Category Archives: architecture

Design Cities on Hong Kong TV – Barcelona

The Barcelona episode of Hong Kong TV’s Design Cities series airs on Boxing Day (Dec 26) – a rare opportunity to hear me proffer yet more words of wisdom, in Chinese! (Dubbed, of course). An English version DVD is in the works… I’ll keep you posted.

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Art Deco in Barcelona

The Design History Foundation launches its teaching programme with a course on Art Deco, which will offer both an international approach to the style and sessions on its local impact.

The 18-hour course will take place between 30.09.09 and 16.12.09, at the Disseny Hub Barcelona, C/ Montcada, 12, 08003 Barcelona. Sessions will be in Catalan.

More information here.

A map of writing on walls

IMG_0038

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.

Of cars, footballers, fascists and rockers

It’s Good Friday and it’s raining in Barcelona. I’ve finished re-reading Zola’s Au Bonheur des Dames, and in a vain attempt to overcome the blues that I always get when I come to the end of a great book, I briefly turned on the TV, only to be bombarded by images of all the Holy Week processions taking place around Spain – which felt as a rather creepy mix of the Spanish Inquisition and Disney World.

So I took refuge in YouTube, and I now offer you a chronological selection of idiosyncratic Barcelona goodies for your entertainment.

These first two are the earliest Barcelona films I’ve been able to find on YT – the first one is truly charming, one gets a wonderful sense of the city as a Mediterranean port, and I love the images of a deserted, brand-new Park Guell patrolled by sabre-wielding policemen.

Barcelona 1900 – La perla del mediterráneo

Barcelona 1908

The Spanish Civil War in thirteen minutes and a half:

Barcelona 19 July 1936 partA

Guerra Civil Española -Bombardeos sobre Barcelona

Entrada de los fascistas en Barcelona 1/2

The Seat 600 was the poster boy of the Spanish economic miracle of the 1960s. It was launched in 1957, manufactured in Barcelona, and easy enough for a woman to drive!

BARCELONA 1950

Lanzamiento del Seat 600

Seat 600

The 60s were the decade of massive migration into Barcelona from the South of Spain, and with the influx of immigrants came the shantytowns. And the music: la Rumba Catalana was born. Peret sang Catalan rumba in the 60s, and Manu Chao a different kind of fusion rumba many decades later.

Campo de la bota

peret – el mig amic (galas del sábado)

Manu Chao – La rumba de Barcelona

In November 1975, Franco dies. The city -the country- lived on the razor’s edge.

Barcelona. Manifestacions anifranquistes 1976

The newly democratic Barcelona of the early 80’s still carried the dusty weight of almost four decades of dictatorship on its shoulders. Loquillo, one of the best Spanish rockers of the decade, sang of his city with perfect pitch, with just enough rage and anomie to capture the spirit of a youth culture about to explode in an extasy of pre-olympic urban transformation.

Loquillo y los Trogloditas – Barcelona Ciudad

Loquillo y Los Trogloditas – Avenida de la luz

Here’s the transformation itself, in a scary stop-motion video that was produced by HOLSA, the Barcelona Olympic public-private body that coordinated the urban renovation works. And no, the disappearance of the old farmer and his artichoke fields under a sea of cement isn’t meant as an ironic twist.

Barcelona 1992 La Transformación

In 2004, the City Council tried to pull another urban regeneration coup like the one in ’92 and invented the Universal Forum of Cultures, to take over a whole new chunk of city, build it up, prettify it, redesign it and hand it over to people other than those that were there to begin with. This time round, the Barcelonese were not too happy with the process and the Council lost the popularity contest. But got away with it anyway.

FORUM Barcelona 2004

Coop City 1 – Barcelona Post Forum 2004

And then came the tourists, among them Woody, Vicky and Cristina. Watch the movie trailer first, then the Barcelona City Council’s tourism promotion video, and try to spot the differences. (Answer: it’s the dolphins).

Landing at Barcelona’s El Prat

Vicky Cristina Barcelona Trailer

Barcelona Turisme Promo Video

Some tourists actually stay on for a while and compete for jobs with the immigrants from Africa and Eastern Europe

Under the Table in Barcelona – Lonely Planet Travel Video

El Raval de Barcelona: un barrio que ya no es lo que era

And last but not least, Barça.

Barcelona: The Inside Story (Storyville BBC) part 1

Barcelona’s Art Nouveau domestic interiors

The research group Gracmon, Research Unit on History of Contemporary Art & Design based at Barcelona University’s Department of Art History, and the Fundació Institut Amatller, organise a symposium on turn of the century Barcelonese domestic interiors that will take place throughout the month of March 2009.

Here’s the programme:

Dimarts 3 de març

Gaudí i la superació de la tipologia residencial de l’Eixample: de la Casa Calvet a la Casa Milà

Joan Molet, professor titular d’història de l’art i pertany al GRACMON de la UB

Dimarts 10 de març

Les cases singulars de la “Mansana de la Discòrdia”: Casa Amatller, Casa Lleó-Morera i Casa Batlló

Santiago Alcolea Blanch, director de la FIAAH

Dimarts 17 de març

A casa dels poetes Apel.les Mestres, Alexandre de Riquer i Joan Maragall

Teresa-M. Sala, professora titular d’història de l’art i pertany al GRACMON de la UB

Dimarts 24 de març

Com s’hagués viscut al Park Güell?

Mireia Freixa, directora del departament d’història de l’art i pertany al GRACMON de la UB

Dimarts 31 de març

Audició íntima a les golfes de la Casa Amatller

Maria Luisa Muntada (Soprano) i Albert Romaní (fortepiano)

Lloc:

Casa Amatller

Hora:

19h

Preu:

Conferències i audició: 60€

Amics de la Casa Amatller i estudiant: 45€

Cicle de conferències: 30€

Informació i reserva:

Truqueu al telèfon 934 877 217 o amatller@amatller.org

Places limitades

Pecha-Kucha Barcelona, Vol.4

La cuarta noche de Pecha Kucha se celebrará en uno de los lugares más auténticos y creativos de Barcelona, el Palo Alto de Poblenou. Gracias a la Fundación Palo Alto, celebraremos el Vol.4 en su Nave XYZ el día 6 de Febrero. Apertura de puertas 19.30. Inicio de las ponencias 20.20.

Mercedes Quevedo, illustrator
Guim Valls Teruel, Electric Bicycle World Tour
Cristina González Gabarró, photographer
Xavier Font Sola, structural engineer
Patricio Abreu, Vaho recycled design
Niall O Flynn, industrial designer
Ignasi Pérez Arnal, sustainable architect
Marcus Willcock, designer & researcher
Stijn Ossevoort, fashion designer
Bailo + Rull, ADD Arquitectura

Pecha Kucha Vol.4
Palo Alto, Calle Pellaires 30-38, Poblenou
Metro: Selva de Mar (L4)
Apertura puertas: 19.30h
Inicio: 20.20h
Cierre: 23h
Foro limitado, ven pronto!
Entrada: 5€ (incluye 1 bebida)