Daniel Marco is at the helm of Feria Hábitat Valencia 2019, the most important furniture and interior design fair in Spain, which opened its doors once again yesterday for a very special edition. After last week’s announcement that Valencia has been named the 2022 World Capital of Design, Hábitat has become the perfect opportunity for the city to show the world the potential of design in the city, its designers, and its businesses.
This economist from the world of management seems very satisfied with the results of the three years that he has been part of the project. During that time, Hábitat has continued to grow, and he is “very grateful to the professional design sector in Valencia for their continued help with the fair”.
Valencia is going to become the first Spanish city to be the World Capital of Design in 2022, and the people at Feria Hábitat Valencia have been the drivers behind its candidature. What does this news mean for Hábitat? Will it become the first celebration of this accolade?
The fact that the jury’s decision has coincided with Feria Hábitat Valencia 2019 is a huge endorsement for the fair, which has become the first event related to the city’s candidature. In addition, much of what has allowed us to be the World Capital of Design is being shown at Hábitat Valencia, because almost everyone in the design world is linked in some way to the candidature and will be at the fair.
The recognition is very important and we are very happy with the choice. Valencia’s name will go together with the very prestigious claim of World Design Capital at an international level.
Hábitat has experienced important growth in the last few years. Are you hoping that Valencia being named the World Capital of Design will help it to grow even more?
We have worked on the fair and design since the 1960s, when the first edition was held. We have experienced good times and more difficult times, but Hábitat will always be a reference point for design. We see the choice of Valencia as Capital of Design as national event, a prize for all Spanish design. Now is when the work for 2022 begins, to highlight the strength that Spain has when it comes to design, which in some way will crystallise at Hábitat Valencia and allow us to grow, especially in terms of product quality and know-how.
What can we expect from this edition of Feria Hábitat Valencia?
We have increased the exhibition space by 45%, to 65,000 square metres, in order to accommodate the offerings of more than 500 exhibitors. We have two pavilions dedicated to design that will host a retrospective of the work of architect Ramón Esteve with his designs that created for both national international manufacturers. Hábitat will also have a program of more than 50 talks discussing contract work, design, and interior design. There will also be a Nude salon which is putting its best foot forward thanks to Finsa’s participation by providing materials.
Nude is an experimental area within Feria Hábitat Valencia which welcomes the work of new designers and design schools. What does it contribute to the fair?
Nude is celebrating its 17th edition this year and its creation is part of Feria Valencia’s efforts to boost the transfer of knowledge between universities and companies. An example of its success is that many of today’s acclaimed designers got their start at Nude. I think the industry must have a space where young designers present their new ideas to suppliers so that the sector can continue to evolve through design.
Who is this fair aimed at?
Feria Hábitat Valencia is for national and international buyers for both home and contract work. It’s a tool of internationalization for the sector given that we have visitors from over 60 countries.
Has the increase in business being done in the contract and projects sectors become noticeable in the last few years?
Since I became director of the fair, contract work has grown every year. Tourism is growing – it has become a very important sector all over the world – and the big increase in both demand and the fittings aimed at this sector is noticeable.
What trends are being featured in this edition?
Minimalist lines, everything Nordic, cutting-edge design…these are the things that are growing and inundating products at the fair. Even more classic products have more straight lines and are being purified. It’s true that on a global scale the trend is cutting-edge design but at the fair all styles exist side-by-side, as long as design is in their DNA.
bringing design to the whole city?
It is the result of the efforts of collaboration between the ADCV, which organises the #VDW, and the Feria de Valencia to make those days Valencia Design week. The whole sector has worked together to promote design, pooling their efforts for the candidature, for the fair, for the activities, and more.
When making their decision, the World Design Organization committee valued the maturity of Valencian design, but above all the cohesion and the strength of the sector. Is this joint effort part of the DNA of the Valencian design sector?
It’s my third edition as director of Hábitat Valencia and during those years I have always taken in this atmosphere of collaboration. It’s always a joint effort and we are like a family.
How important is the support of the business sector for Hábitat?
It’s everything, because without business there would be no fair. Hábitat is a meeting point for supply and demand, and for it to be an attractive fair the most important thing is to present a quality offering and have businesses that participate with their latest developments.
Don’t miss our report about the 2019 Feria Hábitat Valencia next week.