Barcelona Cultura

Josep Puig: “Art still has scope to be involved in different areas of society”

Josep Puig’s professional life has always revolved around his passion for product design, one of the most tangible issues in the permanent exhibitions on show at the Design Museum. At the moment, one of his creations, “Sticks Fork”, is the main focus of the exhibition “Tapas. Spanish Design for Food”.

When he speaks about industrial design however, he is not just speaking theoretically but the implementation of it in his studio Puig [i]Cabeza Design. Currently, he is combining his profession with his training (as a tutor and a student) and is the co-director of the Masters Degree in the ELISAVA product design and development.

After a career spanning more than 30 years, with 16 prizes and scores of publications and exhibitions under your belt, what professional moment will stay with you forever?

At the moment, I have the experience and the perspective to combine professional activity and teaching.  Even now I’m going back to studying!

Aside from managing the ELISAVA Masters, what other projects are you involved in at the moment?

On a professional level, I’m continuing to offer design and consultancy services to companies in the equipment sector for electronic facilities and components to link it up to the tertiary sector. Recently I’ve got involved in the school materials sector by designing rucksacks.

I’m working on two research topics: one is the design of mountaineering equipment in Catalonia (per afició pròpia) and the other on the precedents and evolution of experimental design in our country. This is all part of the final project for the Masters degree. I’m taking the MUDIC at ELISAVA, with a view to getting my doctorate after that.

Miquel Milà believes that a “design is ready when it incites emotion”. Anything to add?

No, there’s nothing else I can add to that!

What product design do you think has had the most impact on society in the last decade?

Without a doubt, it has to be the smartphone, more specifically the iPhone.

And, on the subject of product design, here at the Museum we have a number of examples made with Marquina oil. What should be essential in any case?

This year, the company ROCA had its centenary, so I think a ROCA toilet or tap are a good example of the typiology of essential products.

You’ve been directing the course that has the same name as our exhibition, TAPAS, Spanish Design for Food. Do you think the bionomial cooking-design is just a passing trend?

I definitely don’t think it’s a passing trend. On the contrary, I think it’s an area where our design and production can consolidate strongly. In certain sectors, we’ll probably never be at the top – I’m talking here in the collective sense as a national brand – but I do think that we have a strong tradition, some quality raw materials and a talent for designn and cookery, so fingers crossed!

And lastly, a question about the future. What do you think the future holds for the designer profession?

I think there has been a certain level of standardisation when it comes to design as a profession, but I also think it still has scope to be involved in different areas of society. Problems may emerge if there is supersaturation and if design stops talking about designing. It all depends on how it’s managed.

We hope Josep Puig will visit the exhibition Tapas. Spanish Design For Food at the Design Museum. We’d be very interested in what he thinks of it!

Ajuntament de Barcelona