Mario Ruiz (Alicante, 1965) has become an international benchmark of Spanish design. Throughout his more than twenty-year career, he has worked in different fields and his work has been recognised for prestigious international awards such as Red Dot, Design Plus and Wallpaper Awards.
Ruiz is considered a highly technical designer, this fact allows him to easily adapt to the characteristics that each new assignment requires. And of course, he needs to adapt to each assignment because there are more than 120 companies that have relied on his work.
Let him tell us
To start, tell us a little bit about your career.
I was born in Alicante. When I was 18 I attended some lectures where Alessandro Mendini, Dieter Rams, Philipe Starck, Tapio Virkar were participating …this experience made me realise how much this world fascinated me. I left to Barcelona and studied in a school called Elisava. I spent some time working on a couple of studies but I was sure that I wanted to be a self employed professional, so I promptly opened my own study in Barcelona which is where I am now 20 years later.
During the first few years I was more focused on office and technology projects, but over time other types of orders and clients were coming such as home, lighting, corporate identity, creative direction…And in the last 10 years, working from the a distance: Australia, USA, France, Italy, Holland, Sweden…
Throughout your career you have executed projects of technology, lighting, office, branding, interior design, ephemeral spaces…What is left to do?
I would love to design a kitchen.
If you had to choose one particular area of work what area would you choose?
What really interests me about my job is not the type of project, but the client human profile. If there is mutual respect and admiration, if there is a deep communication and a shared emotion, then I am interested in all areas. What makes me happiest is to achieve a great dialogue with the customer and make something together
How do you address each new project? How do you develop the creative process?
Each designer has a different personality and a different way to address the project. So every project is a reflection of that personality. My background and my experience in industrial products are very relevant, where the responsibility and the function of the object and the respect for the manufacturing process are vital. This marks the way I address every project.
Do you think that is a good time for the Design in Spain?
Spain is not at its best moment that is a fact. There have been eight very difficult years, however, I think there are very good professionals, people who have struggled to keep up their work, that went abroad and never gave up. I am optimistic, the situation is getting better and there are especially up and coming young people with very positive energy.
Woodlovers is dedicated to the world of wood from all areas. During your career you have used this material on many occasions, like in the Stockholm sideboard for Punt or recently in Bisel and Minihouses for Mad Lab. What qualities does wood provide to your designs?
Wood is a living material that immediately connects with nature, which matures and improves the product. It is also linked to the Scandinavian design tradition and with our craft, which is everlasting, this covers the object with a special halo. It is a good starting point for specific projects.
And finally, Can you give us a small exclusive? What are you working on at this moment?
I am currently working on several concepts related with future work, analysing how we will work in future surroundings I am also working on areas of creative direction, which I have never done before.
One material: Wood, cooper, brass, rattan, marble.
One colour: Yellow.
One city: Tokyo.
One piece of reference: Soft Pad Chaise, designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1968 and that today produce Herman Miller.
One pending Project: A kitchen and the first class interior of a plane.