A chat with Yonoh Studio

Interview: designers Clara del Portillo and Alex Selma

This past year, Montbel was proud to collaborate with Yonoh Studio on developing the sidechair Yarda. For over a decade, Yonoh works on projects that differ for their simplicity and functionality, designs that exude freshness and uniqueness.

Here Clara and Alex shares some of the inspiration behind their design.

Where did the idea of starting a design studio together come from?
We met at an exhibition of young designers in 2004, each one exhibited under their own brand, that’s where it all began, in 2007 we presented our first collection in this same exhibition under the name of Yonoh. Since then we have been collaborating together, each one contributing their way of seeing the design that, combined, is much better.

What does Yonoh mean?
Yonoh is an ambigram, it can be (almost) read in both senses, it was our way of implying our two ways of seeing design combined into one.

Innovation, simplicity and attention to detail are the cornerstones of your philosophy. But how do you combine functionality with beauty? What comes first?
We grew up designing simple things that could be made by artisan companies around Valencia, that is why designing rational things goes with our dna, but so is designing what we believe in, we have never lost that intention of doing what we like and that makes us feel good, so I would say that emotion comes first, but rationality always goes hand in hand.

How does a project start life?
We draw a lot, about many things, sometimes we mix concepts, sometimes we store them and let them rest, sometimes we reconvert ideas…. We hope that time will put in place the ideas that we are generating slowly and always with great enthusiasm.

Montbel and Yonoh Studio: how did your paths cross?
It was thanks to the art director Daniele Lo Scalzo Moscheri who proposed us to design a product for this firm, that’s how it all started.

Your recent partnership with Montbel has given us Yarda. A seat inspired by organic forms. Tell us about it.
As we are always very interested in designing things with a very free and organic style, but always in a very structured way, so we think on Yarda, a super comfortable chair, with a very cozy appearance and a wooden structure with a lot of personality..

What has been your inspiration in the past and the present?
We are inspired by anything, the sketchbook always accompanies us, we like to draw and imagine details, sometimes they come from something we have seen, others, they arise suddenly, travel, architecture, the environment itself, everything is a field cultivation where we find new concepts.

Great changes are underway in the world of interior design. What does the future hold?
More and more personal, more multifunctional and increasingly welcoming spaces await us. When we return to normal, everything will continue the course we were taking, multipurpose parts with a very human aspect, look for materials or processes that are increasingly respectful with the environment, think about replaceable or removable parts for shipping or replacement …

What skills are you looking for in a young designer wanting to join your studio?
Passion and enthusiasm are what interests us the most, quality in design is learned over the years and experience.

Would you like to work with Montbel again: if so, why?
Of course, because they have managed to turn a very personal and complex product into reality without losing an iota of what we had in mind, and this is sometimes complex. We believe that Montbel has great know-how in this type of chair and we believe that together we could make a great tandem for the future.

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