For a city where a new, often privately owned, museum pops up pretty regularly, the Museu del Disseny is creating a lot of buzz, even amongst friends that don’t necessarily get a kick out of that sort of ‘thing’. It certainly comes in an imposing package – a brutalist, hammerhead-shaped building at Glòries, the city’s new eastern ‘gateway’. Neither as colourful nor fanciful as its famous neighbours (Nouvel’s Torre Agbar and the flashy new home of Els Encants flea market), it was designed by veteran local studio MBM, the architects responsible for much of the city’s award-winning, pre-Olympic facelift. Some believe the decision to award this prime public project to them was a sign of gratitude.
Spread over four floors, the exhibitions focus on the same number of disciplines: decorative arts, graphic arts, costume and industrial or ‘everyday’ design. Whilst I didn’t have time to view the decorative arts, and can’t imagine that the pieces would surpass the glorious modernista collection of furniture at the MNAC, the other three floors had me drooling. No shots of the exhibition salas have been released yet (the museum officially opens this Saturday, December 13th) but here is taste of what you will see.
The Graphic Design Collection features works from 1940 to 1980, and given the relative abundance of pieces available to the collector, the curators have made the wise choice to favour quality rather than quantity. It’s a joyous ride for lovers of color, the sharp and astute forms of Spanish mid-century poster art and vintage travel posters (the early Iberia ones are a treat).