Many of the major changes in industry and in life itself are based on tradition. This is the case with metalarte. Its contemporary and, often, cutting edge vision of design and lighting is based on a solid and enterprising background. A family saga that has its origins in Construcciones Riera, founded by Antonio Riera Clariana, thanks to which his sons Antonio and Carlos discover their passion for what was still referred to as applied arts. In 1932 the patriarch founded a metal workshop in which the ironwork necessary for any type of building works was carried out. Initially known as Metalls Arts, after the Civil War it had to change its name to the Castilian Spanish form. It was then that Metal Artes, managed by Antonio Riera Cortés, began to specialise in lighting. The company received new impetus when, on 18 February 1963, the building works began on a factory located in Sant Joan Despí, a neighbouring town of Barcelona. With the incorporation of the second generation at the helm of the company, a production catalogue was created and new ideas were adopted. Riera places special importance on image, not only that of the product, but of the company too. He changes the company name to the present one, renews the logo, creates a catalogue exclusively for lighting products and places the figure of graphic designer alongside that of industrial designer. Tradition and cutting edge co-exist in an output that covers both neoclassical and innovative designs. The will to advance in the latter direction coincides with the boom design in Europe at the end of the seventies. Metalarte successfully battles to revive the difficult Spanish market, which, with the social changes that occur during these years, increases its demand for imagin-ation and quality. In the eighties, the company provides new impetus with the incorporation of a new generation of designers aware that their work is not only free and creative, but necessary too. The nineties get underway with a desire to face the new creative and business challenges that shape the age. The incorporation, this century, of the J. Feliu de la Peña group as major shareholder puts a company with a constant desire for success and quality, and one that has always opted for the risk of innovation and banked on new creative values, on track for the future.
Designers involved: Antoni Arola, Itamar Burstein, Pepe Cortes, D&D Design (Sergi & Oscar Devesa), Estudi Blanc, Alex Hochstrasser, Lagranja Design (G. Sanmartí, G.Schiavon), LAM (Alberto Lievore, Jeanette Altherr, Manel Molina), Jordi Llopis, Josep Llusca, Christophe Mathieu, Serra&delarocha (Ferran Serra Solà & Oscar Vera de la Rocha), Hector Serrano, Ramon Ubeda & Otto Canalda, Marco Zanuso Jr.