National and international touchstone figures from different disciplines will share with us the way they deal with design challenges today.
During Barcelona Design Week we will gather together national and international touchstone figures from different disciplines to share with us the way they deal with design challenges today, based on the “10 principles of good design” established by Dieter Rams in the nineteen-seventies.
Braun’s mythical designer, whose creations were characterized by their functionalism and aesthetic restraint, created dogma in the community with a set of principles that have shown themselves to be timeless and valid in any discipline. But leaving aside their currency, are they taken into account when designing? Or should they adapt to the needs of the new times?
The “Good Design Is…” programme of conferences will be a good opportunity for questioning the current production and consumption model, the role of new technologies in the design of goods and services, the industry’s responsibility and ability to contribute to making people interact more democratically and for pondering whether the hedonistic part of a creative act is compatible with the vocation of service of design in society. And ultimately for asking ourselves what good design should be in the 21st century.
These and many other considerations will be cause for reflection on 18 June at the Disseny Hub Barcelona, where besides discussing good design, we will learn first-hand about the projects and values that guide the work of this varied panel of professionals. Graphic design, advertising, architecture, interior design, product design, fashion, art… they all have their place.
The session will be divided into five blocks. Different speakers will address each one of them after being assigned one of the ten principles to be pondered. They will have 30 minutes to present their work and contextualize Rams’ theory. Once their talks are finished, José Luis de Vicente, curator and cultural researcher, will act as moderator to boost the debate spaces intended for exchanging experiences and opinions between the guest speakers.
Meet the main characters.
Principle: good design makes a product useful.
Anne Lacaton is an architect who since 1987 heads the Lacaton & Vassal architecture practice jointly with Jean-Philippe Vassal, with whom in 2008 she won the Grand National Architecture Prize.
Her work in association with Vassal is a touchstone in terms of the way they make architecture in an ethical, effective and economical manner, giving priority to the needs of the people who inhabit the construction and valuing the pre-existence to improve it over decisions where aesthetics or spectacularity dominate. In short, their position is one in favour of rehabilitation rather than demolition as the most efficient strategy.
In 2014, together with Jean-Philippe Vassal, she won the Schock Award for Visual Arts presented by the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. In 2018 the Lacaton&Vassal practice was one of the five recognized with the Global Sustainable Architecture Prize.
Principle: good design is honest
Xavier Mañosa, an artist and designer who inherited an artisan tradition and his family’s workshop to find his place in contemporary ceramic art. His products are artistic, handcrafted and industrial objects. And his works are characterized by the mix of materials and the exploration of new formal expressions.
Conceptually, many of his early pieces relate to phenomena in contemporary culture, to the day to day, such as for example “Nike Hoodie Totem”, or the projects “Skate Fails” for the company FTC of San Francisco, or “Manga”, which emerged in collaboration with the New York-based Catalan designer and illustrator Alex Trochut. His trajectory also includes collaborations with prestigious labels such as Nike, bd Barcelona, Hermes, Alessi, Vitra or Camper.
The pieces made by Apparatu have been displayed in contemporary design fairs and festivals in London, Frankfurt, Saint- Étienne, Tokyo, New York, Mexico and Stockholm. Also in Madrid and Barcelona.
Principle: good design is environmentally friendly
Chris Lefteri is an internationally recognised authority in materials and their application in design. The work of his studio and publications have been pivotal in changing the way designers and the materials industry consider materials. His books include Materials for Design (2014) and six other titles in the Materials for Inspirational Design series. These books have led the change in the way designers view and use materials.
Chris Lefteri Design has locations in London and Seoul and works with multiple Fortune 100 companies and major design studios, implementing a broad range of strategies for effective materials integration in the design process. The studio has a unique expertise that germinates new approaches in automotive, packaging, sports, furniture and consumer electronics. The studio also works with major material suppliers helping them to communicate more effectively with the design industry and find new markets.
Principle: good design is thorough down to the last detail
Curro Claret studied industrial design at the Elisava Higher School of Design and at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Since the 1990s he works freelance designing furniture, lights, objects, products, interiors, happenings and services for businesses, institutions, foundations and exhibition venues, some of them with BD Barcelona Design, Camper, Formica, Metalarte, Zicla, Centre de Creation La Cuisine, Roca Barcelona Gallery, Arrels Fundació or Fundación San Martín de Porres.
He is an occasional design professor and workshop facilitator in different centres and countries. He has won numerous distinctions, such as the IED Design Awards 2018 for Best Project in Social Innovation, AD España Award for Best Designer of the Year 2015, Ciutat de Barcelona Award 2013 in the Design category, Best Recycled Product 2011 (European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations), second prize, or the Design Against Poverty and Social Exclusion Prize 2010 awarded by the Ministry of Culture.
Some of his works have been featured in different publications such as “Retrato imperfecto de Curro Claret” (Imperfect Portrait of Curro Claret) Oscar Guayabero and Ramón Úbeda (Gustavo Gili, 2014) or in “The Design Encyclopedia” by Mel Byars (The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2004). Some of his pieces are held in the collections of Barcelona’s Design Museum or the Jesuitenkirche (Lower Austria Contemporary).
Deutsche & Japaner
Principle: good design is aesthetic
Deutsche & Japaner is a creative studio based in Mannheim, Germany. The studio was founded 2010 by Ina Yamaguchi, Moritz Firchow, David Wolpert and Julian Zimmermann. With a distinct focus on holistic solutions, branding and visual identity as well as editorial and online performances, Deutsche & Japaner sets a high value on sustainable experiences.
Passionate about detail, independent of any physical condition, the studio offers expertise in various disciplines, expanding the range of graphic design by including interior design and scenography as well as conceptual creation, art direction and type development. The studio has worked for numerous well-known international clients from various fields ranging from fashion or music to culture, lifestyle and beauty, for instance Nike Unlaced, Nimu Roma, Ark Poncho and Haiyti. Moreover, collaborative projects play a crucial role in the works of Deutsche & Japaner.
Besides his studio activity, Julian teaches at several design schools, gives lectures and workshops.
Principle: good design makes a product comprehensible
Dr Charlotte Webb is director of Even, an ethical technology consultancy, and the co-founder of Feminist Internet, a non-profit organisation on a mission to advance internet equalities for women and other marginalised groups through critical, creative practice.
Recently nominated by the Evening Standard as one of the most influential people in Technology and Science in London, she has been quoted by media organisations including the BBC, Guardian, Evening Standard, Dazed and Confused and Marie Claire for her opinions on the internet, feminism and gendered AI. She is an international speaker and has presented at conferences around the world including TedX, Internet Age Media, Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Barbados Internet Governance Forum and Online Educa.
Described as a ‘deviant academic’, Dr Webb’s PhD was a creative exploration of how the internet has transformed artistic authorship and cultural production. She has 10+ years’ experience working in art and design in higher education, including the University of the Arts London, Europe’s largest art and design university.
Principle: good design is long-lasting
Harquitectes is an architecture practice founded in 2000 and based in Sabadell, headed by four associated architects: David Lorente Ibáñez, Josep Ricart Ulldemolins, Xavier Ros Majó and Roger Tudó Galí, who have a large team of collaborators. Their intense work and notable career have won them several prizes; they are also published in some notable national and international media.
With a clear concept of architecture and a well-defined work ethos, the practice assumes a commitment that encompasses from social aspects to environmental issues, with marked respect for the client’s active participation. For Harquitectes, energy efficiency is a feature that should be present in any architecture project not as an “extra” but as a common element that should be demanded in every new construction proposal.
Their work has won several prizes –for built work as well as in ideas competitions – and they have been published in national and international media. They have also been selected for several exhibitions and invited to give papers in Europe and America.
Principle: good design is environmentally friendly
Lacol is a non-profit cooperative of architects working in Barcelona’s Sants district. They work with architecture for social transformation, like a tool for intervening on the nearby environment in a critical manner. Always in parallel to society, they operate fairly and with solidarity, starting with a horizontal working system.
They consider that the way to transform the city is through the active participation of the people who inhabit it and through propositional action. The interest in their work relates to the quality of life of all the people who share the city. The architect’s contribution occurs as part of the urban movement, as an additional piece, helping to translate the citizens’ concerns and to put them down on paper, contributing criteria for defining objectives and strategies as well as tools for delineating and communicating ideas through drawing or graphic representation. They encourage debate and discussion on the uses of public spaces and the management of urban spaces, city models, participation in and recovery of heritage, among others.
Lievore + Altherr Désile Park
Principle: good design is as little design as possible
Alberto Lievore, Jeannette Altherr, Delphine Désile and Dennis Park are a collective of professionals collaborating across different constellations. The studio develops projects using an established strategy: a creative concept integrating product design and its communication. This holistic approach, humanist character and the search for the essential in their projects, combined with a sensibility that transmits harmony and balance, characterize the designs of Lievore + Altherr Desile Park.
The Barcelona-based studio specializes in product design and development, strategic consulting, creative direction, art direction and ephemeral architecture for internationally recognized design companies such as Arper, Andreu World, Burgbad, Poltrona Frau, Vibia and Noorth, among others.
Lolo & Sosaku
Principle: good design is unobtrusive.
Lolo & Sosaku work as an artistic duo since 2004. They investigate the possibilities of sculpture as an expanded field. The nexus that ties their works together is the quest for an object in contact with its setting and with the spectator. An object that searches for friction, touch and tension.
Their work moves between different languages such as sculpture, installation, kinetic art and painting. Their modus operandi: to establish themselves as a subject and, through their machine-like materiality, point towards transcendence, mysticism and the unknown.
Lolo & Sosaku’s work has been exhibited and made, among others, in the Reina Sofía Museum, Madrid; Imagen i Som Museum, São Paulo; Casa França Brasil Foundation, Río de Janeiro; Sónar Festival; Matadero, Madrid; Bien Urbain Festival, Besançon; PSA Museum Power Station of Art and the Art Center, Shanghai; or in the MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona.
Maria ke Fisherman
Principle: good design is innovative
Maria ke Fisherman is a cult firm based on personal leadership and on independence consisting of María Lemus and Víctor Alonso. It is complex, contradictory, fun, sensitive and intelligent. It is an evolving living brand in which identity trumps trend. Its DNA combines technical materials, knitting and artisan dressmaking with a cutting-edge and innovative, almost futuristic style.
The firm has collaborated with major labels such as Nike and was awarded the Who’s On Next 2014 recognition and the National Fashion Prize in 2016. Maria ke Fisherman has dressed important personalities such as Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus or Lady Gaga.
Principle: good design is innovative
Tina Gorjanc is a Slovenian multidisciplinary stage designer who is recognized for her work, which merges the practices of product and stage design with biotechnological procedures. She believes the future for the creative field is absolutely linked to biology, which is why she is fascinated by biotechnology and its potential to shape the future. She is most widely recognised for her work, which merges the practices of speculative and critical product design with scientific procedures.
Her work has caught the attention of some of the biggest media companies including The Guardian, The New York Times, Dezeen, Motherboard and Trend Tablet. She was also featured in the TV series produced by the TV network ARTE, which is devoted to new emerging talents in the innovation design field.
Tina is currently working on commissions from several galleries and private organizations as well as being an educator and writer for educational institutions. She is also a contributing writer for Clot magazine.
Principle: good design is aesthetic
Zak Kyes is the founding partner and creative director of Zak Group. He leads a wide range of strategy and design projects including digital platforms, brand identities and collaborations with artists and museum directors.
Collaborations with curators and museum directors include the identities of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, with Johnston Marklee; the Fridericianum and the 2017 German Pavilion, both with Susanne Pfeffer; a flagship digital platform for M+, Hong Kong, with Doryun Chong; the identity of Städelschule, with Philippe Pirotte; the exhibition design of Parapolitics and the Taipei Biennial, both with Anselm Franke; the 8th Berlin Biennale, with Juan Gaitán; and the design of publications such as Imponderable: The Archives of Tony Oursler, with Beatrix Ruf andTom Eccles, and the Serpentine Gallery Manifesto Marathon, with Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Kyes has collaborated with the artists Anne Imhof, Tony Oursler, Joseph Grigely, Marc Camille Chaimowicz and Ed Atkins among others. From 2006 to 2016 he was the Art Director of the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London where he co-founded the publishing imprint Bedford Press.
9.00h – 9.15h Welcome
9.15h – 9.45h Chris Lefteri
9.45h – 10.15h Apparatu
10.15h – 10.45h Maria Ke Fisherman
10.45h – 11.10h Debate
11.30h – 12.00h Lacol
12.00h – 12.30h Curro Claret
12.30h – 13.00h Deutsche & Japaner
13.00h – 13.25h Debate
15.00h – 15.30h Tina Gorjanc
15.30h – 16.00h Harquitectes
16.00h – 16.30h Feminist Internet
16.30h – 17.00h Debate
17.15h – 17.45h Lolo & Sosaku
17.45h -18.15h Lievore + Altherr Désile Park
18.15h -18.45h Zak Group
18.45h – 19.15h Debate
19.30h – 20.15h Anne Lacaton