Fun art from the best Spanish designers
Spain is widely known all over the world for its arquitechtural style and design, which varies from the Arabian influence of its oldest and most refined buildings, to the contemporary design of our new Era. Nowadays, there is a new trend among Spain's interior designers that marks the beggining of a new trend. We are going to go into details about the fun interior design in Spain, and how it became to become what it today.
The roots of Spain’s new trend in interior design
The fun interior design in Spain that we can see virtually anywhere today -in the street art from any city, the new and funky exhibits at the art museums, and pieces of contemporary design in collector’s houses- did not just appear out of the blue. It's roots can be traced back to the 80's and late 70's, two decades that had a really strong impact in today's design, music, literature, and all forms of arts. And, one kind of unexpected items that are becoming more and more popular each day, are the inflatable objects.
These works of art are a lot of fun, but they are not a piece of cake at all when it comes to its design and execution.
The ICSID conference, which took place in 1971 in Ibiza, represented a milestone in the history of fun interior design de muebles in Spain. All the atendees, organisers and design experts and professionals have deemed this conference as an important event of high relevance, that planted the seeds for today’s new design trend in the country.
The core of this event was what is known as Instant City, a sort of inflatable city presented in the facilities of the convention. This exhibit was not only valuable because of its design, but also due to the intricated planning that brought it to life, and the way it was meant to be inflated and, also, deflated. Another featured item of this kind, was the Ponsatí sculptures, also inflatables, and which were filled with simbology.
A few years later, in 1974, the creation of the center Barcelona Centre de Disseny, justified the placement of a inflatable tent at the Diagonal de Barcelona, which was used to hold a number of design related activities –exhibits, meetings, courses, etc.
Alter that, the fun interior design in Spain that involves inflatable objects has been carried on with funnier trenes, like the well-known Pop Collection of Marisa Gallín y Sanfra Figuerola, among others, that features inflatable works of arts like mouths and eggs, that were designed to make the observer have fun, while making a statement at the same time.
This world-wide famous collections and artists cleared the path for today’s artists and the fun interior design in Spain that we are able to see almost anywhere we want in the country. The street art that you can see in every other wall, and even the tattoo world has been influenced by the trend that started in the late 70's, and which legacy still lives on today, both through new artists’ works, and standing by themselves, as unforgettable innovative pieces of art.
The rationalist style in Spain’s Juán Márquez furniture
Even though Juán Márquez’s profile has been defined by his work as an sculptor, it doesn’t mean that this side of his art was the only one during his lifetime, or that it restricted his creativity in any way. Even when he only dedicated 10 years to it, it was in fact his most prolific work, taking into account the extensive amount of time that the rationalist style in furniture consumed, since he opened his workshop in 1932, until 1980, when he died.
The beginning of Juán Márquez
Juan Márquez was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 1903. He was raised in a cultural scene that enabled him to meet artists, architects, and intellectuals since he was a child, and that were later to strongly influence him as regards his rationalist style in furniture.
After he begun his architecture studies in Berlin, he relocated in 1925 to Paris, where he discovered a new ground of experimentation. And, during his stay in the French capital, he used to draw furniture to pay his bills.
In 1932 he came back to his origins, moving back to Las Palmas, working in the back part of the office of Miguel Martín, a well-known Spanish architect, who had been scheming the rationalist style in furniture and architecture in some of his buildings. It was for him that Márques made his first works of woodcraft. In less than one year, Márquez opened a workshop and expanded the business, making the most out of the fact that the public had just begun to accept his designs.
You can find these projects in 3 volumes, compilated many years later. Because of the amount and quality of the designs, these 3 volumes are the fundamental reference of the production carried out by his first company. This is also the fundamental dossier of the author about the rationalist style in furniture and industrial design in the 20th century known in Canarias, and that, due to its features, became to be the base and origin (together with the work of Mugel Martín) of the first modern furniture design and production from Las Palmas
Some of his famous works
In 1934, the couple Ramón Rodríguez Marrero and Arlet Drincourt Lencou-Bareme hired Márquez to satisfy their love for the modern and rationalist style in furniture. The artist knew exactly how to interpret their guidelines, with a selected and sensitive estilistic proposal, making not only was he was asked to, but also creating a stunning collection of 22 pieces, which is still intact. This collection is famous for its simplicity, the purity of its forms, texture of material, color of the wood and its magnificent execution.
The furniture designed and built for this couple, is an excellent sample of the custom work that the artist used to do. Márquez work found its inspiration in the different techniques from Central Europe, and that he was determined to back up. His furniture were unique nation-wide, and there was no similar work at all.
Benedetta Tagliabue presents Camp Together and the Labirynth at Vinyes
Benedetta Tagliabue was born in Milan, Spain, and she graduated from the University of Venice in 1989. Her work in the design of public spaces in Spain is well-known worldwide, and she is a highly respected memeber of the architectural and design world. Here we are going to give a closer look at two of her latest works in Spain: Camp Together, and the Labirynth at Vinyes.
Her involvement in the Camp Together project
As part of the Camp Together project, where designers from all over the world create exclusive products and spaces for the shoe brand, Benedetta Tagliabue, well-known for her work in the design of public spaces in Spain, is in charge of the interior design of the new company, located in the Paseo de Gracia, in Barcelona.
The particular interior design of the place is born as a game of reflections and shapes of shoes that define the furniture created for this particular sales store. The elements of a strong sculpture character, made out of shapes cropped in MDF tables, and partially covered with a reflective skin, are turned into a series of seats, tables and exhibitional support.
Benedetta Tagliabue, founder of the EMBT Studio, together with Enric Miralles, and famous for her work of the design of public spaces in Spain, highlights in the conception of this proyect the desire of building a store in the same way plain skins are magically turned into tridimensional objects, with the help of shapes and sewing. Just like in the old fun fairs, the use of mirrors provides new perspectives for the users, and it brings back the ludic side that, as the designer states, is the signature of the brand.
Other renowned figures that have worked as designers for the Camp Together stores are: the Camapa brothers, Konstantin Grcic, Alfredo Häberli, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Martí Guixé, Jaime Hayón, and Juli Capella
The labirynth at the Vinyes Square in Lleida
Without a clear etimology, Labrys (related to the word "stone" or "rock") and Inthos (Greek suffix), get together to form the word Labirynth, which might actually refer to a type of dance. Its cultural meaning and simbolic interpretation are very vast, and EMBT took advantage of that, with the proposal of a design of public spaces in Spain, particularly of the Vinyes Square, in Lleida, an open space with labirynthine designs that guide the steps of the dancers of a Spring dance around
a central element.
For this design of public spaces in Spain, the designer used as a reference the Francesc Macià Square (a very busy area in Barcelona), the Place de l'Étoile in Paris, and the Tiegarten in Berlin (due of its magnificent roundabout and its memorable column with an angel on top), tracing a roundabout at the exit of Roure Street, with the function of separating the square from the traffic. The roundabout ends with a labirynthine design, made out of stripes of vegetation and brick pavement.