Design and alternative production models : Carles Riart and countercultural movements in the Barcelona of the 1970s
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Through the examples of one of the greatest luminaries of Barcelona design, Carles Riart, and specifically the creation of one of the milestone products of his career, the "do-it-yourself modular furniture kit series" (1974), this paper explores the manner in which the social and cultural transformations that began to emerge in the final stage of the Franco regime in the 1970s and the deep economic and industrial crisis gave rise to a new approach to design against the market and the emergence of design editors in Barcelona such as Mobles 114, Bd and Insòlit, which were founded to generate opportunity for products that the industry at large was not ready to produce and market. Thus, the rationalist aesthetics of the "do-it-yourself modular furniture kit series" and its technical development, which was centred on serial production, would cross paths with the handcraft production model initially followed by Carles Riart when he began to work at the Estudi-Taller, in Diputació Street. Both militancy and his firm belief in the value of a straight-forward product that was affordable for most people brought him to promote his new furniture in culturally alternative circles such as those of the Canet Rock Festival and other events. Hidden beneath this experience was a statement of intent that would mark the direction of his career: "To stop designing for the industrial market and against big industry that sought to bring local industrial handcrafts together with the designer and the costumer. A new process that would also have an impact on the environmentalis values that began to gain momentum in around 1972. Thus, this insight to the way in which the design editors of Barcelona emerged in times of heavy economic crisis may serve to help us establish certain connections with the current circumstances surrounding design and the limited prospects offered by the Spanish industry for the creation of new products.
SubjectRiart, Carles -- Crítica i interpretació
Mobles -- Disseny
Mobles -- Indústria i comerç -- Catalunya