The different collections are grouped by type but are exhibited chronologically, from the oldest – Coptic textiles from the 3rd Century – to the most recent – wallpaper from the first third of the 20th Century.

This approach allows the exhibition to highlight the global sense of objects as art, while at the same time presenting collections next to one another and stressing the value of each individually. Moreover, it directs attention to the processes of production, materials used, the purpose or function of the objects, without overshadowing the importance of collecting objects.

These collections, notable for the volume, uniqueness and quality of the pieces, bring together objects that have for the most part been ‘objects for living’ in that they are part of daily life and contribute to the way we live. Although of both local and exotic origin, they are predominantly taken from notable Barcelona collections of the 19th and 20th centuries. Names such as Pascó, Cabot, Gómez Novella, Plandiura, Rocamora, Muntadas, Estany, Roviralta and Amades, amongst others, form the foundations of what now constitutes the Barcelona Design Museum’s collections.