“We try to make simple products that people will love for a long time,” says Jon Gasca, designer and art director for Stua, his family’s furniture business in San Sebastian, Spain. By “simple” he means neither “ordinary” nor “plain,” but quite the opposite – Gasca ensures that Stua designs combine precision and balance to provide extraordinary function and beautiful form. “We really like people to buy our furniture, not for us to sell it,” he explains. “So our main aim is to make it attractive enough for people to come to us.” Born in San Sebastian in 1967, Gasca earned his degree in industrial engineering from Universidad de Navarra. Afterward, he went to work at Stua for his father, Jésus, who founded the company in 1984. Together they’ve maintained an unpretentious and approachable aesthetic, evoking classic midcentury modernism. “We try to give people a sense of well-being, not opulence,” says Gasca. “We transmit freshness and a sense of belonging.” Under these guiding principles, Stua has received numerous accolades, including Spain’s National Design Award in 2009. Gasca’s enduring designs for the company include the Costura Sofa Collection, Eclipse Tables and Nube Armchair, the last of which he co-designed with his father. Like all Stua products, these pieces intentionally walk the line between residential and commercial furnishings. “Home and office: These are two different worlds,” notes Gasca, “but we try to take a middle-ground approach.” Put even more simply, when pressed on whether Stua makes furniture for offices or homes, he responds, “We just make furniture.” In addition to being an exemplary designer, Gasca is also a photographer, art collector and prolific blogger, applying his keen eye and exquisite taste to highlight the best of contemporary art and design.
Modern design is open-minded, relaxed, unpretentious and human.