The new web of Parc de Belloch has been launched, with a whole set of great video interviews about design, Barcelona, urban landscaping and the city. Each interview comes with a downloadable pdf transcript in both the original Spanish and a translated English version.
I’ve posted a link to my own contribution above, and you can access further words of wisdom by the likes of Miguel Mila, Antoni Arola, Beth Gali, Nina Maso or Javier Nieto on Belloch’s site.
The Architectural Foundation COAM in Madrid has organised an exhibition of one-off Verner Panton chairs, reinterpreted by a selection of Spanish designers and artists. The show, 10 Autores + 10 Sillas Panton, will close on October 7 with an auction of the pieces, reworked by Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Alberto Corazón, Álvarez Sala y Rubio Carvajal, Angel Schlesser, Guillermo Pérez Villalta, Javier Mariscal, Manuel Serrano, Ouka-Leele, Pedro Feduchi, and Tuñón y Mansilla.
C/ Marqués de Villamejor nº 5 – Madrid
Tel. 91 426 45 60 – www.vitra.com
Design collective REDImei are putting together a great online guide to Barcelona graffiti, with photos linked to Google map tags.
UNFORTUNATELY (yes, this is me shouting) I can’t post any of the great pictures here, because all the images on their flickr photostream have an ‘All rights reserved’ Creative Commons licence. Come on, guys. This is street art we’re talking about, our shared urban culture, that laughs at private property and writes on walls.
So the picture above comes not from their otherwise wonderful project, but from my own modest collection. And as all my other stuff on this blog, you are welcome to make good use of it should you so wish, under an ‘Attribution – Share Alike’ CC licence.
At least I can give you the link to their Google Maps page.
A few days ago I went to the presentation of Designpedia.net, a recently launched online encyclopaedia on Spanish Design. Designpedia is an open project based on the Wiki concept and under a Creative Commons license, which will grow thanks to the contribution of its users. Its remit is Spanish graphic and product design, although it welcomes interdisciplinary links across a variety of design fields, and its focus on Spanish design does not imply a strict territorial delimitation.
During the early stages of the project, an editorial committee will ensure the quality and relevance of the content, and it is hoped that as the project gains momentum, it will move closer to functioning as a wiki system that is self-edited and self-curated.
Spanish design has a considerable historical trajectory, a diverse institutional network and an active, energetic professional and cultural context. It desperately needs projects that can consolidate all that, and the focus provided by Designpedia is very timely, so I’m hoping this one will take off. It’s been put together by knowledgeable and enthusiastic people. It also has a great interface, is very user-friendly, and google-friendly. And I’m in it. So what more can I say to convince you? Go have a look, and if you can, contribute.
Designpedia.net is a project of the Fundación Signes.
I haven’t actually done the head of a pin calculations yet, but I can tell you for a fact that you can fit pretty much all of them in your pocket. The global digitization of archives continues apace, some of it backed by corporate or institutional funding, some of it the work of enthusiastic individuals.
Here’s a brief roundup of some online archives of Spanish graphic design that I’ve recently come across.
Josep Artigas – Dissenyador Gràfic. Josep Artigas i Ojeda (Barcelona, 1919-1992) was one of Spain’s major post-war poster designers. Some biographical details are here. (in Catalan). This archive is managed by Memòria Digital de Catalunya (MDC).
Also on the MDC catalogue:
Cartells del Pavello de la Republica (mostly posters from the Second Republic and Civil War).
One of the few annoying features of my iPhone is the question it asks every time I want to use its camera: “Camera would like to use your current location. ‘Don’t allow’ / ‘Ok’”. Being a bit of a surveillance paranoid I routinely ‘Don’t allow’, but thanks to the hundreds of thousands of people who do, and mostly, thanks to those who upload their pictures to Flickr and tag them, the researchers at MIT SENSEable City Lab have come up with a fantastic piece of data visualisation. In collaboration with Universitat Pompeu Fabra and the Barcelona Disseny Hub, they have developed Los Ojos del Mundo, with two projects based on pictures taken by both tourists and locals in Barcelona: Spaces of Diversity maps Britons weaving their path in Barcelona; and Spaces of Activity tracks photos from Barcelona with tags related to ‘partying’.
So, what do tourists go for? No surprises there:
Britons who visited Barcelona in Fall 2007 stayed on the beaten paths delimited by the city’s main elements such as Parc Guell and Sagrada Familia, with Passeig de Gracia and Rambla acting as artery. The photos also confirm their pleasure for football (Camp Nou) parties (Forum) and the mediteranean sea (Barceloneta).
And what about partying?
tags related to “partying” in Summer 2007 shows that Barcelona confines its fun to the old town (Ciutat Vella) known for its high density of tourists, the bohemian distric of Gracia and the Forum area and its music festivals.
The Museo Torre Balldovina, a local museum in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, near Barcelona, has asked the town’s citizens to contribute everyday objects from the 50s, 60s and 70s. These will be catalogued by the Museum and will be shown in an exhibition this fall. So far, about a hundred pieces have been collected over a few weeks, ranging from typewriters to sewing kits.
La Vanguardia has a nice video with interviews of some of the donors who explain their relationship to the objects they have given. But I can’t embed it so go watch it here.
Surtido* presenta la exposición Surtido de Revolución; una muestra de los resultados del primer workshop de la plataforma, en íntima colaboración con el taller de cerámica Apparatu.
*La plataforma efímera e independiente para los jóvenes diseñadores del país
Inauguración 6 de mayo 19:30, Espai Rubik – c. Planeta, 5
todos los detalles acerca de la expo aquí.
Fundación Signes is promoting a campaign to save old shop signs that are at risk of disappearing. They are encouraging people to send pictures and note the exact locations, and have started building an online collection which already has some beautiful examples. It’s a great initiative and a particularly urgent one in cities like Barcelona, whose obsession with urban face-lifts and modernisation is creating an increasingly sterile environment. My recurrent nightmare, after a few months back in Barcelona, is that very soon there won’t even be a stretch of pavement left that is older than a decade or so. What this city needs is a Campaign for the Preservation of Grime and Urban Patina.
Another wonderful ongoing online project is José Antonio Millán’s Abecedario Industrial y del Comercio, which showcases hundreds of images of letters taken from commercial signs around Spain (mostly in Catalunya). Millán’s selection showcases the best – and worst!- of anonymous design’s creative drive, highlighting letters that try to represent the objects and services advertised. A fantastic overview of outsider typography.