Gala Fernandez portrait

Born in Madrid in 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, Fernández moved to London and established 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. In 2006, she returned to Madrid 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 to 2015, Fernández 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, Fernández helped establish Abierto Mexicano de Diseño (the Mexico City Design Festival); she acted as a partner and consultant for the project until 2015.

In 2015, Fernández relocated to Marbella in Andalussia, Spain. She continues to work with Berta Roda as Piopio Design Labs. In 2016, the pair launched an art and design gallery called Bergman Rd. Gallery. In 2016, 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).

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.