We’re taking a look back at the big names in the design and architecture worlds that have opened their doors to us over the last year.

We are not superstitious at all, so that’s why we aren’t worried that exactly 13 great people allowed us to interview them in 2018.  These interviews are a favourite among Connections by Finsa readers.  That’s why we’re not asking you to read them all in one go, but remember to save this post in your favourites and enjoy their words little by little.  To start with, we’re remembering a quote from each one.  After reading them you will understand why it’s so hard for us to decide.


For me, a good designer must be a restless person.  Sometimes new solutions appear while you’re investigating that you can then apply to future projects.  It’s about accumulating knowledge that is then useful in your work.”

Ignacio Abellanas ‘Lebrel’ fits his definition of a good designer perfectly, creating honest, lasting, and timeless designs.

Estudio Alegría

Their understanding of the space and their aesthetic perception.  These two elements define the style of each interior architect.”

Ignacio Alegría and Manuel Such combine their backgrounds in one of the most creative interior architectural studios on the Spanish scene.

Héctor Santos-Díez

The group of images must be allowed to explain all the noteworthy aspects of that particular architectural work. You must try to capture iconic photos, which almost summarise the project, along with others that are purely descriptive.  But they must also be as visually pleasing as possible.”

When he quit university, the world may have lost a great architect, but it gained a great architectural photographer.

Olga Gago

The pigments are very telling and their analysis gives us a lot of information.  They help us date and historically contextualise the work, but they also provide other types of information.”

You can now visit the new Pórtico de la Gloria, a project to which pigment expert Olga Gago has dedicated the last two years of her life.

Mireia Cervera

For me, a good design is one which conveys the type of company behind it.  These days, every design should come with a good marketing and communications campaign”.

As co-director of RED, Cervera is in charge of promoting the values of design as a competitive advantage for business.

Manuel Estrada

The key to a good design is in the cultural component, which we can understand as the way in which we organise collective knowledge, knowing how to situate a company in a certain era and how to make its activities get noticed.”

It was an honour to chat with the winner of the National Prize for Design 2017.  For Estrada, the key to becoming a good designer is knowing how to ask the right questions, and how to answer them.

Stone Designs

A designer without talent is like a singer without a voice.  But above all, perseverance and commitment is what makes a good designer.   You can have very good ideas and be very brilliant, but to do your best projects you need personal and professional maturity.  And that only comes after years of working.”

Eva Prego and Cutu Mazuelos fit us in between trips to explain the relationship between design and storytelling.


Unai Etxebarria

 There is a very close link between design and materials: new design concepts require new properties from the materials which go a bit further but, at the same time, the development of new materials allows designers to generate new ideas and product proposals.”

Director of Material ConneXion Bilbao explained how a materials library works and what it’s for.

Moneo Brock

We firmly believe that sustainable architecture improves our quality of life  and that prefabrication helps to reduce waste products and allows us to achieve a better-quality final product.  The future must be sustainable or there won’t be any future at all.”

For Belén Moneo and Jeff Brock, a good architect has no prejudice or fear when it comes to proposing solutions.

Paredes Pedrosa

Maximum intensity is necessary in every phase that affect the quality of the building.  And working simultaneously on various projects on distinct aspects are beneficial and enriching for us and for the final result.”

After 30 years as architects, Ángela García de Paredes and Ignacio Pedrosa are just as enthusiastic as they were on their first day of work.

Gudy Herder

I never miss the design fair in Milan in April.  It’s like an open-air bible that provides me with information and inspiration that lasts the whole year because, apart from being able to see new things, it provides opportunities to talk with artists one-on-one.”

A trendsetter’s job involves constant observation on many fronts, but Gudy says that we create trends through what moves us in any given moment.

Paula Aloy

A designer can never stop observing their surroundings, or stop learning or being interested in new trends, new materials etc.  They must remain alert at all times and learn as much as possible about their surroundings to be able to apply it to their work.”

This design teacher is conscious of the importance of motivation in awakening creativity in her students.

Pedro G. Romero

Nowadays art works with other materials, with knowing and information, and we must treat it with the same care.”

Among these 13 “connections”, an “undisciplined” artist, as he was once called, found his way in.