Design: the gift of creating

A conversation between Pino and Salas Studio to discover the process of creating the new kitchen and bathroom collection.

Juana Pino

Pino Managing Director

Many family stories come from the kitchen, and are built around a recipe or a table. Pino has been a family story since 1980 that takes place on the other side of the kitchen: conceiving and making them.

The new collection has allowed us to attract great travelling companions to help us grow.

Fernando Salas

Designer, founder of Salas Studio
Fernando Salas is an interior and industrial designer. He started his career at the MBM (Martorell, Bohigas y Mackay) architecture studio, one the most prestigious of our country, becoming a reference in interior design from his studio in Barcelona.

He has worked with the most renowned firms such as: Bodegas Vega Sicilia, el Molino (Barcelona), Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao, Hoteles Silken, Oficinas Ausonia Arbora, Roberto Verino, Custo Barcelona, Camper’s stores, Roca’ spaces in trade fairs and many others.

Juana says that Pino has been working for decades, acquiring a know-how and solidity that has allowed it to evolve and finally incorporate design into its strategic plan, through a collaboration of this type. Fernando, have you ever got the feeling that a project was tailor-made for you?

FERNANDO (SALAS STUDIO): I have always worked with teams that share the same project vision. I suppose that when you’ve been working for so many years in the field of interior design, you end up, albeit unconsciously, creating a way of working that is reflected in everything you do. In design, in whatever field, the process is important. And in the end, the people who put themselves in your hands do so because they work in the same way.

Design, as Fernando says, is a process. And it is often difficult to integrate it into the company's value chain, especially in companies that are traditionally manufacturers. Juana, how did the challenge of making a firm commitment to design in Pino's new collection come about?

JUANA (PINO): It was clear to us that we wanted to focus on design as a value to make us different. We are manufacturers by heritage and tradition, so we have always been in contact with design, as in the end we offer a product that needs to be designed. Changes in the market forced us to rethink how we were doing things, to rethink our own activity and this led us to consider that we were not giving design the place it deserved in our company.

It is true that the dimensions of the challenge of integrating design as something intrinsic to the company and present in all areas, departments and production processes, are enormous. But it only took a few time adjustments to achieve the goal.

Now, we can say that we design kitchens as well as manufacturing them. And this value represents a huge difference that opens us up to new and, above all, stimulating projects and customers.

“Now, we can say that we design kitchens as well as manufacturing them. And this value represents a huge difference that opens us up to new and, above all, stimulating projects and customers.”

Juana Pino

How does Pino understand design now, and how has Salas Studio traditionally understood it? What role do you think design plays in the company?

FERNANDO (SALAS STUDIO): At Salas Studio we are dedicated to our projects, where the main motivation in commissions is always to provide the best solution, with the commitment of the project fulfilling the fundamental duality of form and function, which continue to be the pillars of serious and responsible work. And there is also the addition of a global job of concept and updated aesthetics, fleeing from easy and passing trends.

Our greatest satisfaction is to see how our works remain valid over time and coherent with this work methodology. That is what design is for us.

JUANA (PINO): Before starting work on the new collection, we were already sure of our commitment as a company in relation to society, which is to make people’s lives better through our products and the spaces we create. A well-designed kitchen meets the needs of those who are going to use it better than one that is poorly designed. So at Pino we wanted to make kitchens with good design.

That is our view of the role of design and designers in society: to help in making a better world from the position of each one of us, as individuals, organisations and companies.

FERNANDO (SALAS STUDIO): In the end it is about filling people’s lives with quality environments with which they are able to identify, generating positive feelings.

This aptitude that Fernando talks about connects with Pino's motto "the gift of living"...

JUANA (PINO): It is a sign of how closely both parties been involved in the creative process and our shared vision in Pino’s mission as a company. Living is our greatest gift and we like to think that we can improve the way our customers go about their lives by providing the right “stage” for them.

We have always developed new collections internally, and opening it up to an external team was something we were very keen to do, but were also very giddy about. At the end of the day it’s about showing the company as it is, to an outsider. And that is difficult but, for those of us who believe in change and progress, it is also exciting.

FERNANDO (SALAS STUDIO): Although we are mainly specialised in interior design, we believe that creativity has many means of expression. We are curious and interested in other disciplines. That has been an important point in common with Pino. Although it’s true we had never thought about making kitchens.

“Living is our greatest gift and we like to think that we can improve the way our customers go about their lives by providing the right stage for them.”

Juana Pino

But they had to make kitchens in their residential interior design projects. Does Salas Studio now have a different view of kitchens and bathrooms?

FERNANDO (SALAS STUDIO): We work with the vision of a global project and obviously the kitchen is an indisputably vital part of the home. So is the bathroom, a space with very specific characteristics that make it a challenge. But now we have done precision work, almost like a surgeon, studying the kitchen and bathroom spaces, which are almost as complex or even more so than a comprehensive home project.

Working with Pino has been a transforming process, I think for both parties, and that means that the kitchen and bathroom have taken on a new dimension at Salas Studio. In our current residential projects, the treatment we are giving these spaces is already different, and we count on Pino as a partner to meet our new demands: more lively spaces, better integrated into the home, with good design and tailored to the needs of the people who will use them.

This common vision led to a collaboration that has been very fruitful. Practically the whole of the kitchen and bathroom collection has been renewed and three product lines have been created.

JUANA (PINO): We started with the premise of wanting to reduce our collection of models and finishes. As manufacturers, we accumulated all the possibilities that we were technically capable of solving in our sample collection. But after so many years, the collection was too large and we had to make it efficient. Fernando’s external vision helped us to eliminate materials and finishes. We could not have done it so boldly and determinedly alone. And then we brought in some new and, above all, very different ones. We created the “frame system” doors which, in a 7 cm wooden frame, allow us to integrate glass, metals, wood… very unique materials such as OSB wood and steel or rust finishes.

FERNANDO (SALAS STUDIO): From the beginning it was clear to me that we had to give the collection a structure, and that it had to be linked to Pino’s vitalist vision. Therefore, we created three lines that are large containers linked to three concepts of home and ways of life: TimelessOriginal and In loft with you. This allows the different kitchen and bathroom options to be viewed more clearly, almost like an index. It helps to facilitate the presentation of the product.

What do the kitchen and bathroom designs of the new Pino collection bring to the market?

JUANA (PINO): I think they are very real kitchens and bathrooms. We wanted to show that quality design is not at odds with the actual spaces that anyone can have at home. Timeless are highly urban kitchens, designed for city flats and houses. Original is the proof that a classically inspired kitchen does not have to be vintage and can be perfectly contemporary. In loft with you has all the boldness we have added to this collection: very different spaces and proposals designed for a very modern use of space.

FERNANDO (SALAS STUDIO): We have taken great care to ensure that the design has identity but is timeless and sober. Creation is a work of removing, removing and removing. Cleaning everything that is accessory and keeping what is essential. This logic, which is very common in architecture, interior and industrial design projects, could also be applied to the design of kitchen and bathroom furniture. And that is what we have done.

What has the experience of working together been like?

JUANA: At Pino, work and life go hand in hand because we are vocational and family-oriented. We have brought in Fernando as another member of the team, we have become friends and whenever we can, we have lunch together in Villafranca de Córdoba or Barcelona, or at some point halfway. We have enjoyed it, we have learned and we have also fulfilled our initial objectives. We couldn’t ask for more.

FERNANDO: To be able to create anything you imagine so directly, involved in the process… is to fulfil a dream. And it is a privilege to do it with a company with this view of life, work and its role in society.

see the lines of the Pino collection