12 May 2022

Miguel Milá and André Ricard review their career in a session organized by the La Salle-URL School of Architecture

The designers reflect on the meaning and importance of their discipline and explain how some of their most emblematic creations were conceived

Miguel Milá (91 years old) and André Ricard (92 years old), two of the main figures in the history of design, shared reflections on the discipline and reviewed their careers in a session organized by the School of Building Engineering La Salle-URL (ETSALS) within the 'Wise Lessons' cycle. The designers have reviewed their successful —and almost parallel— trajectories, which have led them, in recent decades, to become protagonists in the lives of many people thanks to the objects they have designed. Josep Ferrando, director of the School of Building Engineering La Salle-URL, introduced them by saying that “they are the fathers of design in Spain, they are eternal for everything they have done”.

Relaxed and full of anecdotes, the talk flowed from the complicity forged between Milá and Ricard over the years and shared projects. Among other topics, they talked about the creation process, about the difference between an order and an own design, about the dualism between craftsmanship and industrialization, about the importance of their profession and even about the role of Ikea in modern design. “Miguel and I are different since he can manufacture and I can't”, explained André Ricard about Milá's character as an artisan. In almost everything else, they have agreed; for example, in the necessary double aspect of design: practicality and beauty. “The maximum expression of perfect utility is beauty”, Ricard has said and Milá has explained that his goal has always been that “an object serves and is beautiful”.

The session has navigated between general reflections on design and shared memories of their lives and their trajectories. Ricard explained that they always talk about the same thing: “We have helped each other by thinking about what design is”. And Miguel Milá held Ricard responsible for being a figure known throughout the world: “You have internationalized me, André”. The two have explained that they have "the same problems as people" and that this has always been the starting point of all the pieces and objects they have designed: solving everyday problems. The conversation has developed from the contributions of Josep Ferrando, architect and director of the ETSALS, who has acted as host of the session, and from the questions of the many attendees to the session: students and professors of the School of Architecture of La Salle-URL, architects, design professionals, etc.

The industrial and interior designer Miguel Milá, born in Barcelona, ​​is known for lamps such as the TMC, the TMM and the Cesta, all designed between the end of the 50s and the beginning of the 60s, which he was able to present in the session. He has been awarded the National Design Award (1987), the Creu de Sant Jordi (1993) and the Compasso de Oro Award (2008), among others. For his part, André Ricard, also a native of Barcelona, ​​began his career as a designer in the 1960s and was responsible for the design of the Barcelona '92 Olympic torch, in addition to many other works. Among the awards he has received for his career, the National Design Award (1987), the Creu de Sant Jordi (1993) and the Gold Medal for Artistic Merit from the city of Barcelona (2000) stand out.