she said. “Also, it was inspiring to see the way Porcelanosa is using their product from an international perspective, allowing us designers to broaden our horizons and think outside-the-box when creating new spaces here in the US.”
Additionally, Juliana saw an emphasis on natural materials during her tour — natural stone, real wood, and even man-made materials that mimic naturals ones. This, in particular, excited her, for biophilic design has greatly influenced Juliana’s approach to design. It was even more exciting to see their newest technology Krion, a material Porcelanosa developed with air-purifying qualities.
To complement the tour of the Spanish company’s facilities, Porcelanosa took the group to some of Spain’s most influential cities in terms of design. This part of the trip allowed the Dallas designers to experience firsthand the architectural and cultural influences on Porcelanosa.
For Juliana, the rich and lively atmosphere of Madrid captivated her. “The vibrancy of the colors and materials, as well as the detail in the architecture, was very influential to me,” she said. It reminded her of another key element of Porcelanosa’s newest line — boldness. Bold colors and finishes, even in countertops and cabinetry.
Her time in Valencia also left quite an impression on her. As the birthplace of world-renowned architect and engineer, Santiago Calatrava, the city has been shaped by his architecture. “Calatrava’s scale, lines, and clear inspiration from nature was refreshing and impactful to my experience in Spain,” Juliana said.
Calatrava’s modern work grows out of the ancient Spanish grounds, placed next to centuries-old buildings. The group loved his about Spain, or European travel, in general. “European travel always gives me an added architectural glimpse of the juxtaposition between historical and new,” said Rene Gracia, founding partner of RGD+B. Juliana, too, loved seeing “the marriage of the old and the new.”
Perhaps most surprising about Juliana’s trip was how sharing it with other design professionals elevated the overall experience. “We were able to bounce ideas off one another, expanding the conversation beyond what was relevant to just one person or firm, “ she said. As a group of builders, interior designers, and architects, “each of us came out looking for something different — different solutions for our specific challenges. And, as each of our questions were answered, we were exposed to all of the given solutions, enriching each of our professional perspectives.”
Daniel, too, felt the Porcelanosa experience was only enhanced by sharing it with other designers from his community. “Take a group of passionate, hard-working & creative design professionals from the DFW area and fully immerse them in Spanish culture and the Porcelanosa brand and lifestyle, characterized by excellence and sophistication — it’s hard not to walk away feeling inspired and awestruck.”
Juliana’s experience with Porcelanosa makes her excited for the future of design solutions, and she can’t wait to start implementing them here in the United States.
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