Exploring industrial design since 1985, Santa & Cole is adept at examining and determining the utility of everyday objects and their material value. In a world where materials and tactility suffer at the hands of varied abstract technologies, Santa & Cole (and many of its contemporaries) understands the need for substance and touch in our day-to-day being. Referring to the concept of ‘material culture’, Santa & Cole has underscored the need for usefulness, simplicity, honesty, longevity and conservation in the objects it chooses.
Santa & Cole selects works made by others: items imagined and conceived by good designers. Its edits cover three catalogues: indoor lighting products and furnishings; urban elements and city lighting; books. As editors, the company outsources the entirety of its industrial production, with a network of suppliers in Spain (for the most part) and other countries. Santa & Cole will choose the products for its catalogues, developing each one on a technical level, financing their production and administering the retail element. Moreover, the company is vehement in its protection of intellectual property, safeguarding the rights of its designers and their works the world over. By protecting intellectual property, Santa & Cole is able to smooth the way for production at a local level (a factor with significant environmental benefits).
Eschewing fads and trends, Santa & Cole will make editing decisions based on an object’s narrative or history, its aesthetic or form. If choices appear random, they are assuredly part of a common philosophy. As summarised in the Bauhaus’s declaration of ‘Gute Form’ (Good Form), Santa & Cole ensures products are imbued with: ‘constructive solidity, aesthetic sobriety and functional quality.’ As with all good design, Santa & Cole’s objects are inherently timeless and at all times relevant.
With a multitude of designs, this writer has selected a few of his favourite—midcentury and midcentury inspired—Santa & Cole objects (from their ‘indoor’ catalogue).