Discover Santa & Cole Urbidermis

1 | Small, independent and global 

Santa & Cole Urbidermis is a small, independent and global editor of good design with its roots in Belloch (Barcelona). Since our foundation in 1988, we’ve been editors. Editing means unveiling a piece of work usually created by someone else—much like a book publisher, but in this case, we edit objects.  

More than 80 authors have contributed to our catalogue featuring furniture and lighting products created in different contexts by renowned designers such as James Corner, Industrial Facility, Antoni Arola, Miguel Milá or Beth Galí.  

We generate, employ, protect and disseminate knowledge through design objects. We seek to make affordable, durable and beautiful objects with a palpable quality. They are designed for delight, making the everyday more enjoyable. Our philosophy is modern, rather than futuristic. We value subtlety over stridency.

We focus on the future, not the present; not Barcelona, but the world; not trends, but history. 

Material culture is interwoven with the physical world we live in, with this environment of objects and technologies that surround us. As human individuals and groups, we make “things” to meet our needs, and these artificial creations identify our knowledge and our more intimate nature. Like intangible culture, material culture may or may not be prone to goodness and beauty. It may seek humility or ostentation; virtue or power. Material culture, much like intangible culture, can cultivate or alienate. 

Good material culture fosters beauty in our daily lives, elevating the objects around us, through their own distinct qualities. Nurturing the environment in which our life unfolds using objects that are understated and efficient—in quantities that are necessary rather than excessive—is what defines a well-adjusted culture. Our belongings define us just as much as our most intimate relationships. 

2 | We are editors

Objects found. designed. edited.  

Since our foundation in 1988, we’ve been editors. Editing means publishing a piece of work usually created by someone else. We choose, we take risks, we reveal good design products—our author’s works, which are legally protected and registered. Much like a book publisher, but in this case, with objects. We explore industrial design—the art of scrutinising everyday objects to find their best user experience, which leads us to consider material culture. Each product we edit answers a question or a need; it provides a solution. We have created a catalog of classics and contemporaries with the collection of nearly 90 authors from diverse backgrounds and countries.   

Editing is our raison d’être. A humble office that pays tribute to our authors’ creative talents. We edit only that which moves us. 

Santa & Cole Urbidermis outsources 100% of its industrial production to an extensive network of suppliers based mainly in Spain (but also in other countries). Therefore, we do not manufacture with our own hands. We are editors. In terms of catalogue products, our work can be summarised as: 

  • Selecting what should go into the catalogue (what the new products should be) 
  • Developing them technically 
  • Outsourcing and financing the production of the various components required 
  • Storing, distributing and selling the finished products 

And, at all times, protecting the property of our editing rights from infringement and asserting the creative intelligence of our authors. 

At Santa & Cole Urbidermis we don’t have any industrial machines, in the same way that book publisher might not also be the printer. At a historic time in which we are witnessing the revolution of 3D printers, these new machines that are embarking on printing anything from jewellery to buildings, the challenge is to make bits travel (the knowledge about how to make a product with its plans and material details) and not to make the atoms travel (the finished physical products). Because it is only by protecting intellectual property that we can enable and facilitate local production, saving energy in transportation and allowing the most nuanced customisation. 

The products that comprise our lighting and urban Elements catalog are edited and developed by Santa & Cole Urbidermis in Belloch (Barcelona), but they can be manufactured locally, close to the end users either in Spain or elsewhere. Santa & Cole has excellent licensees in Australia Landmark, New Zeland, Fel Group and the USA, LandscapeForms. Because good original design means that manufacturing can be offshored to the benefit of all communities that respect intellectual property. 

The best protectable industrial design and as much surrounding knowledge as required for it to be reasonably marketed constitute the very essence of Urbidermis. As the editing profession is our raison d’être, registering designs is not an ephemeral choice in a supposed aesthetic style, but rather the pillar of our identity. 

At Urbidermis we define ourselves as knowledge generators. Our responsibility is to protect what we generate, be it from in-house sources or by defending the work of an author. We register and protect our products worldwide. 

We are witnesses of the sad growth of counterfeits, and often victims of a falsehood that affects the entire world community of good design. Santa & Cole Urbidermis condemns the banality of counterfeits, which are poorly and shoddily made simply to cut the price to deceive the unwary. We fight the intruders who infringe on our rights with all legal means possible. On the other hand, we promote and spread good design practice wherever design exists. 

 Qatar fakes: the scope of the brutality 

As possibly the most important case of counterfeiting by a public authority in the history of design, the large-scale fakes along 10 kilometres of a main thoroughfare in Doha (Qatar) of LATINA street lamps, an original work by architect Beth Galí edited exclusively by Santa & Cole Urbidermis, provides food for thought on the dire consequences of those who accept living in a world of counterfeits without ever knowing the greatness of the original. We invite you to read about this case and we would greatly appreciate your support in defending intellectual property. Please visit www.qatarfakes.com 

If you believe you have acquired or spotted a counterfeit, let us know at info@urbidermis.com and we will act on it. 

3 | The skin of the city

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We started out in a period of great urban transformation in Spain and, alongside the leaders of transformation in Barcelona, Santa & Cole Urbidermis played a part in revamping the urban landscape of the city and its position as a benchmark in global urban design. Santa & Cole Urbidermis has helped improve coexistence in public and private spaces for everyone throughout the world.

Our mission is to help architects, landscapers, lighting designers and urban planners to transform and enhance public spaces.

We are committed to friendlier, more sustainable cities where urban elements promote a more user-friendly experience and better maintenance, where light, water, rest, safety and information are given their space and are within reach. We endeavour to promote a more harmonious city buzz at any time of day or night.

We provide high-quality products locally produced in Spain. These are trustworthy, functional and long-lasting products that arouse emotions thanks to their aesthetic appeal and the added-value they provide to all users. They are rational, balanced elements for two-speed cities: pedestrian, slow-paced cities that invite you to relax and the high-speed, technological smart city: our home; the home of everyone.

With all new products, selecting the right materials is one of the most important steps in our creative process. As editors, we do not depend on any machinery; we can freely choose the best materials and processes for each product. We work with the top industrial suppliers and craftsmen, primarily in Spain, ensuring excellent quality standards that are visible and perceivable to the touch.  

New technologies help us find more sustainable production processes, discover environmentally friendly materials, and design lighting systems that promote energy savings and enhance light quality both at home and on the street. 

We offer contemporary design, attentive to quality in the detail, with an unshowy idea of good taste. We want our products to be timeless for their form, their technical solution and their well-selected materials. We are proud to have products still in our catalogue that have remained relevant on the market for 50 years or more, because we believe that with dignity. 

We operate on all scales, from the minute, almost invisible screw for a table lamp, to the light source for a city street lamp. We work on every last detail to make the user experience the best possible. 

Quality is an ever-present process: 

It begins right at the product conception, when our editors talk to the author to come up with the best ideas for every problem. 

It goes on with selecting the materials, breaking down the processes and deciding on the supply chain. 

Next, prototypes and user testing trials get underway. In our testing workshop we perform the studies needed to measure mechanical strength, tone of light, sealing and any other relevant factors before submitting the product for official quality control in the laboratories of the various international standards that must be met. 

Meanwhile, we work on designing the packaging for the finished product, which is vital to safeguard not only quality during transportation but also the excitement of those awaiting our packages. 

We usually present the first series at major world trade fairs, where we keenly observe our visitors’ first reactions. 

And when all of the previous phases have been approved, we proceed to production in short but continuous series that are delivered punctually. 

Once the product is on the market, we continue overseeing processes to make sure they remain in order as well as regularly visiting our industry partners to ensure compliance with the agreed standards. 

As to the rest, there is no end to the improvements in materials and processes that will enhance product quality. Desire and determination for ongoing improvements are crucial for a product to be timeless. 

Consult our quality policy