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Meet Sarah Folch, INDE.Awards jurist and technological innovator

2023 INDE.Awards jury member, Sara Folch, is designing for the future where technology, innovation and creativity work together in equal measure for great results.

Meet Sarah Folch, INDE.Awards jurist and technological innovator

While the best design is always site specific and crafted to and for the client, there is now even greater opportunity to individualise the home and office through the use of technology that seems to grow smarter every day.

Showcasing future technology is ‘Otium’, an exhibit at Casa Décor in Madrid, Spain in 2022. Otium is a personalised space installation by German technology supplier JUNG in collaboration with Barcelona-based Sara Folch Interior Design. Otium is a voice-controlled playroom that transforms broadly into whatever the user requires. The home automation technology has been combined in custom-made furniture and, in turn, offers a range of experiences for working and playing.

All furniture has been conceived and designed by Sara Folch, principal of Sara Folch Design Studio, and presents innovation at its best with voice control and total integration. For example, the main dining table also includes a 65-inch touch screen television that rises up from the horizontal position allowing the user to work or play games in an instant. Then the table can re-configure and transform into a card table.

Also in this exhibit, Folch has designed a cabinet with automated technology that can be opened by voice command or password as well as swipe card (the technology commonly used to access hotel rooms). And of course, lighting colours can be changed in an instant but can also be switched off and on via iPhone.

Related: Relive this year’s INDE.Awards Gala

Thinking beyond the simple ideas of home automation, there are myriad opportunities to pursue technology driven design that can make life so much more comfortable for the elderly and those with disabilities. Think of the possibilities with furniture that can be hidden and re-appear by a voice command, or cabinets and drawers that can magically open or close with a card or password. Technological customisation is here and the benefits are profound.

Renowned as one of the best interior design practices in Spain and throughout Europe, Sara Folch established her eponymous interior design studio some 25 years ago. The studio has received a plethora of awards for myriad commissions that comprise luxury hotels, retail, restaurants and commercial projects. With head office in Barcelona, Spain, there are other studios in Bogotá, Colombia, Miami, USA and Mexico.

While Folch embraces technology in design and JUNG develops ever-more sophisticated products, the user reaps multiple benefits. Otium is simply a sampler of what is ahead, the start of the tsunami of change that will be occurring.

Technology is present in all that we do and making a larger contribution to our lives with every passing year. The narrative of technology and design has well and truly begun and the journey ahead will be fascinating.

Sara Folch is principal of Sara Folch Interior Design and a member of the 2023 INDE.Awards jury. Find out about all of the winners from the INDE.Awards Gala here!

Sara Folch

We think you might also like this story on some extraordinary practices from the 2023 INDE.Awards.

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