A year devoted to design in all its forms by a city where the age-old bond between Life, Art and Progress grows closer all the time. You won’t spend a day or two in Barcelona in 2003 without bumping into some event or exhibition or whatever linked to the city’s Año de Deseño. And, if you opt for a visit to coincide with the Salon de Automóvil, you’ll make hands-on contact with another fact of Barcelona life: the presence of foreign car firms’ design centres.
Those special events apart, the Catalan coast is a constant ferment of activity, now that it has become the New Mecca of car design, recent arrivals including the Japanese manufacturer Subaru and designer Erwin Himmel, who set up his own independent design studio in Barcelona, two years ago. He called it “Fuore” and it does industrial design, as well as cars.
Auto & Design 140 offers a tour through the action-packed life of the European Capital of Design. The journey starts with the motor show, where this year’s Seat stand introduced a major debut in the form of the Cupra GT prototype, Renault launched its new Mégane Tourer and Sedan, Lancia unveiled its Stilnovo concept and the Fuore studio presented its first completely independent prototype: the Jaguar Xf 10.
Another opportunity for a close-up view of Catalan design at its most exciting came with the exhibition “Designing Cars in Barcelona”, staged in the gardens of the Paseig de Gracia in the city centre. At that event, design schools like Elisava and IED, as well as the design centres of Renault, Volvo and Seat demonstrated the methods and processes that underpin the cars we all drive, as well as all research models and prototypes.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 140