#Valencia started 2022 as World Design Capital, rung in by the bells of Valencia City Hall, which was lit up in yellow for the occasion. Designated by the World Design Organization, Valencia is the first Spanish city to be recognised for its accomplishments in using design to improve life culturally, socially, and economically.
“Design is the most elevated form of artistic expression, even more than art itself,” said Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in her inaugural conference. “Remember this throughout the design capital year: design is a force that moves the world.”
It is a force which contributes more than 4,000 million euros to the annual GDP of the Valencia Region, and the city hopes to follow in the footsteps of previous World Design Capitals which have seen improvements in quality of life, tourism, and investment.
A full calendar of events has been organised for the year, with more than 100 activities, 150 top speakers, 70 collaborations, and 25 venues involved. The events range from congresses and professional meetings to productions and exhibitions, and cover design in six areas: health and well-being, didactics of design, economy and innovation, heritage and identity, environmental sustainability and equity, and inclusion and diversity.
The beginning of 2022 has numerous events on the design principles of environment and sustainability, diversity, heritage, and the identity of Valencia. Seven “Signature Events” will also be held in the latter half of the year and are expected to attract around 130,000 visitors. Below are some of the stand-out events from this year’s upcoming programme.
In February, the exhibition WHY AM I LIKE THIS? opens at the Center del Carme Cultura Contemporánea (CCCC). Running from 11 February until 11 May, this exhibition explains why everyday objects are designed the way they are. From paper clip to flip-flop, visit this exhibition to find the answers.
In March, the programme Foc: fallas, tradition and local design lasts for several weeks throughout the city. There will be activities around design, art, and tradition, reflecting the figures of the Fallas and their past, present, and future. The previous month, on February 17, there will be a guide showing all the official Fallas posters from 1929 to 2021.
From March 3 until June 12, is the exhibition Graphic route, Designing the sound of Valencia, hosted at the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM). This exhibition reveals the Valencian clubbing scene of the 80s and 90s through its posters and graphic design.
From April 20 until July 3, is the exhibition Designing the Air at Museo Nacional de Cerámica y Artes Suntuarias González Martí, which unites designers and artisans around a Valencian trademark: the fan.
Throughout May, the exhibition Play with Design will be present at the CCCC. Bringing visitors closer to design through games, this immersive experience guides viewers through designs and installations to show that design is familiar to us all.
From September 19-25, The World Design Street Festival is a celebration including exhibitions, conferences, workshops, design routes, and initiatives throughout the city and in the old riverbed park. It aims to democratize design and expose it to citizens by having them encounter design elements by chance in everyday settings.
The Valencian World Design Capital year finishes off with the World Design Spotlight project, which aims to promote local talent. After 52 designers have been celebrated each week of the year, this project ties together a legacy website that is a living catalogue of designers – a place to hire professionals and to showcase Valencian design.
Report by Julia McGee-Russell
Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’
Find out more about the World Design Capital Valencia 2022:
Address: Edificio Consorcio Valencia 2007
Moll de la Duana s/n
La Marina de Valencia
CP 46024 Valencia Spain