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Quintana's journey leads to fresh designs

Merges old school influences with current trends
JUAN QUINTANA, senior product designer for Pavilion Furniture in Miami, lists outdoor furniture icons John Caldwell and Richard Frinier as among his influences, as well as his father and grandfather.
Juan QuintanaJuan Quintana merges old school influences with current trends.

     Quintana has known the latter two much longer. As a 16-year-old, he began his designing career in his family's furniture factory in Mexico, which specialized in high-end traditional carved wooden furniture.
     "Working in my family business is where I started to learn how to design and make furniture," Quintana said. "I guess you can say I learned the ‘old school way.'"
     As it turns out, Quintana combined old school craftsmanship with class work. He started out by studying graphic design at the University of Mexico, later turning his attention to interior design and the history of furniture design. After a stint as a designer of outdoor cast aluminum furniture with Landgrave Furniture in Mexico, he joined Pavilion.
     "My inspiration comes from my surroundings and the continuous challenge to keep creative and original," Quintana said. "The chance to express myself with materials such as fabrics and aluminum drives me to create my collections. Aluminum furniture design is not just a matter of functionality but also the knowledge that comfortable, sophisticated and elegant designs can be enjoyed in the outdoor setting.
     For Quintana, a great casual furniture design reaches a perfect balance by combining a unique concept, comfort, style and functionality. He finds aluminum to be the most satisfying material to work with, because of the infinite possibilities it offers.
Clean linesClean lines combine with deep cushions in Quintana’s Zatti Lounge design for Pavilion Furniture.
     Sometimes, Quintana acknowledges, he begins to run low on fresh ideas. Whenever that happens, he has trained himself to look at things with a new perspective.
     "I'm always open to receive as much information as possible from everywhere: books, magazines, nature and movies," Quintana said. "Most of the time, a good idea can simply start from a small detail."
     Paying attention to those details not only results in ideas, but keeps his career on the right track.
     "I think my life and my training has been a process, and it's really nice when you have the chance to enjoy with passion every one of those steps," Quintana said. "Only the knowledge that you get from experience is going to teach you how to become a good designer with a personal style. I conduct my life the same way as my designs are created. If you constantly look to nature and you are a good person, fantastic adventures will follow."

Click here to read all the designer profiles in this month's "Behind the designs" feature.

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