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Roca Dialogues

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WATCH INTERVIEW

Santiago Bernal of Santiago Bernal Design Studio was born in Colombia. His training and formal interior design education have spanned both Europe and the United States. Santiago’s passion for world travel, photography, and contemporary art has been a major influence in his work. He is inspired by other cultures, museums, artists, craftsmen, and designers from around the world. His rich blend of Latin American flair, European refinement, and North American comfort is an integral part of his design process.

I am Santiago Bernal and I work for Santiago Bernal Design Studio, my own company. Santiago Bernal’s firm is very different from many other firms for many, many reasons, one of them is because I work at three different continents. I work in Eastern Europe, the US, and Latin America and those are three different, very diverse markets, with different tastes, different cultures, different languages, and different construction laws. It is a very interesting work that I do and jumping from one culture to another, really gets me excited and really gives me that strength to be very creative.

How long have you been a Designer?

Since I was a really young kid, I mean, I started with my mother who was also an interior designer, so I started working with her in the summer when I was out of school, and tried to help her and then I decided to study and have that as a career and then enjoying her as a business partner.

What's your design process?

The design process starts with long interviews with my clients, we design for human beings, so we really need to understand where they are coming from, what’s their cultural background, what is their aesthetics, what type of activities they do in their own spaces, so our design reflects the usage of that because the design is not only beautiful, it’s got to be practical, it’s got to be functional. And then when we have all of that, we start selecting the tiles. I think it’s kind of like at the end of the design process when we can start choosing all the materials.

I was really excited because Armani, he is one of my favorite fashion designers, he is very elegant, contemporary, modern and when I found the line I just fell in love with the line, so I jumped into the showroom and it’s being like paradise, I mean, I come here like a candy store.

How did you discover ROCA?

I found about ROCA recently, I mean it’s a company that I’ve heard through my work in Spain, for toilets and all that, I had a project in a building that’s designed by Armani Casa, so one of my clients hired me to do his rise on his apartment right on the ocean. I was really excited because Armani, he is one of my favorite fashion designers, he is very elegant, contemporary, modern and when I found the line I just fell in love with the line, so I jumped into the showroom and it’s being like paradise, I mean, I come here like a candy store.

How do you use tiles in your designs?

Tiles produce textures, produce colors, produce formats, produce different options of combinations and materials, so they make the spaces not only livable, not only durable, maintenance-free for example when it comes to tiles, but it’s a joy of material when you can really enhance your designs.

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