Intermediate zone. Art, design and society

Exhibition project curated by Curro Claret, with the participation of Artlantique - Basurama - Camper - Emili Padrós - Gemma Busquets - Ikea and Unicef - Katrina Furniture Project (Jenga Mwendo and Tammy Petro) - Laura Arqués, Marta Petreñas and Massimiliano Scaglione - Lee Kiseung - Makea - Mariscal - Martí Guixé - Nanimarquina - Pablo España - Recetas Urbanas/Santiago Cirugeda - Shigeru Ban Architects

With the collaboration of Escola d’Art i Superior de Disseny de Vic and Escola d'Art i Superior de Disseny Pau Gargallo de Badalona.

23.02.2012 – 19.05.2012

Opening and discussion table, thursday 23.02.2012 7pm with the participation of Martí Guixé designer, Nani Marquina designer and entrepreneur, Octavi Rofes anthropologist and subdirector of the school Eina, Curro Claret designer and Ramon Parramon director of ACVic. See Activities linked to the exhibition

INTERMEDIATE ZONE. ART, DESIGN AND SOCIETY

This exhibition is an heterogeneous and intentionally dispersed collection of projects which, from a design perspective, tackles a number of questions regarding life within society, starting out from a different set of parameters to those we might usually expect.

Supposedly the first priority of design should be "people" but in practice this is not often so clear. Many other interests are mixed up and highlighted. I do not believe this to be the case with the projects exhibited in the show; if they have anything in common, it is the effort behind each one of them to highlight and prioritise the humane over other factors.

With this  exhibition we aim to offer an open and complex vision of an attitude and a way of doing things with the deliberate belief that the role and the involvement of people in the construction of the environment should be much larger, much more intense and much more pleasurable than it usually is. As the theoretician Italian Ezio Manzini says in the way of a formula, more well-being equals less use of natural resources plus more sociability.

Some would like to think that despite the apparent hegemony that the image holds within the field of design (and in any other field), we are also witnessing a growing awareness and appreciation of the fact that the most important object is not just the final object, but what it can promote, generate and catalyse. Everyone who, in one way or another, comes into relationship during any part of the process and the life-cycle of a specific design or design service (including those involved in the construction process, or as end users) must have as rich, stimulating and enjoyable an experience with it as possible.

The selection of pieces for  the exhibition, inevitably partial and personal, attempts to demonstrate this broad vision through projects from very different contexts and with very different ambitions, dealing with various aspects of life such as health, food, the elderly, how to decide on the use of urban space, the 15-M movement, relations between locals and newcomers, labour relations between first World countries and others with cheaper workforces, or responses to "natural" disasters.

Finally I would like to point out that in almost all, if not all, the projects submitted, few resources have been necessary to carry them out. Addressing these "big issues" does not require big resources, nor does it require the initiative of great powers, nor need it be large-scale. Obviously, a little can go a long way.

Curro Claret


Artlantique, african upcycling. Artlantique, 2010 - 2012
The fishermen western Africa decorate their boats with colourful geometrical motifs; seen from a distance, in the evening, the beach becomes a huge mosaic of colours. Attracted by its beauty, we ask if whether, after their long ocean voyage, the timber could begin another life, "reincarnate itself" as an item of furniture; few people know as much about the concept of "recycling" as Africans.
Arlantique transforms history, the soul, old west African wooden fishing boats into furniture; every item of is made out of old  Senegalese wooden canoes by local carpenters and artisans. The wood, with its colour and its symbols, has no post-treatment; it remains unspoiled, with all its wounds and scars after many years of sailing, preserving its prior status as a boat and sailing the Atlantic, standing witness to the lives of African fishermen. http://artlantique.com

Bicinecleta. Basurama, 2011
The Bicinecleta is a mobile device for audio-visual projection. It consists of a cargo bike made ​​with old bicycle parts, attached to an audiovisual projection system. Since it carries an autonomous projection system, the Bicinecleta may be used in public spaces, and to project images in city streets and town squares. In this way, the Bicinecleta becomes a vehicle of participatory expression for residents' desires or fears, as well as a way of capturing the group identity of people in the physical space they inhabit.
The Bicinecleta is designed by Basurama, an artists' collective created in 2001, engaging in research, production and cultural management, which has focused its study and performance on production processes, and the creative possibilities derived from the waste generated by these processes. http://.basurama.org

Shoes and indigenous art. Camper, 2000
The world we know consists of over 5.000 different cultures which keep alive what we call diversity, identity or tradition, keywords in our way of looking at the world. This is why we embark on this journey through thirty or so indigenous villages from different continents. It is a tribute, a return trip for anyone who cares to acknowledge the richness and grandeur of these threatened peoples, and the debt owed to them by the West.
Shoes and Indigenous Art reflects our attempt to offer indigenous peoples the only thing we know how to make, shoes, and to give them character with the living imprint of these peoples' culture and artistic expression, in the hope that what we see today, lines, signs, colours, means much more than this; that they hold the essential everyday lessons of these rich, living and indispensible cultures. Cultures in danger of disappearance, and so putting at stake our passport to the future. Because we cannot imagine a worthwhile future if we cannot succeed in keeping alive, as they do, the concepts of respect, balance and contact with the earth. http://pepcarrio.com/empresa/camper/

Ask me! - Culture Badge, Emili Padrós, 2004
With collaboration of: Alejandro Mingarro Fotografia: Xavier Padrós
The Culture Badges are used as a "mediating" object within public space to foster communication between "local" people and those who have come from far away.Using a similar strategy to badges worn to advertise slimming treatments or to quit smoking, the Culture Badges graphically demand attention, and with messages of cultural content attempt to stimulate public curiosity, leading to dialogue between people of various origins.
But "local" people would also like to explain about their city and its culture to those who have arrived from other parts of the world as a kind of ritual of welcome, and as a sign of openness and willingness to hear about new cultures.
http://emilianadesign.com

Grandma. Gemma Busquets, 2008
Project undertaken
as a final study to
ELISAVA Escola Superior de Disseny i Enginyeria de Barcelona , supervised by professors Martin Ruiz Azua and Victor Viña.
Grandma is a brand of slip-cases for tech products (computers, music players and cameras) made ​using the crochet technique, the raw materials for which are supermarket plastic bags. The main reason for the project, the workers given the task of making the product, are elderly women from a small-town old folks' home who must perform activities such as crochet to keep active. They meet two afternoons a week to exchange knowledge, weaving unhurriedly and painstakingly.
In recent years, we find that a vast majority of everyday products are imported from countries with fewer economic resources, where labour rights are minimal or even nonexistent. This project originated with a desire to demonstrate that behind the products we consume regularly, there is a manufacturing process involving important issues, such as as the choice of materials or geographic location but mostly, people. http://gemmabusquets.com

Charity Auction of Lack tables. IKEA/UNICEF, 2011
As part of the 15th Anniversary celebrations of IKEA in Spain and the 50th Anniversary of UNICEF Spain, the two organisations arranged a charitable auction for  LACK tables redecorated by 100 prominent personalities from different fields, writers, chefs, athletes, singers, designers, architects, radio  and television presentors, journalists and actors expressed their creativity in a personal way on the 55 cm2 surface of this side furniture (Antonio Miró, Ferran Adria, Sergio Ramos, Quini, David Bisbal, Amaya Arzuaga Andreu Buenafuente, etc.).
The funds from this charity auction were allocated to the 'Schools for Africa' programme, an initiative by UNICEF with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Hamburg Society  (now called  Peter Krämer Stiftung), which involves the creation of classrooms to ensure a safe environment in which children can play and learn. In addition, the implementation of these schools allows access to clean water and sanitation, as well as information on hygiene, health and HIV / AIDS. http://unicef.es

Wooden Stool. Jenga Mwendo and Tammy Petro (Katrina Furniture Project), 2006-07
The Katrina Furniture Project was established as a response to the effects of Hurricane Katrina. In neighbourhood workshops, furniture is manufactured using debris and materials left by the storm.The goal is to help strengthen the economic and social capacity of the neighbourhoods of New Orleans which face, and which faced even before Katrina, serious economic and social problems.  The workshops are aimed at members of the community to build furniture and teaching them the basic skills  so that they can generate business. It functions as a place run by residents, a resource centre and work space to rebuild their homes. The workshops have been manufacturing recycled wooden benches, which are sold to churches to replace those lost in more than ninety churches destroyed by the storm, as well as chairs, stools and other furniture. http://designother90.org

Blood pack of Santaclaus. Lee Kiseung, 2007
“Put your present in the socks, somewhen it wil be back to you”
The Christmas season is often a period of possessive consumption by those with good health, plenty of money and a good quality of life. Blinded by the season, and concerned with spending as much as possible, we often neglect the disabled, sick or poor. This is not only limited  to the Christmas season. Lately, people  have tended to respond distantly to the fact of donating.This phenomenon has led to a passive commitment towards society and our lives, weakening bonds among people.

These issues led me to create this project. By combining two representative elements, the shape of the sock, symbol of Christmas, and blood transfusion as a symbol of a donation, some content emerge stimulating our subconscious, while raising awareness about organ donation and the meaning of exchange. I hope this project will inspire an increase in blood donation, or will be a call to improve the quality of our lives. http://leekiseung.com

Señor Mundo and campaign of the childhood and adolecence laws. Mariscal, 1994-98
The character of Señor Mundo is an initiative from Mariscal's own studio, rejecting today's anachronistic ecological discourse, stuck in catastrophism and the aesthetics of pamphleteering and backpacking. We felt it was time to preach about a sustainable society from an optimistic, friendly and positive point of view. Since the imagery of the Studio chimes with this tone, it was not too hard to put our stamp in the service of environmental and social causes. Señor Mundo is published periodically as a comic strip in the Sunday supplement of the newspaper El Pais. http://mariscal.com/es/proyectos/srmundo

Sponsored food. Martí Guixé, 1997
cK potato omelette, Fuji onion omelette, IBM bean.
Fotografia: Imagekontainer
I never thought the Sponsored Food Project as a system for the poor or the Third World. I created this concept thinking about my artist friends who need to work in a bad job to earn enough money to survive. This creates a bad influence on their artistic work.
The idea of ​​creating a network of Sponsored food restaurants allows people to be free of social behaviour arising from the need for survival ( competition, work, family). Eating for free inevitably leads to unpredictable reactions and raises social transformations.
Sponsored food has a double meaning which refers to the sense of nature at the dawn of humanity and capitalism today. http://guixe.com

Project Kala. Nanimarquina, 2008
The Kala Project arose from the collaboration of Nanimarquina with the association Care & Fair. Aware of the importance of initiatives which contribute to the development and progress of India, our leading producing country, we had always dreamed of carrying out a comprehensive project for the children of carpet artisans. So three years ago, taking the creativity and imagination of young Indians as a starting point, we organised a drawing competition among pupils of various schools. Care & Fair, and later the design team of Nani Marquina, developed the drawing, and the winner became the carpet Kala.
The aim of the project was to allocate 150 € of each rug sold towards the funding of a school in Bhadohi (India). The idea was clear, education is the first step towards development and equality, therefore, funding a school would provide a better future for children in Bhadohi, a small rural village located a few kilometres from Varanasi dedicated to agriculture and the traditional manufacturing of carpets. http:// kala.nanimarquina.com

Planning with lights. Recetas Urbanas - Santiago Cirugeda, 1996
Photosensitive planimeters. I was invited by a group of architect friends,  Felix, Juanjo  and Jose Enrique, to participate in a symposium on urban planning Plan Urbanístico Especial para el Barrio de San Bernardo de Sevilla (historic suburb of open and vital community life). Senior politicians and well-known architects were expected to attend, which is why my work had a fundamental intention: to bring together and encourage local residents to actively participate in decisions which were to be negotiated at this meeting. I had full confidence because 36 years earlier through neighbourhood mobilisation a General Plan, proposing a  transformation as harmful as the one to be carried out in the present, was stopped.
Many neighbours allowed their electricity supply to be used to run 14 illuminated back-packs of  2 fluorescent lights each, connected in series and brought by neighbours and friends in the neighbourhood, in order to build with light traces the different projects and demands that they wanted to bring to the discussion. http://recetasurbanas.net

Emergency Support for East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Shigeru Ban Architects, 2011
Paper shelters or paper  compartments system 4 for evacuation facilities.
The main problem after a disaster is to give shelter to the many refugees. In the vast spaces of public buildings in case of evacuation, there is no privacy among occasional neighbours. There is a need to create compartments, which should be easy to produce and transport. The PPS4 are made of sheets of cardboard to protect against and insulate from sunlight, or open frames  where a curtain can be placed.
On 11 March 2011, an earthquake of 9.0 magnitude struck the Tohoku region, east of Japan. To the people  taking refuge in gymnasiums and the hallways of public buildings,  we provided new compartments, made ​​of cardboard tubes, using the paper compartments system. (PPS4). http://shigerubanarchitects.com

Taller Andocupando. Makea tu vida, 2011
At the conference "Arte visita la Biblio" Library art  visit" Andocupando, a workshop aiming to provide content to the inside of the Fundación Mundo Juvenil (Quito, Ecuador) was conducted. The premise was to build a space for a different way of reading, a place to learn how to play.
The workshop had a wide variety of leftovers, from a bouncy castle, metal structures, scraps of cloth of a thousand colours, easels and whiteboards, to chairs, cable reels, pallets, wheels ... provided mainly by the garbage collection company of Quito (Emaseo), General Motors and the store of the Foundation own's warehouse.
The team: a multidisciplinary and international group formed by the four  members  of Tramvia Zero , two membersof Al Borde, one of Recetas Urbanas and one from Makeatuvida, along with more than twenty volunteers from the Universities of PUCE,  UDLA, and USFQ, which created and dressed the space of more than 200 square metres in 10 days by working 8 hours each day.  http://makeatuvida.net


Pancarta d'Artista. Laura Arqués, Marta Petreñas i Massimiliano Scaglione, 2011
Project by ’Escola Massana's students tutored by  Jordi Canudas and Antonio Ortega
"We want a decent neighbourhood" is a protest slogan which, unconsciously or not, supports the intervention of Barcelona City Council with regard to the renewal of the Raval neighbourhood, in order to make it more profitable, and more complicit with the commercial policy, as well as the policy of throwing the city wide-open to tourism, which supports the sale of the Barcelona brand.
"Artist's Banner", Pancarta d'artista, is based on the reuse of the format and typeface of the above-mentioned posters, replacing the contents of the message of protest with more specific arguments directed at the root of the problem. In the first phase, as a field investigation, there were talks with neighbours and neighbourhood associations, interviews with architects, planners and pedestrians. In a second phase of the project the banners with transcripts, opinions and ideas from the neighbours were distributed throughout the neighbourhood.
During the exhibition there will be an adaptation of the project in a neighbourhood of the city of Vic. http://derivaicontrol.tumblr.com

ARCHIVO TEMPORAL vol. 1, Recopilació de Pablo España, 2011
Archivo Temporal vol.1, Recopilació de Pablo España, 2011
This is an archive which includes images of agitation and propaganda related with the15-M movement and the occupation of the Puerta del Sol in Madrid. The archive is not conceived as art or design, neither in terms of market, nor institution, nor even as an alternative, as it expressly renounces consideration as art or design, although it uses certain tactics from these fields. It has nothing to do with aesthetics but perhaps with ethics. It is political.  Spontaneous, collective, anonymous expression,s reflecting the need to speak, the urgent need to express dissent with the current state of things, trying to work towards building a new reality.
The Temporary File vol. 1 is constituted with own and images from:
El Archivo Temporal vol. 1:
http://contraindicaciones.net

http://www.flickr.com/photos/63095696@N05

Images of the t-shirts by Santi Ochoa:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotosdecamisetas/sets/72157626616174291
i http://gruponumax.wordpress.com

Activities linked to the exhibition:

Disseny, art i societat. Design, Art and Society debate table.
Martí Guixé, Nani Marquina, Octavi Rofes, Curro Claret and Ramon Parramon
23.02.2012 at 7pm

Critic Design. Workshop by Curro Claret
Design and implementation of an action in different areas of the city, highlighting or questioning some aspect or value of society and its way of life. The workshop will be taught in schools of art and higher design in Vic and Badalona. Some results of the workshop will be included in the exhibition.

Workshop at Escola d’Art i Superior de Disseny -Vic
24.04.2012 to 27.04.2012

Workshop Escola d’Art i Superior de Disseny Pau Gargallo - Badalona
12.03.2012 al 16.03.2012

Thanks to:
Escola Massana Centre d'Art i Disseny de Barcelona
ELISAVA Escola Superior de Disseny i Enginyeria de Barcelona

Workshop Critic Design of the Escola Pau Gargallo de Badalona:

 

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