Barcelona Cultura

And has that been designed by a Catalan?

Often, when we talk about design, we talk in admiration of the creators from around the world who we consider to be the guiding lights. And the lack of knowledge we have of our own history means that we don’t value enough what we have at home. This is why, at the Museu del Disseny, we want to contribute our knowledge with this selection of universal designs with a Catalan stamp.

Anti-drip oil cruet (Rafael Marquina, 1961)

Considered one of the most representative objects of modern Catalan industrial design (and also one of the most copied), it was born of the desire to improve the functionality of a utensil as popular as it was poorly designed. Thus, the objective of Marquina was to offer a totally new oil cruet that definitively solved the annoying and messy drips of oil.

Hand Blender Minipimer MR1 (Gabriel Lluelles, 1959)

When a commercial name becomes that of the generic product, regardless of the brand, it is a sign that it has been an irrefutable success. This is the case with the first electric mixer designed and manufactured in Spain, becoming the first "portable" and easy-to-store electrical appliance that entered our homes at the beginning of electrification. The initial price of 997 pesetas (half the price of the cheapest traditional mixer) did the rest.

Ice Tongs (André Ricard, 1964)

Globally known for being the designer of the Olympic torch for Barcelona 92, the long career of the Barcelona industrial designer includes this object, as elemental as it is ingenious. As in any good design, it improves the performance of an existing tool, in this case with the tongs becoming an extension of the thumb and forefinger to allow a more effective grip of the ice cubes.

TMC floor lamp (Miguel Milà, 1931)

Can a design change the idea of what an object is? This is what, according to many design experts and interior designers, was achieved with this floor lamp, turning it into a universal icon and a good example of how a local design can end up becoming a worldwide icon. Currently manufactured by Santa & Cole, who have introduced modifications to improve its functionality.

Filomatic safety razor (Esteve Agulló and Álvaro Martínez, 1968)

Unlike traditional safety razors, the one designed by Agulló and Martínez in the late sixties solved the danger of being cut by the blade, since it was encased in a safety container attached to the handle through a semi-automatic process. After years of success, this design was superseded by plastic razors with a half-blade and electric razors, but the vintage fashion revival has seen its popularity return.

Find these and other examples of Catalan product design in our on-line catalogue!

Ajuntament de Barcelona