24 November 2006 – 5 January 2007
Conversational Spanish included the work of 15 creative designers, two photographers and a filmmaker. The exhibition was the second of a two-part collaboration between The Aram Gallery and the Spanish Embassy exploring new Spanish design. Conversational Spanish introduced a number of new faces and established designers to the UK, sourced from a vibrant contemporary design-scape that includes Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia.
The exhibition spotlights one of the most basic elements in the nature of the way designers work: which is that engaging with experimental ideas is inextricably linked to generating original commercial products. The designers in this show were linked by the playful experimental nature of their design process and by the fact that they have at least one manufactured product available on the market. The pieces in this show are highlights from these designers current practice.
What is Spanish about this collection of designs?
The selections were made with a focus on designs that offer insight into the way designers think – some explore and interpret traditional artefacts, some propose new typologies while others try out new materials, alternative ways of production or suggestions for new ways of using known types of products.
The communication of new design ideas takes the form of prototypes and photographic storytelling. This imagery, co-authored by the designer and the photographers, explores the design concepts with the aid of fictional characters and offers up a way of interpreting the relationship of people to objects.
The exhibition was a mix of commercially produced and experimental or proposed designs. The manufactured objects were produced by 12 companies that work in plastic, wire, rubber, metal, fabric, glass and with a variety of technologies. All these companies have supported the translation from experimentation to production. The rest of the pieces came directly from the designers’ studios presented here with the hope of setting off a dialogue with curious producers.