Utopia is Possible Exhibition
20.06.2012 - 20.01.2013
MACBA, Placa dels Angels 1, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
The 7th International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) Congress, organised by the Association for Industrial Design and the Promotion of the Decorative Arts (ADI/FAD) was held in Eivissa in 1971. The congress established a bridge between international design and architecture and art.
Aside from dealing with issues relating to the philosophy, politics, sociology and pedagogy of design, the organisers also hosted a series of events that avoided the stiffness and formality of congresses. To start with, a group of students led by the architects Fernando Bendito and Carlos Ferrater, with the collaboration of Jos? Miguel de Prada Poole, created Instant City, an ephemeral, inflatable architecture intended to provide temporary accommodation for students attending the congress and a central hub for people and ideas.
The opening party, organised by Jaume Xifra, Antoni Miralda and Dorothee Selz, consisted of a multicolour ritual involving food, masks and brightly coloured tunics, with Valencian musician Carles Santos directing the orchestra. In an intervention called Vacuflex, Muntadas and Gonzalo Mezza moved a Vacuflex tube to different sites and allowed the public to configure it into different shapes. Meanwhile, Josep Ponsati set up a huge inflatable sculpture on the Bay of Sant Miquel. All of these were open interventions in which participants were invited to take part.
The congress eschewed the urban venues in which these kinds of events are usually held and, instead, it was conceived as a flexible structure that allowed constant and full information sharing among the participants. Rather than using a conference centre, the Grup Obert de Disseny Urquianona, made up of architects and designers, adapted some sections of a series of hotels. The subjects discussed in these rooms were not limited to matters related to design. They also revolved around architecture and urban planning, artistic production and a range of philosophical issues.
The congress also included a large-scale audiovisual multimedia work (Olivetti's Implicor), an exhibition of popular arts and crafts, another on contemporary design, and a Pau Riba concert, among other activities.
The congress was one of a series of events relating to design, architecture and artistic production, and their relationship with pedagogy that had been organised in Catalonia for some time (along with the creation of the groundbreaking schools Elisava and Eina, which was directed by Albert Rafols-Casamada, one of the organisers of the ICSID in 1971).
The exposition brings together documents and a range of material related to the congress.