Toca Madera finalists exhibit during Madrid Design Festival 2020


The eight final pieces of the Toca Madera competition, organized by AHEC and Industrial Design Engineering Association (AIDI) for young designers in Spain, are now on display at the Fernán Gómez Cultural Center of the Villa (Plaza de Colón, 4) until 29th February, as part of Madrid Design Festival 2020. The designers were challenged to create “infinite objects”, objects to stand the test of time, in one single material, American red oak. The exhibition opened Wednesday morning this week with a private tour of the exhibition. Amongst the attendees were the organizers and the eight young designers, as well as Álvaro Matías, Director of the Madrid Design Festival, and Nacho Marín, Artistic Director of Fernán Gómez.


In a global context of awareness about climate change, the Toca Madera contest in sustainable design is one of the great milestones of the third edition of Madrid Design Festival.  Between 29th January and 29th February, the eight final pieces from the competition are exhibited at the Fernán Gómez Cultural Center of the Villa. A committee of renowned national and international designers, including Izaskun Chinchilla and Sebastian Cox, will chose the three winners at the final gala on February 15 (13:30) at the Official College of Architects of Madrid (COAM).

10 young Spanish designers participated in the competition and were tasked to create long-lasting objects in American red oak. “We are creating objects that last longer, use less energy, barely generate waste and with a carbon footprint that is beneficial to the environment,” explains Carlos Kasner, head of AHEC in Spain.

“Tired of today’s throw-away culture, we are re-designing products for eternity,” says Cecilia Zavala, Coordinator of AIDI. The infinite objects aim to inspire and claim the value of sustainable design as a “social transformer”.

Participants include Andrés Mariño, Fernando Hernández, Irena Ventsislavova, Jaume Molina, María Risueño, María Soriano and Sergio Rodríguez and the mORR_design collective (Celia Martínez, Daniel Romero and María Ruíz de Elvira). The importer and distributor AE Maderas donated the American red oak needed for the manufacturing of the eight final designs.

During December and January, the designers had the opportunity to watch and partake in the manufacturing of their pieces at the La Navarra workshop (Torrejón de Ardoz).

The infinite objects combine durability with sustainability, ergonomics and efficiency – they adapt, change and last. The ‘Taburete Barlovento’ stool (Andrés Mariño) uses a bending technique traditionally used for building ships, in order to obtain a more efficient, aerodynamic shape – strong, but light. The stool also uses the grain of the wood in a way that minimises waste.


The console table ‘Bailarinas’ (Sergio Rodríguez) incorporates spinning tops that are meant to remind us of things we tend to forget, like our keys or wallet. ‘Dew’ (María Soriano), is an atomized structure that adapts to any space and any domestic use: bedside table, dressing table, coat rack…



According to geometric laws, the cube is the only way that allows for infinite growth. This is explored with the handbag ‘Rojo Furoshiki’ (María Risueño) made from a structure of intertwined wooden cubes, joined by ropes. ‘Cradle to Cradle’ (mORR_design) transforms the cradle into two chairs that its occupants can use when they grow up.


Conceived as a tool for educators and parents, the children’s table of free play ‘Cooplay’ (Irena Ventsislavova) breaks the economic and spatial barriers of urban playgrounds. Through imagination, children can explore six figurative worlds.


‘San’ (Fernando Hernández), a box with scales and a mortar, is an object meant for the preservation of manual coffee making, inspired by Ethiopian architecture. ‘Reinterpretar lo infinito’ (Jaume Molina) enhances the functionality of the chair that we all remember from our childhood.

The first phase of the competition shortlisted 40 designers under 35 at the beginning of 2019. Before developing their projects, they all got to partake in a training session of the application of American hardwood species in sustainable design in July.

After a first selection of 12 candidates in September, each was assigned a well-known designer to supervise their project and stimulate their level of development and quality. National and international designers such as Izaskun Chinchilla, Antonio Serrano and Sebastian Cox took part in the project. After a second selection, eight finalists were chosen, whose designs are on display at the Fernán Gómez Cultural Center of the Villa until 29th February.

About AIDI

 AIDI is a community of design professionals that come together to develop, in a collaborative way, innovative experiences and projects that allow them to connect to the Design sector, attract opportunities and contribute to building a contemporary design culture that seeks to generate a positive impact on the world. They have been collaborating with companies and sponsors for 4 years, designing, organizing activities, generating opportunities for designers and promoting design.

About AHEC

For more than 30 years, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has been at the forefront of the promotion of wood in Europe, successfully creating a creative and distinctive brand for American hardwood. AHEC sponsors creative design projects in order to show the great potential of this sustainable raw material and provide valuable examples of inspiration.

Twitter / Instagram: @ahec_europe

About AE Maderas

Woods, importer and distributor of wood, boards, moldings and floors. An innovative, modern, professional company adapted to the new market needs, but with a long family tradition linked to wood. AE Maderas is committed to the sustainability of natural resources through its PEFC and FSC certifications in Chain of Custody. With a team of more than 50 people and more than 50,000 square meters of warehouse, AE Maderas reaches more than 4,000 customers.