During the Franco dictatorship, when the climate was unfavourable to design, demand from industry was scant, and the few intellectuals who believed in progressive design, excluded as they were from political and economic influence, had to make a heroic effort to produce even a few creations, which are now almost museum pieces. As with other areas of cultural life, designers strove to organize themselves in professional associations and to develop infrastructures. Significant efforts in this direction were made by various Madrid-based groups, especially those which came together in the SEDI (Sociedad de Estudios sobre el Diseño Industrial—Society for Studies in Industrial Design). An important role was also played by the architect Carlos de Miguel, editor of the Revista de Arquitectura (Architecture Review), and his partners Javier Carvajal and Luis Feduchi.
   It was, however, in Barcelona, with its industrial and commercial culture, that the modernization of design, which had begun under the Second Republic, was given a new lease of life. Antoni de Moragas and Oriol Bohigas set up the Grupo R, which tried to recreate the spirit of the pre-Civil War GATEPAC. Under the stimulus of a visit from Gio Ponti, editor of the Italian journal Domus, the IDIB (Institut de Disseny Industrial de Barcelona— Barcelona Institute of Industrial Design) was set up. Subsequently, in 1960, the Industrial Design Group of the old FAD (Foment de les Arts Decoratives— Institute for the Encouragement of Decorative Arts, founded in 1903) was created, followed in 1961 by the Graphic Design and Visual Communication Group. Also in 1961, the first Delta Prizes for industrial design were awarded.
   Education and training in design was the work of specialized schools, of which the most important are the Elisava school, the oldest, founded in Barcelona in 1959, and the Eina school, opened in 1967. Traditional schools such as Massana and La Llotja were simultaneously including design in their courses. Miguel Durán Lóriga founded the first school in Madrid of industrial design, and by 1982 the Faculties of Fine Arts had begun incorporating the teaching of design into their programmes.
   The 1960s saw the beginning of a period of intense activity, of collaboration with other humanistic disciplines, foreign contacts and conferences (e.g. Valencia, 1967; Ibiza, 1971). In 1973, the Fundación BCD (a foundation linked to the Barcelona Centre for Industrial Design) was set up to foster design in both the public and private sectors. That same year, however, saw the oil crisis, which led to a slowing-down of industry, an increasing conservatism, and a neglect of design, which put in jeopardy the achievements of the 1960s. Nevertheless, the death of Franco in 1975 provided the opportunity to begin laying the foundations of a new culture of taste. Design became the means of creating the image which the young democracy wished to display to the world.
   The profession began discussions with the administration, inevitably tentative because of the transitional situation. There was no shortage of designers who had received a specialized training, and both the central government and those of the autonomous communities saw them as attractive allies, but the infrastructure was lacking, as was a deeper generalized awareness in society at large. In 1982, the Ministry of Industry and Energy asked BCD to design and mount a travelling exhibition with the aim of educating the public. In 1984, the AEDP (Asociación Española de Diseñadores Pro-fesionales—Spanish Association of Professional Designers) was set up. Design benefited from the increasing international interest in Spain in the mid-1980s, and in 1987 the government financed an exhibition El Diseño en España (Design in Spain) in Brussels, as part of the Europalia programme. Official support for design was confirmed in the same year with the award of the first National Design Prizes.
   Graphic design
   The re-establishment of democracy revitalized visual culture: new logos for political parties and institutions, new communications media, products, brands and services. Alberto Corazón was one of the first to realize that the characteristic field of operation of the designer is the public sector, and he worked hard to convince others of the importance of graphic design for creating a social identity. This idea had also been vigorously defended since the 1960s by José María Cruz Novillo, who was commissioned to design many of the symbols of the new democratic Spain, including those of the Madrid autonomous region, the Posts and
   Telegraphs service and the PSOE. Corazón designed the new imagery of the Ministry of Public works, as well as the Madrid suburban rail network. Josep Maria Trias performed a similar task for the Barcelona Metro, and designed the logos for the Barcelona Olympics of 1992. América Sánchez was responsible for the Picasso Museum.
   In the field of book design, Corazón has done memorable work for his own publishing-house, while Daniel Gil has earned distinction as a designer for Alianza Editorial, as has Diego Lara in Alfaguara. Graphic work was pioneered in Catalonia by Jordi Fornas and Giralt Miracle, who found a worthy successor in Enric Satué, in his work for the Diari de Barcelona, the magazines Arquitecturas Bis and CAU, and books published by La Gaya Ciencia.
   Several talented figures have contributed to the development of design in the various autonomous communities, among them Audeva and Pepe Barro (Galicia), Antonio Pérez Escolano (Seville), Severo Almansa and Vicente Martínez Gadea (Murcia). Illustrator-designers such as Peret, Javier de Juan, Fernando Medina and Montxo Algora have given some of the symbols a ludic, comic-strip quality, of which the most notable example is Mariscal's mascot for the Barcelona Olympics.
   Interior and industrial design
   Industrial design was pioneered during the years of reconstruction after the dictatorship by a group of individual designers, many of them self-taught, or by architects. A significant contribution to the modernization of the everyday environment has been made by André Ricard (product design), Miquel Milá (furniture design), Fernando Marquina (household design), Tous y Fargas (industrial and technological design), Alfonso Milá and Federico Correa (interior design). The foundation of Bocaccio Design in 1972 was an important landmark in the establishment of quality design, with the launch not only of their own products, such as the "Seville" table and chair and the "Hialina" bookcase, but also of prestigious foreign brands. The Sala Vinçon in Barcelona, opened in 1973, was not only the first design shop in the style of Habitat, but also ran exhibitions, and generally encouraged creativity.
   The 1980s were both a period of great ferment and a time when Spain had to compete in Europe, which, partly as a result of the international renown of the Movida, had high expectations of change. Spain, which had lost out on large sections of the modern movement, threw itself wholeheartedly into the most advanced versions of post-modernism. The whole environment, ranging from the clothes people wore, hairstyles, where they spent their free time, small consumer goods, to political programmes and market strategies, became the subject of the most detailed attention on the part of designers. New magazines devoted entirely to design began to appear, including ON, De Diseño and ARDI, edited by Juli Capella and Quim Larrea, not to mention those more specifically associated with la Movida: Sur Exprés, El Europeo and La Luna. Without moving from their own homes, readers could study pictures of newly-designed bars such as El Gambrinus (Javier Mariscal and Alfredo Arribas, 1988), Network and Velvet (Samsó and Arribas, 1987). The boom in design during this decade embraced fashion (Jesus del Pozo, Adolfo Domínguez, Antonio Miró and Roberto Verino), costume jewellery (Chus Bares, Joaquín Berao and Chelo Sastre) and footwear (Sara Navarro). It is during this period that there emerges what was referred to as diseño de autor ("author" design), in keeping with the general reaction against the rigid austerity of minimalist and functionalist approaches. The banal styles imported from Italy took on a warm and ludic character, almost like a permanent fiesta, after many years of gloomy obscurantism. The joyful and sensual quality of Mediterranean design merged with the reaction against the strict canons of the modern movement. The roots of this spectacular expansion of design are to be looked for in the new social prestige of the profession, its links with other branches of artistic culture, and the new needs of industry, which had a vested interest in co-opting designers. The media and advertising also had an important role in creating this new perception. However, the very success of the profession, and the blurring of the distinctions among different modes of artistic expression, were to create tensions in the 1990s. Though Javier Mariscal, in collaboration with Fernando Salas, had designed the popular "Duplex" stool for a bar in Valencia, he was known only as a comic-strip artist. At the first show organized by the Memphis Group (Milan), he collaborated with Pepe Cortés to present the "Colón" coffee table and the "Hilton" trolley. His collection Muebles Amorales (Amoral Furniture) was displayed in the Sala Vinçon, Barcelona. Many of these designers do not think of themselves as industrial designers, but as creative artists, sculptors of shapes, or draughtsmen of items of furniture.
   There is a risk that the volume of Catalan design will result in the undervaluing of design in other parts of Spain, though in the 1990s the work of Iosu Rada, Carlos Lalastra and Miguel Angel Ciganda in the Basque country make this less likely. Valencia shows considerable vitality, with Vicent Martínez, Pedro Miralles and the La Nave group playing a leading role. Andalusia has fewer professionals than Barcelona or Valencia because of its lower level of industrial development, but a large amount of creative work is being done by people linked to the plastic arts or to architecture: Diego Santos and Julio Juste, who head the City and Design group, the painter Guillermo Pérez Villalta and the painter, architect and sculptor José Ramón Sierra. If the 1980s were characterized by rapid growth and a certain element of overvaluing of design, the task of the 1990s is to complete the process of convincing public and private institutions, and, above all, industry, that design is an indispensable necessity.
   Further reading
   - Diseño España. Europalia 85 (1985) Madrid (catalogue of this important exhibition).
   - "25 años de diseño gráfico español" (1996) Experimenta 13–14.
   - ADP (1989) Plural Design, Barcelona: Ediciones del Serbal.
   - Arias, J. (1996) Maestros del diseño español, Madrid: Experimental.
   - Capella, J. and Larrea, Q. (1991) Nuevo diseño español, Barcelona: Gustau Gili.
   - Dent Coad, E. (1990) Spanish Design and Architecture, London: Studio Vista.
   —— (1995), " Designer Culture in the 1980s: The Price of Success", in H.Graham and J.Labanyi (eds) Spanish Cultural Studies, an Introduction: The Struggle for Modernity, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 376–80 (a very useful brief introduction to the designer boom).

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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