Tag Archives: institutions

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.


Spanish Design Goes Online


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.

ADI-FAD 2009 Delta Awards


From the Delta Awards website:

The Association of Industrial Design ADI-FAD calls for companies and designers from Spain and other countries to take part in the Delta Awards with products that are distributed in the Spanish market. The purpose of this competition is to encourage public recognition of those products which stand out because of their innovative character, for their conceptual originality, the response among the public and their environmental impact, as well as their design and their manufacturing quality.

The Delta Awards have been open to international participation since 2007. The aspiration to reflect the current situation of the market has meant that the 2009 Delta Awards are open to products designed and produced by companies and designers within Spain or other countries, as long as these products are widely distributed in the Spanish market.

Applications deadline 15th March 2009. has been extended to April 30th 2009.

The Jury for the ADI-FAD Delta Awards 2009:
Uli Marchsteiner ADI-FAD board of directors
Luki Huber Industrial designer
Konstantin Grcic Industrial designer
Luc Donckerwolke SEAT
Javier Nieto President Santa & Cole
Dr. Ramon Folch Estudi Ramon Folch – Gestió i Comunicació Ambiental, S.L.
Luisa Bonchietto President of ADI Italy
Monica Gili Director of Gustavo Gili Publishing S.L.
Florian Hufnagl director of “Neue Sammlung”

More information is available at www.delta-awards.com.

Barcelona’s new Design History platform

The Design History Foundation is a private institution that was established last year in Barcelona. It seeks to promote, support and disseminate the work of design historians in Spain and Latin America. Its aim is to help in the establishment and development of the History of Design through  research, postgraduate and training workshops, conferences and symposia, exhibitions and publications. One of the key aims of the Foundation is to enhance the visibility of the History of Design as an area of historical studies.

The DHF has worked closely with the recently launched Barcelona Disseny Hub, curating the poster exhibition Col.lecció del Gabinet de les Arts Gràfiques, and putting together a new study collection of over 1000 Spanish posters.

I believe Barcelona’s DHF will be a great platform to promote a better understanding of design and to showcase what design historical approaches can contribute to thinking through visual and material culture. Through the Board of Trustees, we’re establishing a range of institutional links with national museums, and the Graphic Arts exhibition currently on show at the Palau del Marquès de Llió (Montcada 12, Barcelona) is its first major public outcome.

Speaking of Barcelona

Yale information designer Edward Tufte introduced us all, many years ago, to the joys of graphically stunning data visualisation. Now IBM’s beta software Many Eyes is available online for anyone to use, offering various alternatives for the graphic organisation of data. One of its most appealing features is the text visualisation option, which crunches through a text file and turns it into word clouds or tree structures, according to the number of instances any given word appears in the text. The ‘Wordle’ (see picture above) and ‘Cloud’ visualisations are informative and pretty, but the ‘Tree’ structure allows for specific word searches within a text and then presents a schematic visualisation of its structural use throughout the text.

I have uploaded two files of recent speeches by Barcelona’s Mayor Jordi Hereu, curious to see what the official vision of the city actually looks like. Not surprisingly, words such as ‘social’, ‘public’, ‘services’, ‘neighbourhood’ and ‘creativity’ loom large.

Most of the visualisations are interactive, you can visit the page here and play around with them – searches for specific words in the Word Tree are especially rewarding.