Ana Milena Hernández Palacios and Christophe Penasse are the founders of the award winning creative studio from Spain Masquespacio. Created in 2010, they have worked on projects in several countries like Norway, USA, Germany, and Spain.
We chatted with Chris and found out how the minds of the creative Valencia-based duo work together and come up with the fresh and versatile designs that characterise Masquespacio.
1. Your approach combines interior design and marketing, but what’s the point of departure? What are the major steps of your creative process?
First of all we have a previous phase with our clients that we use to study the requirements of their project and give our vision on the initial approach. Afterwards we try to find a connection point between the clients’ business model, our vision and how we can create a unique concept for them, through the use of materials, colors and forms. Once we have an approval on our proposal we start to develop the project in 3D. It’s all about rendering and doing trials until achieving a concept we feel satisfied with.
2. How do you know when interior design is “good”?
For us it is important that the design is not limited by a quantity of hours available for the project. We will work on a project respecting the deadline established, until we think we reached a result that for us is innovative and surprising enough to present it to our client. I think there is a big difference between an interior design studio like ours that has a focus 100% on creating that unique concept and a bigger agency that sells a service related to actual trends.
Still, for us a good design is a design that represents the identity of the project, connects with its users and creates a unique experience for the customers. When the customer after leaving the space feels like he lived something different in the space, then we think you can talk about a good design.
3. You started in 2010 and next year you will celebrate your 10th anniversary. Looking back at your first project, I think, it was a house in Valencia, what do you think about it and how do you feel?
We still are convinced after designing the house at the beginning of our career, we took the correct decision to focus only on hospitality and retail. We tried several times during the last 10 years to do some private home projects and always felt it is a personal space in which the client needs to take decisions related to the decoration with which he feels personally related.
When we design a restaurant, a hotel or any other commercial space we can focus on creating new and unique concepts every time and do something really different and innovative.
4. A couple of years ago you launched Mas Creations. Tell us something about it. Are you working on something new?
Since a long time Ana and I fell that at one point of our career we needed to represent our most personal vision without any limits. A year ago then we launched a first design to let’s say do a trial and although it seems that it was left there, we have been working hard to develop a whole new collection. We’re happy to tell you at this moment that we are preparing everything for the official launch during the Milan Design Week 2020. Mas Creations will be 100% our personal vision without any boundaries.
5. Talking about the future. What do you think about virtual reality? Do you already use it?
We added a small corner in the Rubio shop we designed with some virtual reality glasses that presents the history of the brand, but although it seems that at this moment it isn’t going to take a major role in our projects. We can understand of course it can be a great tool for brand expositions and maybe one day we would introduce it in our project presentations.
6. What’s the strangest request you’ve gotten for a job?
We had one out of the normal request many years ago for an elevators brand. In our projects we choose the finishes for the elevators, but for this project they wanted us to develop a set of new elevator models. Unfortunately we didn’t do the project as it would have been an interesting experience.
7. Three things you like.
Music, travel and fashion.
8. Finally, what creativity means to you?
Creativity means for us not being afraid to do something different using your imagination. From the way yo dress and you develop a design to how you serve your food.