Transforming spaces with modern Spanish design
Since its launch in 2004 by Daniel Vila and Ester Pujol, Nahtrang Studio has been renowned for designing products that harmonize ethics and aesthetics. Their Volta and Revolta lighting collections for Estiluz have quickly become favourites amongst the Canadian design community, and their new Circ design is certain to do the same. We spoke with co-founder Ester Pujol about their design process and influences.
LightForm: Nahtrang is a company founded in Barcelona by the two of you, Daniel Vila and Ester Pujol. Where did the Vietnamese-sounding name come from?
Pujol: When we started working together in 2004, Daniel had just returned from a trip to Vietnam. One day, we started listing names for our studio – formal names, funny names – but we were not convinced, so we started with the names of Vietnamese cities. We were young and not very aware of what the consequences would be, but we chose “Nahtrang” – a version of Nha Trang, a southern coastal resort town. We loved how it sounded and the good energy we felt, so we kept it.
LightForm: You’re best known in the lighting community for your Volta and Revolta lamps for Estiluz. How do those designs relate to your other work?
Pujol: We think that Volta and Revolta are the essence of our work philosophy. Our designs are always very honest and direct at the same time. We love the sensibility that emanates from formal simplicity and pure shapes. Volta and Revolta are the best examples of that principle, where the final product is a clear reflection of the initial concept, thanks to the impeccable production by Estiluz.
LightForm: Your latest work for Estiluz, the Circ table lamp, calls to mind a moonrise. Would you say you get more of your inspiration from the natural world, or from the world of culture, design, and aesthetics?
Pujol: We do not normally get inspiration from natural shapes, yet we do try to capture natural environments. In terms of lighting, we try to re-create sensations that only nature can make possible, like the intimate atmosphere of a sunset. In formal terms, we tend to be more influenced by artistic movements, architecture references, gastronomy, etc. That is why Circ is born following the more artistic side of the dance and circus, “the man on the wire”, for example.
The new Circ collection from Nahtrang Studio combines style and practicality in its sleek portable design.
LightForm: What recent technological advancement or gadget would you say has most greatly affected your work?
Pujol: The LED development has been one of the most important changes for us. When we started working on lighting projects, the LED technology was only taking its first steps, and so far, it has evolved in a way that it allows us to play with shapes and effects that were once unthinkable.
LightForm: Being from Barcelona, is your work influenced by Catalan culture?
Pujol: Yes, definitely. Catalonia is a region with a fantastic plethora of culture, art, and architectural baggage. Barcelona, for example, is a Mediterranean city marked with many different influences throughout history which makes up its marked character. From the Romanesque and Gothic of the Middle Ages all the way to the Modernism and Rationalism of the last century, we have an enormous amount of creative influences that can be reflected in our work. Volta is a clear example of this legacy, as it is a homage to a traditional and unique architectural form, the Catalan Vault.
To enhance your next project with the unique designs of Nahtrang Studio and Estiluz, connect with us, browse our website, or visit one of our showrooms. Our lighting specialists will be happy to help!