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The implicit language of design. Interview with Ciszak Dalmas, directors of the Postgraduate Course in Furniture Design

Simplicity, experimentation, poetry and humility. These four words define to perfection the industrial design studio Ciszak Dalmas, whose founders direct the Postgraduate Course in Furniture Design. Andrea Caruso Dalmas and Alberto Ciszak Gobbino are two Italian designers trained in their home country but settled in the Spanish capital for many years.

Care for their designs and the environment are two essential aspects at Ciszak Dalmas when it comes to getting down to work. Wood, metal and ceramics are their pet materials. They design all types of objects, but their speciality is furniture. Furniture that seems to be very simple, yet with many hours of reflection behind it. To what end? To create indelible marks and generate experiences that are at once unique and imperceptible in the people using them.

Inga Sempé in Paris,Pininfarina in Turin andArtemide in Milan are some of the companies in which Caruso and Ciszak gained prestige and experience before setting up their own studio. In 2010, after their time studying at IED Madrid, they launched LaLa Clínica Design, a furniture collection made by hand by local craftsmen in different parts of the world.

We spoke with Andrea Caruso Dalmas, one of the two directors, to tell us more about Furniture Design and about the course he directs.

How is the essence of Ciszak Dalmas reflected in this course?
We are cross-cutting designers able to delve into many aspects, but we understand design as collective work that involves ongoing learning. We love innovation, but we believe in collective intelligence and improvements by everybody “doing their bit”.
We start from the basis that each new challenge is an experience that trains the designer and each stage of the process is fundamental in order to cultivate the holistic and, at the same time, specific vision. The ultimate aim, apart from achieving the final result, is to be part of this journey.
We encourage a critical attitude in order to train the designers of today and we want this to be supplemented with strong foundations, such as project culture, high-level technical knowledge and an interest in the impact of design on our society.

You have completed major furniture projects such as that for MAX&Co shops. What potential does Furniture Design have for telling brand stories?
The perception of a brand goes far beyond the explicit messages that are communicated. In Product Design, there is another language which is used to communicate a brand. It is a language that is not written or spoken, it is only known intuitively. This is the language that we aim to teach the participants on the course, the ability to communicate using the shape of the furniture, its texture or the finish of its materials, the interaction with the environment and the use of new technologies.

What aspects will students work on in the Postgraduate Course in Furniture Design ?
The furniture sector is highly competitive, the supply of designers is much greater than the demand and only the best professionals tend to find a professional opportunity. With this postgraduate course, we aim to train designers with the best tools in order to be able to design, produce, communicate – and also sell – their idea.
Furniture Design is a technical discipline that requires skills such as the control of materials and manufacturing processes, computer design and rendering, stability and ergonomics calculations, monitoring prototyping and managing suppliers, among others.
In parallel with the theory in the course, practical subjects are taught for designing in 3D, sketching by hand, layouts, and producing a real prototype with machinery from the workshop of theFab Lab IED Madrid. Learning to master these techniques is essential for devising, designing and producing a piece of furniture.

¿Por qué es interesante una especialización en mobiliario dentro del mundo del diseño?
Diseño de Mobiliario se encuentra estrechamente ligado a los campos del interiorismo y de la arquitectura, existe a lo largo de la historia a una larga tradición de arquitectos que han desarrollado el Diseño del Mobiliario específico para sus espacios o que han planteado líneas de producto específicas para la producción industrializada. En muchos proyectos de reformas e interiorismo el mobiliario hace de protagonista y su presencia domina en la identidad de un local.

What final projects are undertaken?
There are several types of practical projects, which are focused on combining common materials, such as wood and metal, with other less familiar materials and the application of treatments of different finishes and textures. We will also treat furniture in various contexts, such as the domestic or commercial environment, offices and retail outlets, in each case studying the technical, building and functional needs.
Finally, we will research a more experimental approach to furniture, proposing

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