Designer Spotlight: Alvaro Catalán de Ocón

Designer Spotlight: Alvaro Catalán de Ocón

By Suzanne Wales
An emerging Spanish designer redefines his role by pursuing philanthropic projects with indigenous peoples in Colombia.

Turning the manufacturer-as-patron model on its head, Madrid’s Alvaro Catalán de Ocón is his own best client. The designer, who trained at London’s acclaimed Central Saint Martins College, is committed to the process of self- production—at a rate of one project per year. "In the recent past, there’s been an excess of products in the market which didn’t respond to a real demand from the public," he says. "Manufacturers have taken advantage of this. They come to you with a brief that creates a necessity we don’t need. I am not interested in this model."

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