Jordi Miralbell

Barcelona, 1953-2015

Jordi Miralbell conceived design as the art of solving the utilitarian through objects that possess a sense of warmth and appeal. He would effortlessly improve anything he touched. Miralbell and Mariona Raventós formed a pair of design artisans, and created beautiful pieces of lighting and furniture. For over 15 years, they collaborated with Santa & Cole as authors, editors and partners. Jordi created the volumes, proportions, structures and mechanical functions of what the duo designed together.

Jordi Miralbell, born in 1953, studied with Mariona Raventós in the design school Elisava, in Barcelona, between 1974 and 1977. Two years after, they set up their own interior and graphic design studio, m&j. They soon expanded their professional career to special designs for movies and photography, publicity and stage design, and space lighting projects. In 1986, they also started designing pieces of furniture, lighting and complements through their new production company, Neo-Series, that was still inspired by with their crafts style. In fact, one of their first lamps, the Arco, included a parchment shade that Mariona would hand paint. Among their first works, we may find a series of fashion dummies, or a furniture and lighting collection called Atmósfera that was composed of the Arco lamps, the Sud and Vertical lamps, and the Oceanía, Bere-B and Asia pieces of furniture. Their conception of design led them in 1989 to be part of Santa & Cole, for which they had already designed some pieces of furniture, and they ended up becoming, two years later, partners of the company. Miralbell and Raventós were responsible afterwards for the art direction of the firm, and as a part of the editorial committee they selected the products that the firm would edit. Many pieces of furniture and lighting elements edited by Santa & Cole at that time account for it: the Dórica lamp; the Pie de Garza lamp (1997), awarded with the VII Premio de Diseño Nuevo Estilo in 1994; the lamps Turca and Suma (1999), Gala, Nova (1996), Disco (1995), Vertical, Tosca y Comodín (1994), and Boa and Sólida (1993); the Sistema Matricial, an interchangeable system of shades that allows to offer customized lamps; the Nif Naf Nuf, a set of three stools; and the Oslo armchair, young and cosy. In this team, Mariona expressed herself better with materials, textures and color, she represented the sensual part of the project, whereas Jordi contributed with volume, proportion, structure and supervising that the whole object will work. Their projects are simple and warm, they live together peacefully with all kinds of furniture. Their lighting elements offer different ways to give light thanks to parchment, wood, raffia or cotton and their poetic forms, thus reflecting the team's conception on life: "design is the art of turning what is practical into a desired thing, into human warmness, into something that men have created."