Lighting design

The story behind Mayice Studio and the soul of materials

Mayice Studio is dedicated to product design and architecture, with a focus on materials, their history and functionality

Mayice Studio was founded in 2015 by Imanol Calderón Elósegui and Marta Alonso Yebra, working closely with crafts combined with the new technologies.

We reached out to them to get a closer look at their working methods and the philosophy they adhere to. Following this, here are our questions.

Built by Mayice Studio
In “Built”, Mayice developed a dialogue between craft and technology

Who are Imanol Calderón Elósegui and Marta Alonso Yebra?

Imanol & Marta:

“We are architects from training and designers from passion! We studied architecture in Madrid, and we had great mentors in university and in the working world that have influenced us both professionally and personally. Both in university and in the working world we learned from Enric Ruiz Geli, Cristina Diaz Moreno and Efrén García Grinda from Amid Cero 9, Acebo x Alonso, as well as Daniel Canogar and Herzog & De Meuron.

Aside from the love and respect we’ve always had for architecture, since childhood we also greatly admired art and music.”

Mayice Rfc+
The Rfc+ collection reflects Mayice fascination with materials, purity and tradition of glass

Why Mayice Studio? Why spaces, product design, and lighting? 

Imanol & Marta:

“There’s no particular reason or clear story of why we work in various disciplines. Our work with spaces, products, and lighting has more or less happened naturally.

Working in these disciplines at the same time, helps you learn, mature and see everything from different points of view. For instance, in the case of spaces or architecture, the scale is greater, and sometimes, for lack of time, or because other factors demand more effort, such as the technical part, licenses, regulations… the smaller details are neglected.

In the case of a product, the scale is smaller, and the details are an essential part. We solve and improve the details during the prototyping stages. In architecture, it’s really difficult to create full-scale prototypes.

The same thing applies to lighting, the only way to learn and advance is to create prototypes and work with actual light. A video or photo is unlikely to show the actual light that is perceived by the human eye.”

Glass working
Filamento by Mayice studio is a study of how light travels through the concave and convex glass

Since its establishment in 2015, Mayice studio has been producing unique light designs. When did your works start getting recognitions?

Imanol & Marta:

“Our knowledge of the design world with respect to renowned designers or pieces has been very limited. Our pieces are born from the process of observing what we have nearby and experimenting a lot with real sources of light.

The moment that most influenced us was when we learned about glass, both the cane glassblowing technique, which we discovered in La Granja, and borosilicate glass that we learned from master glass-makers here in Spain, such as Javier and Eduard.

Our work gained recognition when Rossana Orlandi exhibited it in her gallery, and also thanks to the support of journalists specializing in the world of design and décor here in Spain such as Teresa Herrero, Marta Rioperez, Marisa Santamaría, and Javier Abio… Rossana has been our greatest mentor.”

The desert backdrop evokes the place where the Phoenicians discovered glass, when one night they forgot their natron utensils near the fire and saw how they melted to produce a shiny, hard and transparent material: glass.

What choices have been most important in your design journey to reach where the studio stands today? 

Imanol & Marta:

“Our passion for our work has made us dedicate a lot of time to researching how to create processes and discovering new ways of combining arts and crafts with technology.

Every two years, we try to bring out a product that has been edited and produced by us. The first products and designs were just for us, but when we presented our first collection of lamp Rfc+ for the Royal Glass Factory in Rossana Orlandi’s wonderful space, by keeping in touch with her, we were able to continue working on what we love and believe in. She’s been so inspiring.

On the other hand, these past two years we’ve started working with companies and brands, and have been fortunate enough to secure their support for research. Thanks to these companies and brands, we’ve been able to work with more materials and processes.”

ZOO by Mayice Studio
ZOO by Mayice studio can be used as a seat, magazine rack, table or shelf by combining them

What other designers you are inspired or influenced by? What other fields and inputs outside of the design world provide you inspiration? 

Imanol & Marta:

“The designers that we like and admire are both architects and designers, we really like Japanese architecture and lifestyle. Dieter Rams, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, etc. We’re inspired by so many things, music, nature, arts and crafts, lighting, Rossana Orlandi’s gallery, Milan…”

Talking about the commercial side of design, what is the most effective marketing technique that you have experienced to effectively drive new projects?

Imanol & Marta:

“We don’t know which is the most efficient marketing technique… if only we knew… We live in such unstable times that the only thing that serves us is our intuition. No one knows what really works.

The market is increasingly demanding, it demands the best quality, natural fibers, and materials, durability, and affordability. Those are a lot of requirements. The product that ticks all those boxes would be a sure success. But it’s very hard to achieve those results.”

Unlimited budget, unlimited resources: what is the project that you would develop? What would it look like?

Imanol & Marta:

“A social project, based on education, well-being and driven by passion, to make this world a better place. Always a utopia, a dream that we wish would come true.”


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