Born in Madrid 1969, designer Gala Fernández studied art and design at Facultad de Bellas Artes de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, graduating in 1992 with a Bachelor’s degree. She continued her studies in industrial design at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan until 1994. In 1995, Fernández cofounded a Madrid studio called Assembla Design with Riccardo Marzullo and worked together with him at the brand new IED Madrid until year 2000. In 2000, she moved to Treviso, Italy to work with Jaime Hayón at the Benetton Group’s Fabrica studio. Together, they oversaw the development of multiple interior and product design projects in the studio until 2004.
In 2005, she moved to London and stablished her eponymous design studio. Fernández’s multidisciplinary work ranges from art and design to curating, as well as interior and product design, graphic design, and publishing. She returned to Madrid in 2006 and began an ongoing collaboration with artist and designer Oscar Mariné. In 2008, she became studio manager for El Ultimo Grito in Berlin, but kept a foot in Madrid, where she returned to live the subsequent couple of years. In 2011, she moved to Lessac, France to direct the summer courses at the esteemed Domaine de Boisbuchet.
From 2012-15 Fernández lived in Mexico City where she founded her studio PioPio labs together with Berta Roda. Throughout 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. From 2010-2011 she directed the program at the eminent Domaine de Boibuchet in France.
Gala divided her time between Mexico City—where she launched a multidisciplinary creative studio called Piopio Design Labs, in partnership with Berta Roda—and Madrid. In 2013, Gala Fernández helped establish Abierto Mexicano de Diseño (the Mexico City Design Festival); she acted as a partner and consultant for the project until 2015 when she relocated to Marbella in Andalussia, Spain. She continues to work with Berta Roda as Piopio Design Labs and in 2016, the pair launched an art and design gallery called Bergman Rd. Gallery. At that moment Fernández also collaborated with CuldeSac Editions, a project with Valencia-based design and communications studio Culdesac.
Fernández has exhibited her work in several galleries and museums across the globe, including, but not limited to: The Buccaneer’s Booty – Gala Fernández Recent Works, curated by Maria Cristina Didero at Bergman Rd. Gallery (2016); Lámparas de la Real Fábrica de Cristales s.XVIII – s. XXI, an exhibition featuring the lamp collection One Off Worlds and the chandelier Hail! Bright Cecilia, made in collaboration with renown Spanish glass manufactory La Real Fábrica de Cristales de La Granja and presented in their 18th-century Real Sitio de San Ildefonso de la Granja factory and museum (2016); Not Straight Worlds, a join exhibition with David Trullo at La Galería Factoría in Madrid (2015); This is not a Duet, curated by Maria Cristina Didero, a join exhibition with Sung Jang, featuring Caro Ettore, a collection of small stone sculptures produced in Mexico, at Chamber Gallery in New York (2015); and Out of the Cage, presented by Marion Friedmann Gallery during the London Design Festival (2014).
Throughout Gala Fernández career there has been a determined collaborative strand as well as a strong educational perspective. The designer has also taught and lectured at numerous institutions, including the Design School of Universidad Anáhuac in Mexico City; the Instituto Europeo di Design in Madrid; Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade de Lisboa (FAUTL) in Lisbon; NAi Nederland Architectuurinstituut in Rotterdam; and both the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths in London.
Gala has worked on numerous collaborative projects in design, curating and project-managing. Within her practice she has always been feeding and creating new networks with the people she encountered along her way.
Citizen of the world, in 2020 Fernández was awarded the Elle Decoration Spain Designer of the Year award.