Rentrée in style: World Design Capital Valencia 2022 previews what will be the highlights after the summer

Valencia (Spain) – World Design Capital Valencia 2022 reveals some of the details of the events that, coinciding with the September rentrée, will take the celebration of the design capital to the streets.

Two major Signature events, flagship of the capital city

The World Design Street Festival is the celebration of World Design Capital Valencia 2022 in the streets of the city, which will take place from 19 to 25 September with the aim of opening up design to the public. An activity that aims to promote design and its main players with passion and enthusiasm, to foster local pride, and to celebrate the designation of Valencia as World Design Capital, while at the same time explaining the importance of design in people’s lives. An opportunity to involve society, attract international visitors, show the importance of design, educate about it and fill the city with installations, workshops for all audiences, exhibitions, studio openings and overflowing creativity.

The largest Valencia Disseny Week in history 

The major Valencia Disseny Week to date will take place from 20 to 23 September, coinciding with the Hábitat Valencia fair. The aim of this annual event, organized in collaboration with the Designers’ Association of the Valencian Community, is to raise the profile of Valencian design talent, both nationally and internationally, as well as to highlight its scope and potential as a driver of innovation, sustainability and social, cultural and economic evolution. The 13th edition will feature a diverse programme, ranging from exhibitions to talks, conferences, workshops, openings and presentations, with different contents and approaches. 

Alongside Valencia Disseny Week, the World Design Street Festival will bring together the Miradors de l’Horta initiative, the Openhouse architecture festival and Valencia City Council’s Mobility Week. 

In addition, on the 20th and 21st as part of Hábitat València fair, the Official Association of Interior Decorators and Designers of the Valencian Community will be organizing a forum on the concept of health through design. The symposium “Interior Design and Health” will be attended by Juan Luis Arsuaga, Luis Rojas Marcos, Juli Capella, Benedetta Tagliabue and Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, who will share their views and experience on the subject, addressing the concepts of matter, space and well-being, food, rest, hygiene, work, study, leisure, commerce…

The exhibition “Jaime Hayon: InfinitaMente”, the first large-scale retrospective of Jaime Hayon’s work to be held in Spain, will open its doors on 22 September at the Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporània. The exhibition, which can be visited in the Ferreres and Goerlich rooms of the CCCC, is organized and produced by the Consorci de Museus de la Comunitat Valenciana and the CCCC and will take place as part of the official programme of World Design Capital Valencia 2022. The exhibition will show a selection of the most iconic work of the versatile Madrid-born creator closely linked to València, including pieces never before presented in our country. From an educational perspective, “Jaime Hayon: InfinitaMente” takes a journey through his personal world and his creative process through materials, tools, inspiration and references. The project also includes works that have never been presented in Spain, as well as large-scale paintings and sculptures. 

The exhibition “Vicent Martínez, a continuous present. Memory, the recent and the unpublished” will also take place within the framework of Hábitat Valencia fair. Directed by C. Rafael Martínez-Martínez, it aims to explore some of the milestones in the career as a product designer of the co-founder of Punt Mobles, the first Valencian company to be awarded the Spain National Design Prize in 1997.

Another of the highlights of the design celebration in the streets of Valencia will be the HabitatOFF, which will take the hustle and bustle of Hábitat València fair to Agora Valencia every evening, where large parties will be held to celebrate design with live music and DJs open to all the professionals who will be at the fair during the week.

The legacy of modern design, focus of the 17th International Docomomo Congress

Under the theme “Modern design: social commitment and quality of life”, the 17th DoCoMoMo International Congress will be held in Spain from the 6th  to the  9th of September as part of the official programme of World Design Capital Valencia 2022 and in collaboration with the UPV and the Valencia School of Architecture. From the relationship that was established between modern design and industry through the use of new materials and techniques, companies specializing in the manufacture of certain objects emerged that revamped traditional approaches. Today, many of these designs are still in use and have become cultural icons. The theme of the DoCoMoMo International Conference 2022 will also provide an opportunity to reflect on how the renewal of interior space in the broadest sense took place, the different contexts in which it developed and who the architects were.  

Typography, handicrafts, ephemeral installations… and more

After its run at the Cooper Union Gallery in New York City, the exhibition “Type Directors Club 68” will arrive in Valencia as part of the World Design Capital and will be seen at Las Naves from the 1st to 30th of September. The exhibition, a showcase of typographic excellence in design, will be accompanied by a day of talks and presentations related to typography in collaboration with the Designers’ Association of the Valencia Region. In the 68th edition of the annual awards of the international association Type Directors Club, the Valencian design studio Creatias has been awarded one of its coveted “Certificate of Typographic Excellence” for the creation of the identity for the restaurant Frankie’s Burger Bar. 

From 13 to 15 September, the València Crafts Centre will host the second edition of the Congress “Contemporary Crafts, under debate”, which responds to the emergence of a new, absolutely contemporary, sophisticated and innovative type of craftsmanship, following a trend already common in the most advanced countries. To respond to these challenges, the 2nd Congress will focus on the analysis of collaborative experiences in the field of design, marketing and experimental training, with the aim of identifying the most appropriate models of cooperation, the most operational development strategies and how to solve the many problems inherent in collaborative practices.

October with an eye on the future: fashion, health, circularity and resilient cities

During the presentations, workshops and activities that will take place on 5 and 6 October at Las Naves, Future of Fashion will provide a platform for creation, experimentation and knowledge exchange around 6 pillars of sustainability: raw materials; design; supply chain; production; consumption and waste; emissions and biodiversity. Future of Fashion will be the global platform for a meeting of minds, best practices and expertise around sustainability in the fashion industry and will resonate for years to come as the flagship event in this area. The conference will involve the participation of Sustainable Fashion Employability Skills (SFES, funded by the European Union) and ENHANCE Alliance of Universities of Technology.

From 6 October, Las Naves will also be hosting “Beyond the plastic wave”. This immersive exhibition, designed to raise awareness for the problem of plastic waste pollution in our oceans and, in particular, in the Mediterranean Sea, is put on display by Carmen Baselga and Héctor Serrano. The exhibition will showcase pieces and objects made from plastic waste which, thanks to various initiatives, are collected from the seas and oceans and recycled for a new use. 

October will also see the celebration of the exhibition “Design and Health”, the result of the research work of the architect, designer and disseminator Ramón Úbeda. The exhibition, which will be one of the landmarks at the MuVIM and the Palau de Colomina and will launch on 20 October, to highlight the important role of design in the health sector and emphasize its potential as a tool for progress and people’s wellbeing. A timely, informative and multifaceted journey where science and medicine will meet technology and design based in Valencia. 

Valencia’s new green space, the Central Park, will be the venue for “Resilience. A Dynamic Balance” on 20 and 21 October. Created by Josep Ferrando Bramona and organized in collaboration with the Arquia Foundation, the festival will identify the city’s creative fabric as the principal agent of social change and urban innovation and will thus promote more sustainable architecture and design while also highlighting the existing link between both disciplines. Under the motto “Resilience: a dynamic balance”, the health of a society is defined as its capacity to recover and overcome each conflict and reflects on the preventive and transforming task of the actions of architects, whose technical solutions will show the possibilities and limitations as a global society and whose humanist role will avoid generating cities with major underlying imbalances.

Three Signature events in November to round off the last few months as the official design capital 

The World Design Policy Conference, the first of three Signature events that will shake up the city at the beginning of the month, will be held on 3 and 4 November. The World Design Policy Conference will aim to provide a global platform for the exchange of ideas and a think tank to showcase best practices from different countries, regions and cities working on the inclusion of effective design policies.

3 November will also see the grand gala World Design Convocation Ceremony, a symbolic event to mark the successes of the World Design Capital year and showcase the highlights of the year. During the event, the first findings of the impact report will be shared, the legacy of the capital will be reflected upon and the title of World Design Capital 2024 will be officially handed over to the border cities of San Diego and Tijuana.

The “World Design Cities Meeting”, the forum for political representatives with the capacity to decide on design policies, will take place on 4 November in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and will be attended, among others, by the mayors of the cities that have been designated World Design Capital. Directed by the World Design Organization, this event will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and to highlight those policies and initiatives that, from the city councils, aim to modify life in cities.

Other initiatives in action during the autumn of 2022


Lighting installation in Agora Valencia

The creative studio Radiante Lab has designed the Agora Valencia light installation with the aim of highlighting the architecture of the space, creating a connection with citizens, energy efficiency and sustainability. It is a massive, immersive piece of light art that pays tribute to design every night at 10 p.m., illuminating the Agora Valencia on the occasion of World Design Capital Valencia 2022.

The projections take the form of laser sculptures and evoke graphic and editorial design on the pavement of the Agora, which takes on three-dimensionality, generating elements with a solid appearance. This illusion of materiality makes it possible to construct a language with light that is understood by all audiences and appeals to participation and physical interaction. In the same sense, the design of the architectural lighting responds to the desire to enhance the value of the ceramic skin of the Agora. Radiante has chosen to light in such a way that the very arrangement of the elements generates the rhythm of chiaroscuro. A linear source of hard, highly concentrated light rises from the floor, which creates a texture rich in nuances and volumes. 

Exhibition “Play with Design”

The Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporània opens the doors of the exhibition “Play with Design” until 23 October. This initiative, curated by Milimbo, is an approach to design through play and is conceived as an itinerary that shows and provides materials with which to interact in a constant dialogue between play and design. Encouraging the visitor to take an active part in it as a creator, “Play with Design” sets out to show that design is not alien to anyone and that, in addition to being very present in our lives, it is a tool for learning and human development. 

Exhibition “20 Years of Nude”

World Design Capital Valencia 2022, Feria Hábitat Valencia and Feria València are organizing an exhibition to showcase some twenty designs presented at the nude show over its two decades of existence: “Nude. 20 Years. 20 Designers”. The exhibition can be visited until 10 October at the Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporània (CCCC) and brings together some twenty success stories that not only include the pieces produced but also the prototypes, sketches and models that were exhibited at Hábitat Valencia fair’s platform for new talent. 

The selection committee, integrated by Pepe Cosín, Alejandro Benavent, Silvia Flórez and María Fontes, has taken into account the quality, level of innovation and diversity of the designs as the basic criteria. In its 20 years of existence, the Salón nude continues to be the national platform of reference for the internationalization of emerging design and is one of the great nurseries of Valencian talent.

Exhibition “Earth: a Retrospective” El Ultimo Grito and the Per Amor a l’Art Collection

Within the framework of World Design Capital Valencia 2022, the Fundació Per Amor a l’Art presents “Earth: A Retrospective”. The exhibition takes place at Bombas Gens Centre d’Art under the artistic direction of Sandra Guimarães and is an exhibition proposal conceived by El Ultimo Grito based on the Per Amor a l’Art Collection.

With this project, El Ultimo Grito looks at the Earth from an indeterminate point in a future space-time. A point where our memory of the Earth is broken and our only link to it is a collection of images where meaning and significance are blurred; where our gaze romanticizes them in narratives that seek to find meaning beyond their historicity. In the exhibition, on view until June 2023, design operates as a conceptual and material narrative as well as a creative device, outlining a kind of language of interlude and engaging in a dialogue that opens up a speculative approach to the nature of this collection and its individual works. 

Cachetejack’s “Life Wins!” installation

The “Life Wins!” exhibition by Cachetejack, a duo of València-based illustrators formed by Nuria Bellver and Raquel Fanjul, produced by the Jardí Botànic de la Universitat de València and World Design Capital Valencia 2022, can be visited until the 9th of October. This initiative is part of the actions to spread the values of the New European Bauhaus promoted by the European Commission with the aim of bringing the Green Pact to the places we live in and promoting a sustainable, inclusive and beautiful future for all. Some twenty exuberant and colorful images emerge from among the trees and plants in a sensory experience designed to be a celebration of the creative energy of nature in a living museum in the heart of the city.

About World Design Capital Valencia 2022

Valencia is World Design Capital in 2022 after the biannual designation carried out by the renowned institution World Design Organization. The city of Valencia and, by extension, the Valencian Community, 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 whole territory.

The project, promoted by the Associació València Capital del Disseny and with the recently created Fundació del Disseny de la Comunitat Valenciana in charge of the legacy, is supported by the City Council of Valencia, Generalitat Valenciana, the Ministry of Sustainable Economy, Productive Sectors, Commerce and Labour, Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE), Diputació de València, Visit València, Feria Valencia, La Marina de València, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), and Las Naves. In addition to having as promoter entities the Association of Designers of the Valencian Community (ADCV) and the Association of Interior Designers of the Valencian Community (CDICV). 

It is an initiative that has gone beyond the local reach 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, Trade and Tourism; in addition to other institutions such as ICEX (Spain Export and Investments), 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 (Entitat Metropolitana per al Tractament de Residus), Finsa, Fuente Primavera, Gandia Blasco Group, Grupo Torrecid, Inalco, Industrias Saludes, Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia, La Imprenta, Logopost, LZF-Lamps, Padima, Point, Profiltek, Punt, Renfe (official transport service), Rolser, Tars, Tau Cerámica, Teika, Veles e Vents, Vondom, Wandegar and Zumex, as well as cultural spaces, educational entities and professional organizations such as READ (Spanish Network of Design Associations), CommunitAD, FAD (Foment de les Arts i del Disseny), ArtEnBlanc, Dimova, the Official Association of Advertising Professionals of the Valencian Community and the Regional Association of Architects of Valencia.

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