BARCELONA ( SPAIN) _ JOAN LAO. Born in Barcelona in 1962, Joan Lao has been an icon of design for many years known internationally for his ability to perform at different levels of design, working primarily in the concept sphere. His interior designs have a unique quality: they create an immediate and lasting emotional response. A reaction that responds to the sincerity of his designs. To live in a Joan Lao environment is to live in an atmosphere of balance and peace. His industrial projects are fascinating for the coherence of their approaches and the sensation of interior harmony which radiates. His work has been recognised with numerous awards. Difficult to categorise due to his ability to perform at different levels of design, JOAN LAO is above all a creator, working primarily in the conceptual sphere. He is part of a scarce elite of creators whose works always conserve their avant-garde classification by being as contemporary as they are timeless. A rare quality that comes from his vision of design as a way of embodying a concept. JOAN LAO has always been faithful to this vision. He applies it to interior design and to architecture, designing pieces of furniture, lighting and other objects, as well as global interior design projects that go beyond the limits of normal decorative level to enter into a comprehensive creation of spaces whose pivotal point is balance and harmony. His interior designs have a unique quality: They create an immediate and lasting emotional response. A reaction that responds to the sincerity of his designs. Like all creators who have reached a high artistic level, throughout the course of his life JOAN LAO has explored his innerself in search of essences – yet again, balance – the discoveries of which are reflected in his works. A reflection that is captured in every piece of furniture or object through the harmony of volumes, shapes and proportions, all fully functional and in his interior design projects, with the creation, instantly perceived, of a sensation of perfect harmony. To live in a JOAN LAO environment is to live in an atmosphere of balance and peace. Such qualities in his work have been widely recognised at an international level. Pieces designed by JOAN LAO have been seen in international competitions such as the fairs of Milan and Cologne. They have also been exhibited in many countries including Germany, Belgium, New York, Chicago, Miami, Toronto, Las Vegas, Stockholm (Sweden), Greece, Holland, Israel and Singapore, as well as Spain. Some of his creations have been received by museums. His interior design projects have primarily been applied to houses and private apartments, hotels and commercial premises and have received many prizes. In 22 years of work, his project list reaches almost 3,000. Some of his clients include politicians, businessmen, artists and people from many diverse industries in Spain as well as in the United States of America, Mexico and Dubai. For example: Various projects with Ferran Adrià (El Bulli) and fashion designers such as Carolina Herrera and Victorio and Lucchino, for whom he has created projects (point of sale image at an international level). His designs have appeared in national and international media: Casa Viva, Diseño Interior, Habitania, Living Deco, Nuevo Estilo, Diseño y Arquitectura, Via Interiorismo, AD, El País, Avui, La Vanguardia, El Periódico, El Mundo, Telva, Vogue and Casa Vogue, Vivir en BCN, De Marca, Ardi, Espacios, La Época, Ecología, Cocinas y Baños, Casa Jardín, Puzzle, Arquitectura y Diseño, Zero, Sposabella, Man, Interiores, Woman, Marie Claire, Elle Decoración, Lecturas Decoración, Hogares, Oficinas, Clara Deco, Muy Interesante, On Diseño, Quemas, El Mueble, Espais Mediterranis, Estilo Clásico, Byndominical, Futuro, Cosmopolitan, Creativity News, Abitareand Case da Abitare, Show Design, MD Moebel Interior Design, Architektur Wohnen, Arcade, Auziger, Tendenzen, Barcelona Concept, Mobler Miljo, Tique, Het Nieuws Bladand Villa Decoration. A member of the College of Decorators, of the European Design Association (BEDA) and of Foment de les Arts Decoratives (FAD) in Barcelona, and Professor of the international Master’s degree for architects and designers “Interior Space. Private Perimeters” at the School of Design Elisava, JOAN LAO displayed his vocation at a very young age with his father, owner of a cabinetmaker’sworkshop, allowing him to work with high quality timbers through his adolescent years and allthroughout his years of interior and industrial design studies at the Applied Arts and Artistic Trades School in Barcelona. Having made the most of this priceless, practical andc onstructive apprenticeship, in 1985 he opened his first studio. Proof of his extraordinary creative capacity are his almost 3,000 interior design projects developed since then, towhich can be added more than 12,000 references that beart he unrepeatable design hall mark of JOAN LAO in the shape of pieces of furniture, lamps, tapestries and objects, as well as the design of corporate identity for companies and products. Exhibitions of some of these works can be found in his showroom in Barcelona but his work is also well known at a national level for having appeared in series and programmes in Spain’s TV1 and TV2, and in Catalonia’s TV3, as well as being part of the interior design in a number of Spanish films. In anactive push towards recognition of the profession, JOAN LAO has given numerous conferences about design and interior design, participating in forums, congresses, round tables, acting as a judge in different prizes of design and participating in numerous events for the benefit of design. To enter into a JOAN LAO space is to enter into an environment immediately recognisable for an atmosphere of serenity that is difficult to imitate. These are spaces that vibrate with tranquillity. The artist believes in the energy of the objects, in their personality, in their spirit. This is where the timelessness of his works comes from, which will allow a JOAN LAO space to be enjoyed today, in the future, and forever. For the designer, the ability to create a piece or a setting that does not respond to fashion or trends is fundamental for more than one reason. JOAN LAO designs in total unison with his innermost self and with Nature, one of his most loved passions. The vision of nature as a source of creation and life has lead him to respect its role to such an extent that in a JOAN LAO space environmental care is always present: in the choice of timbers for the furniture, not necessarily those known for being of the highest quality, but those which are the most functional in order to construct and give texture to the piece concerned in the durability of the pieces, guaranteed thanks to a careful selection of materials and precision during the making of the piece in his search for an authenticity which inspires its preservation and, as a result, contributes to environmental sustainability. In his many public appearances of a professional nature JOAN LAO has always tried to spread the same message: National design must come together to create its own image, expound its social contribution and open itself to the market at all levels. In the way that Italy has managed to sell its own concept of design and a productive and exporting capacity of great internal economic value capable of satisfying international markets, so must Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain learn to do it. In the same way that the market of that country is imbued with the primacy of design in the moment that an item is chosen, be it personal or homeware, the national market must learn about the necessity of using a designer’s services. In this era of globalisation, national industry has no other solution in its future than that of introducing elements with added value to its products. An added value which can very likely stem from design. This is the foundation of JOAN LAO’s vision, with a desire to unify and integrate. A clearly defined vision: The designer has a fundamental role in society that, in Spain, is still unknown. His economic contribution to the production network is little known. His work is expected to be limited to the decorative realm. The contribution a designer makes to the efficiency, comfort, well-being and happiness of people, is not recognised. Finally, it is a common mistake to believe that this service is reserved for the elite. JOAN LAO is convinced that this false preconception of interior design can be done away with and he appeals to unity in order to achieve this. A creator of atmospheres, JOAN LAO wishes to impel the atmosphere of change in the design industry. A change we cannot do without.