Valencia Pavilion. The Future is Design

Valencia’s exhibition as guest city of Madrid Design Festival

11/02/2021 - World Design Capital Valencia 2022 is present at Madrid Design Festival 2021 with an exhibition that enhances the value of Valencian design as a factor of change in contemporary industry and craftsmanship, based on success stories of companies and professionals who have made design a way of understanding their project culture. Based on five categories that will mark the future of the economy, these success stories are just the tip of the iceberg of an industry and craftsmanship that have been using design to face social changes for many years.

Designed by MUT Design and curated by Estudio Savage, the exhibition Valencia Pavilion. The Future is Design” presents five differentiated areas looking at the circular economy, contemporary industry and craftsmanship, design and art, technology, and the transformative economy, to emphasise the success stories that are changing the way we do things. Consolidated companies – many of which have won National Innovation or Design Awards – together with established professionals and new talents, constitute the selection of some 50 projects that provide a good sample of the excellence of Valencian design, the reason for which Valencia will be World Design Capital in the year 2022.

From 9 February and until 14 March, the Chapel Hall of the Fernán Gómez Cultural Centre (Centro Cultural de la Villa) will be the setting for a large installation that presents organic shapes and materials together with totally digital contents. An exhibition born in a time of pandemic which combines its attendance-based version with an accessible digital version. A space that combines audiovisual, sound and digital material to talk about the Valencian projects, professional designers and companies that are revolutionising the field of play with their transgressive and innovative outlook. 

The exhibition design
The search among the roots of Valencian imagery has led MUT Design to form a series of modular pavilions with curved and attractive shapes, a habitual seal of identity in their projects. The itinerary, comprising modular pavilions with a cylindrical shape and unique personality, will gradually transform so that the space is led by the design itself. With this set of modular elements, we have set out to ensure that each sample has its own character, differentiated from the previous exhibit,” affirms Alberto Sánchez, founder and creative director of the Valencian studio.

Natural wood is a constant factor throughout the exhibition, both in the structure of the different pavilions and in their cladding. Small pieces act as skin and scales, generating a framework of organic matter that contrasts with the audiovisual display of the projects selected for the show. In short, the exhibition comprises a set of different wooden pavilions, reaching a height of four metres, and which have been built completely by hand by the falla artist Manolo García.

Valencia Pavilion. The Future is Design” is the first port of call for a travelling show that will be present at the main fairs across the world and which is not static, but will always be open to the inclusion of many other projects that, through design, promote a change in the way we think, produce, communicate and act from the point of view of the five topics included in the show.

Selection of projects included in the exhibition
Where we would normally have found physical objects and designs, this time we find projections, screens specially designed to provide examples of innovation and pure avant-garde. Each one of the wooden pavilions present in the space contains audiovisual pieces that explore the five topics curated by Estudio Savage: the circular economy, contemporary industry and craftsmanship, the transformative economy, art and design, and technology.

In the sample it will be possible to find benchmark product design firms with Valencian DNA, such as Actiu, Andreu World, Capdell, Expormim, GAN Rugs, Lladró, LZF Lamps, Point, Porcelanosa, Punt and Vondom.

Creative figures of considerable national and international renown such as Masquespacio, Jaime Hayón, Inma Bermúdez, Nacho Carbonell, Juan Vidal, Anna Talens, Pepe Gimeno and Héctor Serrano.

And also great creators such as the urban artist ESCIF, the visual artist Felipe Pantone, the illustrator África Pitarch, Rocío Gallardo and Jorge Ros (who are responsible for the jewellery firm Simuero), the illustrator Diego Mir, the artist Ovidi Benet, the ceramist Ana Illueca, as well as the glass blowing firm Sorribes.

In addition, the exhibition will enable the public to discover projects of a more experimental nature, such as ADBioplastics (dedicated to the creation of biodegradable packaging); Decafé, Xufa Proceso and Naifactory (all focused on the reuse of organic materials such as coffee, the chufa nuts from horchata and olive pits, respectively, for the generation of new products).

The projects focused on promoting awareness in society include companies of global reach, such as Closca, the firm Jeanología (responsible for the manufacture of jeans ensuring zero residues and emissions) and the social design initiative Free Design Bank (which sets out to boost the economy of developing communities thanks to the design of local products); Néctar Estudio and its app conceived to combat bullying in schools, the textile firm Equipo DRT (present in the show with a collection of upcycled fabrics), the Azalea project of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (focused on formulating the shapes of a totally sustainable and contemporary Valencian barraca, a type of traditional house), and Casas InHAUS (the company dedicated to manufacturing residential properties with optimised construction and design).

For its part, the technological vanguard will be present thanks to the work of Jorge Herrera Studio for Flos, the construction of self-ventilated façades using graphene (by the brand Graphenglass), the studio Alegre Design with Eyesynth glasses for blind people (which convert space into vibrations with which to identify depth and locate nearby objects); the ceramics brand Museum Surfaces, and the fashion firm Sepiia (with sustainable garments that do not stain, crease or smell).

In short, a compilation of the success stories that are beginning to write the near future of design and creativity. As curator, Estudio Savage will incorporate new projects as the schedule progresses, with the aim of enhancing the connection with the present status of Mediterranean design and rewarding research and avant-garde trends in this field.

Valencia as guest city of Madrid Design Festival 2021
This exhibition is a small sample of what we will be able to see in Valencia in 2022. Topics which, like the programme, are transversal and involve such diverse areas as ecology, economy, art, culture, diversity or inclusion. We wanted to bring to Madrid a different selection of projects that are leading a silent transformation of society and which show how, from design, it is possible to change the way we understand and face the world. Shaped during the pandemic, we have presented pavilions that speak of Valencian tradition, craftsmanship, architecture, nature and life, and which include projections full of reasons to create a better society,” explained Xavi Calvo, director of World Design Capital Valencia 2022.

It is a very ambitious installation, not only because it has been brought to Madrid, but because of the way it explains why Valencia is World Design Capital 2022. The installation is undeniably comprehensive, with an extensive panorama of design and creation in the Valencian Community, and it is a wonderful way to discover the reasons for which Valencia has been selected to be World Design Capital in 2022. This installation shows that the tradition of craftsmanship is in the DNA of our society, and its progression and evolution are shown in this exhibition, where large companies and institutions support and develop design. It is no coincidence that this only happens in Valencia, it is deeply rooted in the culture and tradition of a society that has been able to see design as an ally. And it is important to broadcast this in the rest of Spain,” explained Álvaro Matías, director of Madrid Design Festival.

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