Gala Fernández is a Spanish designer now living and working in México City.
Born in Madrid, Gala holds a degree in art and design from the faculty of Fine Art at the University Complutense in Madrid (1987-1992), a Master degree in Industrial Design from the European Institute of Design in Milan (1994) and a Master in Product Design from the European Institute in Madrid.
From 2000-2004 she worked in Treviso at Fabbrica Benetton, together with Jaime Hayon. In 2004 she founded her studio Gala Fernandez Ltd. in London, where she resided two years. In 2006, back in Madrid she started working in the studio of Oscar Mariné (OMB design and visual communication), overlooking the areas of industrial design and interiors until 2007. Additionally between 2006 and 2010 she administered the masters program at the European Design Labs in Madrid. In 2008 she was studio manager of El Ultimo Grito in Berlin.
From 2010-2011 she directed the program at the eminent Domaine de Boibuchet in France.
Since 2012 Fernandez has mainly been living in Mexico City where she founded her studio Pio Pio labs together with Berta Roda, which today has partnered up and is run in cooperation with Row Studio architecture.
She is a founding member of the ABIERTO Mexicano de Diseño, an ambitious design festival launched in Mexico City in 2013. Troughout her career Gala has lectured in various institutions, such as the Instituto Europeo di Design in Madrid, the Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade de Lisboa (FAUTL) in Lisbon, the NAi Nederland Architectuurinstutuut in Rotterdam, in London both at the Royal College of Art and at Goldsmiths.
OUT OF THE CAGE, presented by Marion Friedmann Gallery during the London Design Festival 2014, is an experimental glass-blowing project, lead by Gala Fernandez and realized with the skilled glass-blowers of the acclaimed glass manufacturer NOUVEL Studio in México City. The liquid glass is blown into various shaped and sized birdcages serving as the molds for this process. Once the housings for colorful birds, the cages have transcended into objects and containers, where new life has been blown into them. Now they hold the colorful glass, reminiscent of the birds themselves.
The objects are a result of the interaction of the hot fluid glass with the molds: the final pieces carrying the marks and history of both their former existences. The project questions the status of confinement versus refuge. A cage can be conceived as imprisonment or a shelter for comfort. The glass works subtly capture this essence of limitation, protection and custody in an imaginative fashion.
Background and credits for the project OUT OF THE CAGE:
The original project originated in the School of Design at the ANAHUAC University, México City, in a workshop lead by GALA FERNANDEZ and the initiative of Alumni Monica Paniagua. Fifty blown-glass objects were the result, created with various existing molds such as: cages, baskets or boxes of different materials. The project was made possible through Nouvel Studio, Colleción Zafra and Pio Pio editions. Consequently – for the first edition of the new México City Design Festival ABIERTO in October 2013 – Gala Fernandez invited other designers to participate, namely Victor Aleman, ROW Studio and fashion designer Carlos Ortega Quezadas. This then enlarged collection was presented at the Medicine Museum and the ‘Museo de la Concilleria’, and after the ABIERTO festival at ‘Zafra design&art’ and ‘Galeria Méxicana del Diseño’. For the art fair Zona Maco in February 2013 in México City a new mini-series was launched with and for Nouvel Studio.