We help you deliver a new retail experience and design an interactive adventure for your customers. We believe that physical space is essential for engaging with consumers on an emotional level.
We help brands communicate their values with spaces that fully reflect their culture, values and aspirations. With our help, brands are able to impress their customers and grant them memories of an amazing experience.
With the use of digital installations, we turn a learning activity into a journey through the virtual dimension. We integrate cultural aspects into dynamic environments creating an interaction with the visitor in a user-centered way. We make your guests look back on their visit to your shop/restaurant/event for years to come.
While respecting classic Italian design, our exclusive vision and passion for modern technology propel us to the apex of customization. Every part of each project is unique. We use these techniques to design custom-made pieces. We tailor spaces to meet each of our clients’ need. Our approach – Artisanship 2.0 – gives us the upper hand in the ever increasingly competitive architecture industry.
External Reference attracts international talents from the top European design schools. Our multidisciplinary and international team is based in Barcelona, Madrid, and Moscow. We are 30 professionals from over 15 countries and counting.
Our vision is to create emotional spaces that express your values and beliefs to customers.
“We integrate luxury and sustainability, digital and physical, art and technology, adapting these cultural aspects to the needs of our clients in order to shape spaces that reflect both our design philosophy and the client’s unique individuality.”
Carmelo Zappulla, PhD Architect and CEO of External Reference.
Team Leader / Management
Venice, (Italy), 1991. Stefano holds a master’s degree in architecture from the Venice Architecture University (IUAV) from which he graduated with honours. He specialises in project development, detailing and construction. He is the tutor of Representation tools in the Master of Experiential Interior Design at LCI Barcelona.
Team Leader / Computation
Montevideo, (Uruguay), 1990. Sebastian holds a postgraduate master’s degree in Advanced Architecture from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). He is currently the head of computation at External Reference and the tutor of Parametric tools in the Master of Experiential Interior Design at LCI Barcelona.
Team Leader / Design
Tehran, (Iran), 1990. Amin holds a postgraduate master’s degree in Advanced Architecture from the IAAC. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at UPC researching functional implementations of computational Design in living Spaces. He leads projects from design to execution and his practice focuses on advanced tools from parametric design to digital Fabrication and AR/VR content.
Team Leader / Experience
Caracas, (Venezuela), 1992. Vianella holds a postgraduate master’s degree in Experiential Interior Design from the LCI Barcelona Design School, obtaining the best master’s degree thesis of the year. She is currently the academic coordinator for the master. She specialises in concept development and customer experience.
Team Leader / Design
Catania, (Italy), 1994. Francesco holds a master’s degree in architecture from SDS Architettura Siracusa. He specializes in project development, from concept design to 3D modeling and construction supervision. He is currently a workshop tutor of “Introduction to lamp design development” in the master of Experiential Interior Design at LCI Barcelona.
Architect / Technical Development
Venice, (Italy), 1990. Ilaria is graduated with honours at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia. She specialized in project development, detailing and construction.
MA Architect / Design & rendering
Ciudad de Mexico, (Mexico), 1993. Regina holds a postgraduate master’s degree in Experiential Interior Design from the LCI Barcelona Design School. She specialises in 3D visualization and experiential concepts. She is currently a doctoral candidate at UIC researching technology inside architectural design processes.
MAA Architect / Design
Moscow, (Russia), 1988. Irina holds a postgraduate master’s degree in Advanced Architecture from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). She is specialized in design and construction supervision.
MAA Architect / Computational Designer
Milan, (Italy), 1993. Iacopo holds a Master of Science in Architecture and architectural engineering at Polytechnic di Milano. He specialises in masterplan development and complex parametric geometries.
Architect / Design
Moscow, (Russia), 1989. Elena holds a postgraduate master’s degree in Advanced Architecture from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). She is specialized in design and construction supervision.
Interior Designer / Retail design
Bharuch, (India), 1995. Forum holds a postgraduate degree in Management and Communication of an Applied Design Project by ISEC Lisbon and a master’s degree in Retail Design by ELISAVA. She specialises in site construction management and design coordination.
Architect / Design
Catania, (Italy), 1992. Silvia is graduated at SDS Architettura Siracusa. She is specialized in technical development and design.
Building Engeneering / Design
San Benedetto del Tronto, (Italy), 1990. Gianmarco is graduated at Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna. He is specialized in 3D modelling and computational design.
Architect / Lighting Specialist
Ciudad de México, (México). Edgar is graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He holds a PhD in Architecture from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. He specializes in Lighting Design.
Architect / Sustainability
Buenos Aires, (Argentina). Marina holds a PhD in Architecture, Energy and Environment from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. She specializes in materials, sustainability and residential design.
Syracuse, (Italy), 1986. Alfonso holds a master´s degree in Graphic Design and Website Programming from CIPSA in Barcelona. He is currently head of Graphic Design and Visual Communication at External Reference. He expresses the firm´s design ideas through branded communications and develops visual content for all the studio´s communications.