In Rafa Garcia’s hometown of Yecla, Spain, where almost 80 per cent of the community works in the furniture-manufacturing and related industries, it’s no wonder the 38-year-old Spanish designer ended up joining the industry. His interest in how things are made, his love for car design and desire to reinvent things led him to study industrial design, but he switched to furniture design “because it was easier to find a job”.

His latest design for furniture brand Sancal, which he joined at the beginning of his career in 1998, is the Tiptoe sofa for its The Majestic Collection. Simple yet functional, the sofa is named for its slim legs, which make it look sleek and lightweight. Copper or graphite finishes for the legs give it a sophisticated look.

At Sancal, Rafa learnt about the various stages of the furniture production process, which gave him a more holistic approach to design that has contributed to his many popular designs for the brand. For example, the Folk sofa – which features hand-sewn details, and the vintage-style low-slung Soul armchair.

On how he combines good aesthetics with function, he says: “If it’s not functional, it will just be a work of art and nothing more. The biggest challenge is balancing the two aspects.” Despite the challenge, Rafa continually works towards creating something different which can still be recognised as his own; constantly improving on his original ideas over time. From what we can see, he’s definitely heading in the right direction.