València, Spain, 17 June 2022 — Coinciding with its official opening to the public after two months of work in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Agora Valencia unveiled today its own calendar of activities to sustain the link between citizens and the World Design Capital. From the heart of the city, these new activities will be added to the more than 200 already programmed initiatives throughout the Valencia region, including workshops, exhibitions, conferences and meetings.

Agora Valencia is a project of World Design Capital Valencia 2022 and the Valencia City Council, which has the support of the Provincial Council of Valencia, La Marina de València and the companies Inalco, Wandegar and iGuzzini, and takes over from the pavilions that were built in other World Design Capitals such as Helsinki (2012) or Taipei (2016).

Miguel Arraiz, architect, creator and project director of World Design Capital Valencia 2022, is responsible for the architectural project of Agora Valencia, together with Arqueha Arquitectura y Urbanismo, in charge of technical development, and with the collaboration of Cosín Estudio.

The purpose of Agora Valencia is reflected in the materials and manufacturing of the venue and in its construction, which fuses tradition and avant-garde, crafts and industry, using only wooden rods and a material similar to ceramics known as MDi. The construction of the pavilion has seen the participation of companies such as Inalco, Wandegar and iGuzzini, and studios and professionals such as Manolo García Carpintería Artística, Radiante Creative Studio, ATG Desarrollos, Josep Martí and Quatre Caps. With the opening of Agora Valencia, the city celebrates with citizens and visitors alike its status as the global epicenter of design, and gains a new venue open to the community as a legacy of the transformative force of design.

At the opening ceremony, Mayor Joan Ribó stated that “starting today, our Plaza del Ayuntamiento has a new building to admire and enjoy. Agora Valencia tells a lot about what we are, with an architecture that speaks of the Valencian industry through its ceramics, of the waves of the sea through its roof, which is, in turn, a tribute to our festivals: the Fallas. A place of shade and meeting, of comfort and information, where its design invites everyone who passes by to make it their own. A space that also offers the first shade of the square. Moreover, its design and architecture, the materials that compose it, guarantee a much more pleasant thermal sensation than in the rest of the square.”

Why did Valencia need a pavilion?

Following in the footsteps of the pavilions that other World Design Capitals such as Helsinki (2012) and Taipei (2016) built as the heart of their programme, where design can be seen and experienced, València takes advantage of the opportunity to bring design closer to the public, as well as companies and institutions.

Since the official designation by World Design Organization®, València knew that it should have not only a central venue to showcase the programme of the World Design Capital 2022, but also a meeting point that would connect it to the people. For this reason, we imagined a place in the heart of the city where the story of Valencian design could be told, which is that of its industry, that of craftsmanship and that of the structuring of an entire territory, and to do so with a future towards sustainability and materials.

“The city of Valencia as we know it is the result of more than a century of design. Urban, architectural, artistic, product, interior and graphic design that has allowed it to earn its place as a city with a global vocation”, said Xavi Calvo, director of World Design Capital Valencia 2022. “In Agora Valencia, we bring together the Valencian society, tourism, people… to encourage everyone to participate and to know what we are from our own venue. A place from which to become aware of the presence of design in our daily lives, its role in the city model we want, and its importance in the projection of our industry and economy into the future.”

Programme of activities open to all audiences

Agora Valencia has been conceived as the strategic center of the World Design Capital Valencia 2022 programme, in order to reinforce the scope of the countless projects, exhibitions, talks and meetings that take place every day in all corners of the city. In this way, from this month of June onwards, it stands as a meeting point from which locals and visitors alike can enjoy Valencian design and get to know professionals, entities, institutions and companies rooted in the culture of creativity and innovation. This venue is a central meeting point where visitors can learn about the World Design Capital Valencia 2022 and, at the same time, facilitate the exchange of ideas and act as an open forum for round tables, conferences and presentations on design, educational workshops and both social and professional meetings.

The programme, which is growing month by month, presents continuous activity through children’s workshops for families on weekends, debates on how design improves people’s lives and meetings to reflect design’s role across areas such as urban planning, ecology, international projection, the image of the city, sustainable growth or internationalization. 

The Agora programme will include collaborations with other entities, such as La Marina de Valencia, which will present musical and artistic proposals every Thursday in July and August with its own cycle of activities under the title “Els dijous a la Marina”. The Agora will, in turn, be a space for valuing Valencian creativity, through meetings with the media, live radio programmes, professional presentations or more casual meetings. 

In the month of June alone, the Agora begins an active programme of activities starting on 22 June at 10:30 a.m. local time with the “Presentation and Analysis of the Ethics Code of Design READ”, organized by READ the Spanish Network of Design Associations. This code has been created based on the analysis of 24 deontological codes of associations around the world, the study of codes from other professional fields, the reading of bibliography on applied ethics and participatory processes with people associated or related to READ.

On Wednesday 22 June at 7:30 p.m. local time, the pavilion will host the premiere of the trailer for “Tocadas”, a documentary series produced by Anacaona Productions where creatives, artists and artisans behind the most influential Spanish brands are interviewed. Its creator, the multidisciplinary architect and designer Lola Rúa, proposes that the viewer feel that they are part of intimate conversations with individuals who have evidenced the connection between beauty and business, serving as an inspiring and educational tool for the public. The first season of “Tocadas” will premiere on Instagram and focuses on recovering lost values​​in the post-COVID era, such as time or physical encounters. On the other hand, and under the umbrella of its “The New Habitat” project, APE Grupo will hold a presentation and round table at Agora Valencia on 28 June at 10:00 a.m. in which the design trends of spaces in the post-pandemic reality.

 On 29 June, World Industrial Design Day, Agora Valencia will dress up to celebrate its inaugural party, premiering the light show by Radiante Lab that will make it shine every sunset. On this occasion, the designer Ausias Pérez and the versatile artist Dano will present their Letterism™ project, a global community where hundreds of collaborators contribute to preserving typographic heritage. 

The Finnish company Artek joins the celebration of World Design Capital Valencia 2022 and sponsors the screening of a documentary about Alvar Aalto at Agora Valencia. On 30 June at 7:30 p.m. local time, “Aalto” will be screened, a documentary about the Finnish architect made by director Virpi Suutari. In his tour of international film festivals, the applause has been unanimous. Next, eight short films will broaden the perspective of this master of modern architecture. 

A complete agenda of activities with EMTRE Metropolitan Entity for Waste Treatment will host some events during the months of June and July to reflect on the role of design in the field of recycling and waste removal. Children’s workshops, round tables and other activities that will value the role of design in the field of sustainability.

Alluding to the year of the design capital status, from July onwards, every 22nd of each month will be a meeting day for citizens, institutions and professionals who, under the same theme, will be able to debate in the “design and city” meetings around how design improves people’s lives.

Valencian craftsmanship, innovation, industry, light and talent, axes of the architectural project

“From the beginning we presented the project as a gift for the present and future of Valencia, putting people at the center”, explained Miguel Arraiz. “In this unique opportunity to bring design and its transversality closer to citizens, companies and institutions, Agora Valencia investigates the materials and the craft tradition of our territory. In addition to extolling the Valencian roots, which describe a way of doing things, the materials and construction systems that allow the modular and removable format of the pavilion constitute a determined commitment to circularity and durability.” With an area of ​​350 square meters, this modular pavilion tells the story of a renowned design born on the shores of the Mediterranean, of materials arising from ceramic innovation and traditions such as the “vareta” by the artist Manolo García.

Agora Valencia consists of a structure with dimensions in plan of 24 by 10 meters and a height of 9 meters. The building is covered with a skin developed by the companies Inalco and Wandegar from pieces of MDI placed perpendicularly on the façade to filter the light as the hours go by. In fact, light has been treated as one more construction material, and other elements such as the upper deck, of great aesthetic power, also contribute to this.

The piece of brace that roofs the pavilion is made by Manolo García, master carpentry and Fallas artist who returns to the square where he has “planted” his creations so many times. This element simulates the waves of the Mediterranean Sea in reference to the city as a historical point of union between different cultures.

The Inalco signature is present on the façade and ceiling, designed with MDi from the Silk Blanco collection. MDi (Minerals, Design, Innovation) is an innovative surface, developed with the purest minerals, which allows body and surface to present total aesthetic continuity. MDi is a sustainable product as it is formulated with 50% recycled material from its own process. Likewise, its Full Digital technology, unique in its sector worldwide, saves 70% of water and avoids the use of solvents. 

For its part, the engineering company for innovative technical applications for ceramic ceilings Wandegar has faced the Agora Valencia project as a real challenge, for which it has devised an architectural envelope solution that stands out for its simplicity and lightness without compromising safety or the modularity of the format.

The Arqueha studio, coordinator of Plan Zero for the climate transition of three neighbourhoods in the city of Valencia, has been in charge of carrying out the technical development of the project by applying prefabrication and sustainability parameters. With the use of digital tools such as BIM, together with parametric design, all the components of the building have been solved in an industrialized manner, making each of the frames that support the slats unique, prefabricated and removable.

Agora Valencia is also a space that has been conceived following thermal comfort strategies. Its design takes into account climatic variables such as air circulation and solar radiation, and directly influences the improvement of the feeling of comfort in relation to the rest of the square. The solar protection formed by the skin of vertical slats, manages to reduce the amount of solar radiation coming from the east and west, while the wooden roof acts in a similar way with the light coming from the south, allowing in any case the natural ventilation of the building. The sum of solar protection and ventilation, manage to lower the comfort temperature inside the pavilion by up to 10 degrees compared to any other point in the square, and all this without energy input and therefore with 0 CO2 emissions. 

Every evening from June 29, an artistic and immersive lighting installation created by the Radiante creative studio, will turn the pavilion into a great lighthouse as a symbol of the pride of the entire city of Valencia for being the World Design Capital.

Video trailer for the Agora Valencia developed Quatre Caps

10:00 a.m.
Presentation and Analysis of the “READ Design Ethics Code”

On June 22 at 10:00 a.m., READ will officially present the “READ Design Code of Ethics” at Agora Valencia, which will be attended by representatives from the education, business and institutional sectors to put on the table the different visions of its application. The event will be attended by the Director of World Design Capital Valencia 2022, Xavi Calvo; READ President Uqui Permui; Esti Iregi, Director of IDarte, the Euskadi Public School of Art and Superior Design and Secretary of ACESEA; Eugenio Vega, President of CEA; a representative of the Cosentino Company; and Antoni Mañach, editor of the code of ethics that was unanimously approved last March during the READ General Assembly. The table will be moderated by Ángel Martínez, president of the ADCV.


7:00 p.m.
Trailer of “Tocadas”

Agora Valencia will be the setting for the exclusive presentation of the trailer for “Tocadas”, the new docuseries that explores how creatives, artists and artisans in Spain infuse beauty into their professions. Produced by Anacaona Productions, it interviews creatives, artists and artisans behind the most influential brands in Spain. Created by the multidisciplinary architect and designer Lola Rúa Ayllón, “Tocadas” invites the viewer to feel that they are part of intimate conversations with individuals who have evidenced the connection between beauty and business, serving as an inspiring and educational tool for the public. The docuseries will be presented within the framework of World Design Capital Valencia 2022 on June 22 at 7:00 p.m. with the participation of all those interviewed.


10:00 a.m.
Presentation and round table APE: “The New Habitat”

On June 28 at 10:00 a.m., an informative session will be held to echo the main results of an investigation that reveals the future of residential, hotel, office and retail spaces where design plays a key role. Promoted by APE Grupo and directed by Future-a, this research has had the opinion of more than 300 design professionals and a panel made up of 11 interior design experts.


7:30 p.m.
World Industrial Design Day | Introducing Letterism™

On June 29 at 7:30 p.m., Ausias Pérez and Dano will present “Letterism™” at the Agora, the union of their passion for documenting typography present in everyday life and under the same platform. After ten years, Letterism™ has become a global community where hundreds of collaborators submit materials daily, and together they help preserve a typographic heritage that is increasingly in danger of disappearing. In this meeting they will share a project that has brought together a designer who has worked for Rosalía, Nathy Peluso and Bad Gyal, with a musician who is also an audiovisual producer and director of video clips for C. Tangana, Duki or Dellafuente.


10:00 p.m.
Presentation of the lighting installation of Agora Valencia by Radiante

Radiante has generated a light show that every night, at dusk, will illuminate the Agora. An architectural lighting created with the premise of valuing the architecture of the space, creating a connection with citizens, energy efficiency and sustainability. It is an immersive and massive piece of light art that will pay tribute to design at Agora Valencia on the occasion of World Design Capital Valencia 2022.


7:30 p.m.
Screening of the documentary “Aalto” and 8 short films promoted by the Finnish Film Foundation and the Ibero-American Institute of Finland

The Finnish company Artek joins the celebration of World Design Capital Valencia 2022 by sponsoring the presentation in Spain of the documentary about the work and life of the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, which will be presented on June 30 at 7:30 p.m. in Agora Valencia. Next, eight shorts will broaden the master’s perspective. From former employees of his studio, who remember the work culture and his working method, to the experience of the architect Kristian Gullichsen who lived his childhood in one of his emblematic works –Villa Mairea–, the influence on the work of the Australian architect and winner of the Pritzker Prize, Glenn Murcutt, or how classical Italy was always in the Finn’s mind when projecting. The shorts, promoted by the Finnish Film Foundation and the Ibero-American Institute of Finland, are unprecedented in Spain and are premiered for the first time in the framework of World Design Capital Valencia 2022.


Bloubu Didactic Workshop

Bloubu is a highly educational board game for children with speech, language or communication disorders. There is little specialized material on the market, with a lack of appeal for boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 10. The goal of this project is to graphically motivate children so that they can develop and work on skills such as memory, attention, emotional intelligence, communication, autonomy or cooperation, as well as awaken their interest, creativity and imagination.


Presentation of the EMTRE campaign and youth awareness workshop

The Metropolitan Entity for Waste Treatment of Valencia and World Design Capital Valencia 2022 have generated a whole programme of activities to highlight the importance of recycling and the role of design in all of this, with awareness workshops for different audiences and meetings with professionals.


Presentation of “Greetings from” Parcs Naturals

New edition of “Greetings from”, the postcards created by different illustrators about the Natural Parks of the Province of Valencia. A meeting with the different illustration professionals and the importance of natural parks and their enhancement.


Presentation World Design Street Festival

The World Design Street Festival is the celebration of World Design Capital Valencia 2022 on the street, which will take place in September with the aim of opening design to the public. An activity that aims to promote design and its protagonists with enthusiasm and commitment, foster local pride, and celebrate the city’s designation as World Design Capital, while teaching about the importance of design in people’s lives. An opportunity to involve society, attract international visitors, show the importance of design, teach it and fill the city with installations, workshops for all audiences, exhibitions, studio openings and boundless creativity.


Didactic workshop “Ping Pong Horta”

This activity at Agora Valencia will propose discovering the Valencian orchard through a visual and playful workshop that can be carried out collectively or individually. Building their own special and unique ping pong racket with recorded fragments of the Valencian orchard, the participant will decide what to grow by adhering vinyl cutouts, designing and composing your garden fragment. A tribute to the vegetable garden of Valencia with an edible landscape that has accompanied and fed the city since its foundation. A living historical map that still contains the traces of those people who worked on it. Now the challenge is to design its future: let’s start by playing and learning with its rich complexity.


Presentation of World Design Street Festival and Valencia Disseny Week

The World Design Street Festival and the Valencia Disseny Week will be held from September 20 to 23, 2022, coinciding with the Feria Hábitat Valencia. The objective of these annual meetings is to make Valencian design talent visible, both nationally and internationally, as well as to value its scope and potential as a driver of innovation, sustainability and social, cultural and economic evolution. The XIII edition will have a diverse programme, which will include everything from exhibitions to talks, conferences, workshops, inaugurations and presentations, with different contents and approaches.


Didactic workshop “An approach to the Nolla mosaic”

A family workshop at Agora Valencia, with a small audience, where participants will discover in a practical way the design and application of one of the most widespread Valencian artisanal heritages in the world. Nolla ceramic is the first high performance ceramic produced in Spain. From small geometric stoneware tesserae, complex mosaic-like compositions were formed. Its success crossed borders, reaching Cuba or the Philippines, and of course it became part of the most modernist buildings in the city of Valencia. Visitors will be able to discover the Nolla mosaic through a game with which they can enjoy the designs of the historic company, recomposing the motifs from the catalogs or inventing their own compositions. This experience will allow them to become familiar with this valuable Valencian heritage.


Presentation “Future of fashion”

Presentation at the Agora with its own programming “Future of fashion”, a 2-day festival of talks and workshops offering a platform for creation, experimentation and the exchange of knowledge around 6 designated sustainable pillars; Raw Materials; Design; Supply chain; Production; Consumption and Waste; Emissions and Biodiversity.


Presentation World Design Policy Conference + Convocation Ceremony

Presentation and meeting of the protagonists of the “World Design Convocation Ceremony”, a symbolic event to mark the successes of the year as World Design Capital and show the highlights of the year.


Didactic workshop “An approach to Valencian tile”

The goods that make up the Valencian cultural heritage are a heritage that must be transmitted in the best conditions to current and future generations. The Valencian tile represents the design in our land; It is a ceramic representation with ornaments formed by geometric, vegetable and floral traces of our sea, our mountains, our monuments and our traditions. “An approach to Valencian tile” is a family workshop designed to value, from design, an essential part of the cultural heritage of Valencia.

Every Thursday in July and August 
Cycle activities “Els dijous a la Marina de Valencia”

On Thursdays in July and August, La Marina de Valencia will host activities such as live music concerts, meetings with the nautical world, design and the city with its own programme at the Agora Valencia.

Alicia Matallín
+34 607 37 76 48

Anna Castro | Marga Vidal
+34 93 362 10 34 | 620 37 93 90


Design and architecture: MIGUEL ARRAIZ + ARQUEHA
Structuralist: JOSEP MARTÍ
Construction company: ATG DEVELOPMENTS
3D and CGI Visualizations: QUATRE CAPS

About Valencia World Design Capital 2022

Valencia is the World Design Capital in 2022 after the biannual designation carried out by the renowned World Design Organization® institution. The city of Valencia and, by extension, the Valencia Region, is a land of creativity. The work of design, architecture, interior design or illustration professionals over the last hundred years demonstrates a design culture that extends throughout the territory.

The project, promoted by the Associació Valencia Capital del Disseny and with the recently created Fundació del Disseny de la Comunitat Valenciana in charge of the legacy, is promoted by the Valencia City Council, Generalitat Valenciana, the Department of Sustainable Economy, Productive Sectors, Commerce and Labor, Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE), Valencia Provincial Council, Visit Valencia, Feria Valencia, La Marina de Valencia, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), Las Naves and the Metropolitan Entity for Waste Treatment (EMTRE). In addition to having as promoting entities the Association of Designers of the Valencia Region (ADCV) and the College of Interior Designers of the Valencia Region (CDICV).

It is an initiative that has gone beyond the local to become a project of national dimension and international projection with the support of three ministries: the Ministry of Science and Innovation; the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism; in addition to other institutions such as ICEX (Spain Exports and Investments), AC/E Acción Cultural Española, the CEV Business Confederation, the Forum of Renowned Spanish Brands, the Arxiu Valencià del Disseny or the Conexus Foundation. Likewise, it has received the support of collaborating companies such as Actiu, AIDIMME, Andreu World, Cosentino, EMTRE, Finsa, Fuente Primavera, Gandia Blasco Group, Inalco, Industrias Saludes, IBV Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia, La Imprenta, LZF Lamps, Logopost, Padima, Point, Profiltek, Punt, Renfe, Rolser, Tau Cerámica, Tars, Teika, Torrecid, Veles e Vents, Vondom, Wandegar and Zumex, as well as cultural venues, educational entities and professional organizations such as READ (Spanish Network of Design Associations), ComunitAD, FAD (Foment de les Arts i del Disseny), the ArtEnBlanc platform, Dimova, the Official Association of Publicists of the Valencia Region and the Territorial Association of Architects of Valencia.

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