Santa & Cole is a small, independent and global editor of well-designed products. With its roots in Belloch (Barcelona, Spain) it works in over 70 countries, driven by the quest for good civil coexistence and determined to foster that.
Santa & Cole has been exploring industrial design since 1985 - the art of scrutinising everyday objects to find their best use experience, and the one that therefore considers material culture. In any society, however primitive, the material culture can identify individuals and raise their spirit just as much as the intangible culture, although it is rarely paid as much attention.
Santa & Cole edits household and urban furniture and lighting, ranging from indoor lighting to large street lamps and benches for pedestrians. We also produce plant elements - trees - which are living matter, in our nurseries in Belloch. Not to mention books, which set out the lines that we would all be wise to follow. Although our range of products might seem random, they actually all converge in a common philosophy: not accumulating but rather selecting; not delighting in quantity but rather in quality; not to show but rather to share.
Material culture is interwoven with the physical world we live in, with that circumstance of the objects and technologies that surround us. As human individuals and groups, we make 'things' to meet our needs, and these artificial creations identify our knowledge and our more intimate nature. Like intangible culture, material culture may or may not be prone to goodness and beauty. It may seek humility or ostentation; virtue or power. Material culture identifies all individuals in the same way as intangible culture, and can likewise lead to either cultivation or dumbing down.
Good material culture fosters the beauty in our daily lives, and this is why it easily entails looking at all objects around us. Because each has its significance. Therefore, looking after the environment in which our life unfolds materially, seeking to utilise objects that are useful, understated and efficient, in quantities that are necessary rather than excessive, is what defines an anti-consumerist and well-assessed culture. It is no coincidence that our personal belongings define us just as much as our most intimate affinities.
At Santa & Cole we take our responsibility as creators of new objects for the world seriously. We strive to make them reasonable and lasting; exciting because they are beautiful and satisfying, even to people from all manner of cultures; to give them an immediately recognisable quality, and for them to add value to the lives of all those who will encounter them wherever they may unforeseeably end up. We strive to conceive only honest products that we are delighted to put our name to as members of our family, and that we can proudly live with, be it at home, in a hotel, in an office or in our city.
Editing means unveiling a piece of work usually created by someone else; that is, that has a recognisable author. Editorial work is our raison d'être and the way we operate: we consider, select, take a risk and finally offer products and services initially conceived in partnership with a good designer, for our contemporaries. We believe that an editor's greatness lies not in having a powerfully large company but in their catalogue. In the words of Pliny, Alienis pedibus ambulamus: we walk with the feet of others. For us this is quite literally the case, since our authors are our authorities.
The hypothesis underpinning editing is that the design can be legally protected, with recognised and protected intellectual property, just like book publishers but for objects. We always protect the designer's original value and the intellectual property of their work from third party infringement, all over the world. In any event, we are appalled rather than amused by all devalued fakes that attempt to replace an original.
The Santa & Cole brand edits:
These three product groups have common prescribers: project professionals, interior designers, architects or engineers who are interested in good quality original contemporary design that is materially well expressed.
Santa & Cole outsources 100% of its industrial production to an extensive network of suppliers based mainly in Spain (but also in other countries). Therefore, we do not manufacture with our own hands. We are editors. In terms of catalogue products, our work can be summarised as:
At Santa & Cole we don’t have any industrial machines, in the same way that book publisher might not also be the printer. At a historic time in which we are witnessing the revolution of 3D printers, these new machines that are embarking on printing anything from jewellery to buildings, the challenge is to make bits travel (the knowledge about how to make a product with its plans and material details) and not to make the atoms travel (the finished physical products). Because it is only by protecting intellectual property that we can enable and facilitate local production, saving energy in transportation and allowing the most nuanced customisation.
The products that comprise the Urban Elements catalogues are edited and developed by Santa & Cole in Belloch (Barcelona), but they can be manufactured locally, close to the end users either in Spain or elsewhere. Santa & Cole has excellent licensees in Australia Landmark, New Zeland, Fel Group and the USA, LandscapeForms. Because good original design means that manufacturing can be offshored to the benefit of all communities that respect intellectual property.
The best protectable industrial design and as much surrounding knowledge as required for it to be reasonably marketed constitute the very essence of Santa & Cole. As the editing profession is our raison d'être, registering designs is not an ephemeral choice in a supposed aesthetic style, but rather the pillar of our identity.
In an increasingly interconnected world, where the distance between the neurons that conceive a product and the hands that make it is ever greater, with the terrible social consequences that we know this has, the new world order must necessarily recognise the creator, protect the talent, and stimulate inventiveness. Only intellectual property protection can honestly give us the best of cultures as diverse as those found in Europe, Africa, Asia, America and Australia. It isn't about worldwide standardisation where we all become increasingly indistinct, cloning ourselves ad infinitum, but rather about each proudly expressing their own identity, their own material culture, their own way of understanding the world.
Santa & Cole works only with original protectable designs, registered either by our authors or by our in-house departments. And we always defend our rights in every corner of the globe.
At Santa & Cole we define ourselves as knowledge generators. Our responsibility is to protect what we generate, be it from in-house sources or by defending the work of an author. We register and protect our products worldwide.
We are witnesses of the sad growth of counterfeits, and often victims of a falsehood that affects the entire world community of good design. Santa & Cole condemns the banality of counterfeits, which are poorly and shoddily made simply to cut the price to deceive the unwary. We fight the intruders who infringe on our rights with all legal means possible. On the other hand, we promote and spread good design practice wherever design exists.
Santa & Cole's products are always identifiable by our brand and/or copyright. The presentation and packaging of an object should also be a fundamental indication of its origin. However, its radical difference lies in the nobility of its materials, good workmanship and the quality of the detail. Don't just go for the deceptive appearance: purchase conscientiously, seek truth.
If you believe you have acquired or spotted a counterfeit, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will act on it.
Qatar fakes: the scope of the brutality: As possibly the most important case of counterfeiting by a public authority in the history of design, the large-scale fakes along 10 kilometres of a main thoroughfare in Doha (Qatar) of LATINA street lamps, an original work by architect Beth Galí edited exclusively by Santa & Cole, provides food for thought on the dire consequences of those who accept living in a world of counterfeits without ever knowing the greatness of the original. We invite you to read about this case and we would greatly appreciate your support in defending intellectual property. Please visit www.qatarfakes.com
At Santa & Cole we endeavour to select only what is interesting, either because the product has a story to tell, for the history behind it, its elegance of form or its smart technical solution. It isn't about appearances or trends: we edit only things that move us again and again.
Our taste philosophy is more on the modern than the futuristic side. We are interested in reason, balance, and silence before stridency. We are particularly motivated to be the flag bearers of good Spanish design worldwide. As we came into existence in Barcelona, our authors are predominantly designers and architects from Barcelona and the rest of Spain who are now internationally acclaimed. We value their capacity, bringing new ideas and vision to our common lives; new perspectives about the world that we all contribute to creating. We are citizens of the Mediterranean.
At Santa & Cole we seek to generate, employ, protect and disseminate knowledge, conveyed through physical products with a good design, as encapsulated in the declaration for GuteForm that the endearing Bauhaus made in its day: constructive solidity, aesthetic sobriety and functional quality. This trilogy has become a rule of thumb for us.
With all new products, selecting the right materials is one of the most important steps in our creative process. As editors who are not restricted by owning certain machinery, we can freely choose the best materials and processes for each case. We also work with the top industrial suppliers and craftsmen, primarily in Spain, ensuring excellent visible quality standards.
We utilise new technologies to be more responsible in production processes, to discover environmentally friendly materials, and to design lighting systems that enable energy savings and light quality both at home and in the city.
Our approach helps us to be more versatile and adapt to new uses and ways of coexisting. It also allows us to meet the requirements of unique projects, which often call for specific materials.
We offer contemporary design, attentive to quality in the detail, with an unshowy idea of good taste. We want our products to be timeless for their form, their technical solution and their well-selected materials. We are proud to have products still in our catalogue that have remained relevant on the market for 50 years or more, because we believe that with dignity.
We operate on all scales, from the minute, almost invisible screw for a table lamp, to the light source for a city street lamp. We work on every last detail to make the user experience the best possible.
Quality is an ever-present process: