A master craftsman is someone who stands out for their proficiency and perfection in a certain field. Through long experience and a highly disciplined approach to their work, this genius can transform raw materials in their purest states into stylish visually appealing products.
Over the years, Miguel and Gonzalo Milà have risen to the ranks of the great masters of Spanish design by skilfully bringing tradition forward into the 21st century, with rigor and integrity as their calling cards. Both designers welcomed me to the garden of their Barcelona family home and, while they were explaining the origins of Gata–their first design for Expormim– new ideas emerged for improving on its design.
Working together has always been a pleasure for this father-and-son team. Like their creations, they exude a sense of calm, based on a mutual respect and belief in the same values: the philosophy on which all their collaborative work is founded. This initiative with Expormim is a good example. From the very outset, Miguel and Gonzalo were won over by the Valencia-based company’s way of doing things, where time does not count against you but is instead viewed as yet another factor in success.
It was the strong, lightweight, attractive, natural fibre with its pleasant feel, which was used to make Gata, that took them to Expormim over five years ago when Miguel was looking for a company that could assist him in the finish of one of his best-known lamps. If fate really exists, it was perhaps this kismet that led them to be in just the right place at just the right time, although the family roots and sinuous elegance synonymous with both families suggest that it was merely a question of time for them to get together.
Gata is one of the chairs that best illustrates the masterly skill of both families. The challenge for its designers was to achieve a careful balance among its different components and, after several prototypes, they managed to do just this. For this purpose, they adapted the design so that it could be made of the Valencia firm’s specially treated rattan. With this treatment process, the sanding of the cane plays a fundamental role in its calibration and in the final clean-looking refined appearance, bringing added versatility to models and opening up more potential in shape and colour.
With comfort as its main goal, Gata’s rounded edges meet in a handle at the top of the backrest to make the chair easier to carry. Gata unites all the values that Miguel and Gonzalo Milà seek in good design: resistance, low weight, timeless appeal, versatility and visual harmony.