Models | Antonio S. Río Vázquez

Audience in Sargadelos’s new factory | Xosé Díaz’s File

«El Laboratorio registra un extenso número de intentos y teorías que van desde las de Ruskin y Morris, a los racionalistas, constructivistas y productivistas rusos con su Vchutemas, y otros laboratorios, hasta las últimas experiencias de Bill, Maldonado, etc., pasando por el ejemplo más conocido en occidente del Bauhaus».

Fragment of the manifest of the Laboratory of Forms

Nowadays José de la Mano gallery in Madrid exposes the sample Monika Buch. A Spanish woman in the HfG of Ulm (1956-1958), a tour for the academic works of the only person of Spanish nationality who realized his studies in the famous German school, two years after his foundation in 1953.

Since it is remembered in the catalogue of the exhibition,

«The program of studies of the HfG –Hochschule für Gestaltung / HfG Ulm– begins with a basic course, Grundkurs, commonly for all the pupils, whose principal aim is the visual initiation. This one is possibly the most significant change with regard to any previous model: positions give up subjectively expressionists (Itten, Klee, Kandinsky) or formalist experiments (Moholy-Nagy) in favour of the study of the perception and the laws that govern it».

It does a little time, another itinerant exhibition, called Models of Ulm 1953-1968. The design of the new Germany, he was commemorating fifty years of the foundation of the school, pioneer in the education, the investigation and the development proyectual in all the scales of the design: from the design of the information to the architecture.

Between other headquarters, the Models of Ulm were exposed in Sargadelos’s former factories (Cervo, Lugo). There we could observe the work of illustrious teachers as Otl Aicher, Tomás Maldonado or Max Bill, and the inheritance that – already from his initial intentions – they were receiving, in a way as direct as critique, of the Bauhaus, wherefrom also there were coming some of the teachers, as Josef Albers, Johannes Itten, Walter Peterhans or the own Max Bill,, author also from the buildings of the new school.

It was turning out to be symbolic to enjoy this exhibition in a frame as significant as Sargadelos’s former factory, in the place where during the XIXth and XXth century there took place two of the most important moments in the history of the industrial design in Galicia: First, Antonio Raimundo Ibáñez‘s illustrated spirit managed, with his company of crockery, to satisfy a need of market linking her to the own resources of the zone, possessing the first integral siderurgy of the peninsula and turning into the first ceramic manufacture that introduced in Spain mechanical systems of production.

Later, in the year 1968, and as part of a wide project initiated previously in the Argentine exile of the hand of Isaac Díaz Pardo and Luis Seoane, the industrial activity is restored in Sargadelos. This great intention, under the guessed right name of ” Laboratory of Forms ” it was incorporating investigation, creation, debate, spreading … from the publishing design up to the architecture of the new centers of production, ideas got in a manifest fundacional that, besides his intentions, was leaving witness of his influences and precedents. As Ulm in Germany, the Laboratory of Forms generated an own model, who would serve to lead Galicia towards the modernity recovering the industry developed before in Sargadelos by Raimundo Ibáñez, who left writing:

«The population is the one that constitutes the wealth and the force of the States. It cannot support progress but by means of the industry, factories, trade and navigation, which branches are the powerful agent of the industry, who is the first one, the most essential and indispensable of the arts».

Antonio S. Río Vázquez . Doctor architect
A Coruña. march 2015

Antonio S. Río Vázquez (A Coruña, 1981) es arquitecto por la E.T.S.A. de A Coruña, master en Urbanismo y doctor por la Universidade da Coruña. Especializado en teoría y diseño, su línea de trabajo se ha centrado en la investigación y divulgación del patrimonio arquitectónico moderno. Ha desarrollado proyectos de modo independiente y ha colaborado con varios estudios de arquitectura. Es socio fundador de Aroe Arquitectura. Es profesor en el Departamento de Proyectos Arquitectónicos, Urbanismo y Composición de la Universidade da Coruña, y ha sido profesor invitado en la Robert Gordon University de Aberdeen (Reino Unido), en la Universidade do Minho (Portugal) y en la Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza (Italia). Es miembro de la red UEDXX Urbanism of European Dictatorships during the XXth Century, del Grupo de Investigación en Historia de la Arquitectura IALA y del Grupo de Innovación Educativa en Historia de la Arquitectura. Ha formado parte del proyecto de investigación FAME Fotografía y Arquitectura Moderna en España, 1925-1965. Los resultados de sus investigaciones, tanto personales como conjuntas, han servido como aportación a eventos de debate y difusión científica y han sido publicados en libros y revistas.

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