WE DESIGN WITH AN INNOVATION-ORIENTED MINDSET

OVER MANY YEARS, WE HAVE SHAPED OUR IDENTITY.

We turn prosaic affairs into memorable journeys with light, colour and sound.
COMBINING DIGITAL
WITH PHYSICAL

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.

COMMUNICATING BRAND INDIVIDUALITY

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.

CREATING IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES

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.

PROVIDING ULTIMATE CUSTOMIZATION

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.

OUR DESIGN
PROCESS
FEASIBILITY STUDY
Client’s goals alignment
Project limitations analysis
Assessment of options
CONCEPT
DESIGN
Research & Analysis
Concept Design
Preliminary architectural design
Storytelling definition
Context matrix definition
Main elements definition
Preliminary cost estimation
BASIC
DESIGN
3D model

2D drawings
DESIGN DEVELOPMENT
Architectural design & drawings
Interior design
Experience design
BIM model
AVL design
EXECUTION
Blueprints elaboration 
Computational design
Digital fabrication

Subcontractors definition & management 

Cost Control
CONSTRUCTION SUPERVISION
Artistic direction
Project Management
Assembly control
Inauguration creative & production management
OUR TECHNOLOGIES
We use cutting-edge technologies in modern European labs to deliver highly customized bespoke projects. In this way, we develop novel concepts presenting people with original experiences.
WHO WE ARE

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.

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Stefano Fontolan

Architect
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.

Sebastian Amorelli

MAA Architect
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.  

Amin Bigdeli

MAA Architect
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. 

Vianella Maestra

MA Architect
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.

Francesco Sacconi

Architect
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.

Ilaria Rampazzo

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.

Regina García

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.

Irina Shaklova

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. 

Silvia Signorello

Architect / Technical Development

Catania, (Italy), 1992. Silvia is graduated at SDS Architettura Siracusa. She is specialized in technical development and design. 

Gianmarco Daniele

Building Engineering / 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. 

Victor Engelhard

Architect / Computational Design

Munich, (Germany), 1998. Víctor has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Innsbruck. Currently he is pursuing a Master of Advanced Architecture at IAAC and researching the implementation of text-to-image AI in architecture. As a computational designer his practice focuses on parametric design and digital fabrication. He was a tutor on the postgraduate program Designing Future Realities, teaching AR app development for spatial experiences.

Niccolò Battilana

Architect

Niccolò holds a master degree in Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano with honours. After two years in Milan as project developer he joined External Reference studio in early 2023. He specialises in project development, construction and architectural visualization.

Alfonso Peralta

Graphic Designer

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.

Marina Cella

Senior Architect /Team leader/
Project manager

 

 

Marina Cella García is an accomplished Senior Architect with a strong track record in leadership and project management roles. She holds a degree in architecture from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in architecture with a specialization in energy and the environment at the University Polytechnic of Catalonia (UPC). She has also shared her knowledge as a professor at LCI School, where she conducted master classes on environmental subjects. Her expertise extends to overseeing large-scale projects with diverse stakeholders. She has delivered engaging presentations at conferences and authored compelling articles that have been featured in prestigious publications focused on architecture and sustainability.

Edgar Dominguez

Architect / Light Designer

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

Adrian Ionut Patrascu

Computational Designer

Adrian holds an Architecture masters from the ‘Ion Mincu’ University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest and a Postgraduate in 3D Printing Architecture from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). He specializes in additive manufacturing at various scales, parametric design for digital fabrication and BIM task automation. He joined External Reference at the beginning of 2023 as a Computational designer.

Agustina Raskin

Architect

Agustina is a master’s graduate in architecture from the Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Urbanismo at Universidad de Buenos Aires (FADU-UBA), she has an impressive history in academia, serving as an architecture design tutor at her alma mater from 2018-2020 and an interior architecture tutor at Marbella Design Academy from 2021-2022. With professional experience in Argentina and Spain, she has refined her specialization in interior design and project development. She has recently joined External Reference in early 2023, as a part of the technical development team.

Anton Koshelev

Architect

Moscow, (Russia), 1995. Anton holds a Master’s in Advanced Architecture from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). He specializes in computational design and digital fabrication.

Júlia Veiga

Computational Designer

Júlia is an accomplished architect with a master’s degree from the Lisbon School of Architecture and a postgraduate master’s degree in City & Technology from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). She made a significant contribution to the Prototypes for Humanity 2022 exhibition in Dubai’s DIFC, presenting an innovative IAAC project that leverages data analysis and urban planning to address city segregation. With a rich professional background working in architecture firms across Lisbon, Milan, and Barcelona, and undertaking projects spanning Europe and the Middle East, she now enhances the External Reference team as an architect and computational designer.

Giulio Montefoschi

Architect

Napoli, (Italia), 1994. Giulio Montefoschi holds a postgraduate master’s degree in Renewable energy applied to Architecture from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). He specializes in project development, from concept design to 3D modeling and computational design.

Fiorella Ceriani

Office Manager

Fiorella is Office Manager and Assistant Project Manager with over a decade of experience in administration and project coordination. Has worked internationally in Qatar, Spain, and Uruguay, offering diverse industry expertise from hospitality to admin and legal services. She holds an EN-SP Translation degree and a Lean Six Sigma certification on Project Management. In 2023, Fiorella assumed the role of Office Manager at External Reference, seeking to enhance the management of the company’s core business processes.

Martina Ensinck

Project Manager

Rosario, (Argentina), 1989. Martina is graduated at Facultad de Arquitectura, Planeamiento y Diseño de Rosario. She specialized in construction supervisión and management  and in interior design.

Daniela Matera

Designer

Bari, (Italy), 2000. Daniela graduated with distinction from Politecnico di Bari in Italy, specializing in Industrial Design. In early 2023, she embarked on an internship and made significant contributions to various projects, becoming an asset to the team. From June, Daniela earned a position as a member of the esteemed External Reference group.

Itzal Llorens

Designer

Girona, (Spain), 1999. Itzal is an Interactive Experience Designer from the Elisava School of Design and Engineering of Barcelona. She also holds a postgraduate master’s degree in Experiential Interior Design from the LCI Design School of Barcelona.

Valentina Pulido

Architect

Valentina holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia. Holding experience in construction management and architectural design, her specialization lies in experiential design.
She obtained a master’s degree in Experiential Interior Design from the LCI Barcelona Design School and joined External Reference in 2023, developing design and architectural visualization.

Daniela Da Fonseca

Architect

Buenos Aires, (Argentina), 1989. Daniela is a master’s graduate in architecture from the Facultad de Arquitectura,
Diseño y Urbanismo at Universidad de Buenos Aires (FADU-UBA). She holds an specialization degree in Project Reasearch.
She developed her own practice in Argentina for over a decade, specializing in design, construction supervision and management.
She has recently joined External Reference, as a part of the technical development team.

Yervant Meg

Architect / Computational Designer

Beirut, (Lebanon), 1989. Yerwant holds a master’s degree from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA), and a postgraduate master’s degree from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). He is a dedicated architect with a passion for multidisciplinary design, bridging the gap between design and production, specifically with 3D printing, with a focus on integrating sustainable environmental practices. His interest lies within the realms of Computational Design, Design-to-Production workflows, Digital Fabrication, Environmental Optimization, and generative AI.

Martino Degasperi

Architect / Computational Designer

Trento, (Italy), 1993. Martino holds a master’s degree in Architectural Engineering at polytechnic of Milan and a postgraduate master’s degree in Advanced Architecture from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC).  He specializes in project development and computational design, with a strong focus on digital fabrication.

İpek Attaroğlu

Architect / Computational Designer

İzmir, (Turkey), 1996. İpek holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the Fine Arts University of Mimar Sinan (MSGSÜ) and a master’s degree in Robotics and Advanced Construction from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). She specializes in 3D modeling, parametric design and detailing.

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