Pure design

From Madrid to Milan, where he took a masters at the Polytechnic and began to work with Piero Lissoni, then opening his own studio. Eye to eye with the Spanish designer David Lopez Quincoces, one of the young talents who is helping to shape the image of Living Divani (and other brands) with a pure, essential but never predictable style

David Lopez Quincoces
David Lopez Quincoces

He’s always on the phone. Talking with his collaborators, paying attention to details and precision. David Lopez Quincoces, the Spanish designer born in 1980 – who speaks perfect Italian – bursts with ideas. But his most outstanding work is one, dated May 2019, “when I became a father, my best project of all”. With his delicate minimal style, never predictable, and the passion for research and materials, he is helping to shape the contemporary image of Living Divani (and many other brands), and much in demand for the creation of interiors of private residences, shops and hotels, “with projects personalized around the desires of clients, deep respect for places, always in tune with our style.”

Private Apartment, Milan - Design David Lopez Quincoces

Private Apartment, Milan – Design David Lopez Quincoces – Photo © Alberto Strada

Let’s start at the beginning: in Madrid, where you took a degree in art in 2004 at the Complutense University, and in Milan, the capital of design.
I came to Milan to do a masters program in Interior Design at the Polytechnic. I was fascinated by the style of Piero Lissoni, so I applied to do an internship in his studio. I thought it would be a short experience, one year at the most, but instead I wound up working for Piero for 13 years, of which the last 6 were as a partner of the Lissoni Architettura division, in charge together with Miguel Casal Ribeiro of interior design and architecture. At the same time, in 2008 I opened my own studio, first on my own, and then – when I met my partner – as a “family affair”.

Your studio, Quincoces-Dragò&partners, has offices in Madrid and Milan, working on architecture, graphics, interiors, industrial design. But you also curate a gallery.
Yes, the Six Gallery in Milan, a space that came about in a very natural way. It was a project we were working on for one of our clients, who had taken over this space (Via Scaldasole 7), with offices, a bistro and a florist’s shop. The idea gradually became more complete, so we decided to make this gallery, which for us is a workshop for research and experimentation. For the gallery we select historic design products while also offering our pieces by request, the ones that are a bit more handmade, outside the industrial world.

Six Gallery, Milan - Photo © Alberto Strada
Six Gallery, Milan - Photo © Alberto Strada
Six Gallery, Milan - Photo © Alberto Strada
Six Gallery, Milan - Photo © Alberto Strada
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Private Apartment, Milan - Design David Lopez Quincoces

Private Apartment, Milan – Design David Lopez Quincoces – Photo © Alberto Strada

Sources of inspiration?
In the design part I let myself be guided by the briefing and the DNA of the company, respecting its tradition and spirit, but always in keeping with my own style. I try to be very focused, to respond to the requests of the brands; I study their history, values, aesthetics, collections, to produce specific solutions that round out and enhance their lines, while meeting the needs of the market. It is important to propose not just beautiful and functional projects, but also things that are commercially valid and feasible at a reasonable cost. You have to push forward with innovation and beauty, while trying to respond to the marketing side, which is not always easy.

You like to say that you design with purity.
I want to reach a point in which nothing can be added to or subtracted from an object, where the piece in its essence is balanced to the point where adding things would add no value, while removing them would reduce its beauty. It is that balance between being synthetic, pure, essential, and at the same time having the ability to reach a valid, finished, timeless product, not linked to fashions, lasting, something that works well now and will work well in thirty years’ time. At least that is what we try to do.

Let’s take the examples of the products made for Living Divani. How and when did they discover you?
They met me at the start in the contract sector, during my experience with Piero Lissoni working on interior design and architecture. Then, in 2013, we did the Track bench, my first project for Living Divani, with an essential design, a structure in 8-mm iron with three blades and thin but very comfortable cushions. I went to the company with my prototype, which we then developed and improved together, until we reached the definitive product.

Helm by Zucchetti - Design David Lopez Quincoces

Helm by Zucchetti – Design David Lopez Quincoces

Era by Living Divani - Design David Lopez Quincoces

Era by Living Divani – Design David Lopez Quincoces

What can you tell us about your creative process?
I usually draw by hand, I make many sketches throughout the year, and then towards July-August I gather them up, making an initial selection of the ideas I like best. Sometimes I receive a brief from the company, in other cases I propose already finished works, with very specific renders.

What your 2020 news with Living Divani?
2019 has been a rather special year, because I became a father last May, my best project, so time has taken on a different aspect. Nevertheless, I am working on a series of interesting developments, like the evolution of the Sailor bookcase, now with containers of different sizes, single or double, and with new finishes. In the Era family we are introducing a new, very compact desk, versatile, clean and light, which reprises the details and joints of the line of the same name.

And for other brands?
With my good friend Francesco Meda we are the new creative directors for Acerbis, and also with Francesco I am working on an entire outdoor collection for Gandia Blasco. For Zucchetti I will present Helm, a minimal line of faucets for architecture and the contract market, the brand’s first all-steel adventure; this is my first collaboration in the bath sector, and it has been exciting to work with such an expert company.

LT40 by Lema - Design David Lopez Quincoces

LT40 by Lema – Design David Lopez Quincoces

Spotti, Milan - Photo © Alberto Strada
Spotti, Milan - Photo © Alberto Strada
Spotti, Milan - Photo © Alberto Strada
Spotti, Milan - Photo © Alberto Strada
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You also work a lot on interior design.
Recently we completed the Spotti showroom in Milan, and for the Salone we will also do the lower level, bringing new features to the displays. We are working often in the private residential sector, with 6 apartments under way in Milan, one in London in Chelsea, a very large house of about 2000 square meters in Merano, a villa in Morocco, at Casablanca, two important residences in Venice, a home in Geneva, and a property in Miami that has set a sales record for price per square meter. In the hospitality sector we are making a special hotel above Como, like a farm created in a former monastery, with a unique location at 1300 meters asl, offering breathtaking views of Milan and the lake, the Po Valley and Switzerland, with a central building and individual units scattered in the woods. When you work on interiors you have intense dialogue with private clients to understand their needs, their personality, tastes and style. The approach for interiors is more complex that the one for individual products; you think in three dimensions, in terms of spaces, functions, objects. We deal with everything, offering an all-inclusive package, from foundations to finishes and a total look for the furnishings, including various brands, and works of art. The interesting thing about interior design is that you do many custom projects, with personalized approaches to meet the desires of clients and the requirements of spaces. For us it is very important to respect those who will live in the house, but also the place where it is located, its history, a heritage to be regenerated in all its beauty.

Finally, do you have a dream for the future?
I am always open to new ideas. I would like to try my hand at all kinds of things, from a museum to a kitchen, to door systems. You have to have an adventurous spirit to approach every challenge and learn from it. The aspect that intrigues me most is the process, not the result. I like to look forward, with an eye on the past, to grow and to take new, exciting paths.