Starting a business in your parents’ garage is pretty cool stuff, although the founders of Smallgran have shown much greater street cred by starting out in one of their grandmother’s basements, in La Eliana, Valencia to be precise.
In 2016, Smallgran won a Bronze A’ Design Award in the Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design Category. Their award was for the XanXan, a shelf formed with maple wood and strings. It was conceived to answer the challenge of reducing the material cost and ecological impact of an existing problem, the lack of flexibility and adaptability of standard shelves to user and space needs.
The three of them, Luis Herram, Carles Marquina Selfa and Francesc Duart Escribà, have collaborated since childhood, in the fields of design, music, dance, photography, computer science, and after going their separate ways to other European countries in search of advanced training and alternative experiences, they got back together in 2015 to found the company. The three of them also coincided at the School of Industrial Design at Valencia’s UPV University.
They are a design agency that offers services to companies, both nationally and internationally, and although they mainly focus on product design, they have also done everything from graphic design work to interior design and microarchitecture.
The first thing they designed for a company was a fast food steam cooking machine for a new restaurant chain concept. Other clients include a Philippine volcanic water mark, a Valencian rock band and a local public high school.
They sometimes come out of the basement, for example to exhibit their work at Russafart 2016, an open day of artists and designers of the city of Valencia.
Other designs of theirs include a new take on traditional Spanish ‘Porrón’ integrating the functions of standard glass and wine decanter
or a pitcher designed for sangria, allowing the serving of the fruit in the same vessel once the drink is finished.