Barcelona Cultura

"Female designers have not had it easy"

Interview with Teresa Bastardes, art historian and head of the Collections department of the Museu del Disseny in Barcelona.


Once again, the Museum of Design has enriched its heritage collection thanks to donations from individuals and companies. Which areas of design have seen their collections grow in particular?

Every year, new items of product, graphic and fashion design arrive that keep the collections of the museum up to date. In addition, however, we continue to create new collections such as fashion photography or by completing others such as the signature pieces. In this regard, this year we incorporated ceramic pieces from the Plates of the day exhibition and we have increased the collection of graphic design, incorporating pieces produced in the 80s and 90s.

Is it difficult to select the most representative pieces among so many objects?

The task of increasing the collection involves making a selection that prioritises some objects ahead of others in order to have a rich and representative collection. Once a piece has been accepted, the Museum’s technical staff oversee its conservation, documentation, storage, exhibition and communication.

What sort of presence do female designers have in the museum?

Female designers don’t have it easy, as happens in other areas of society. The collections of the Museum reflect this reality. However, there are major names such as Toni Miserachs, Gemma Bernal or Miriam Ponsa, to cite examples of graphic, product and fashion design.

Is there any particular object that attracts attention because of its originality?

I find it difficult to prioritise one object or one artist. At the Museum, we prefer to highlight concepts or groups of objects. This year we have continued to increase the collection, incorporating artists such as Ricard Giralt Miracle or America Sanchez, products by the Marset lighting company, from the now defunct Vinçon, dresses from the winning collections of 080 Barcelona Fashion or historical pieces such as the large frame by Rafael Masó or modernista pieces by Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

Finally, what new objects will visitors soon be able to see at the museum?

Next year we will totally change the graphic design exhibition and there will be the opportunity to see pieces from the 1980s until the end of the 20th century. We will also look to complete the collections of signature pieces that had stopped after the 1980s.

Ajuntament de Barcelona