The Top Secret lamp is assembled from
acetate that is run through a paper
shredder, leaving the ultimate composition open to chance.
A leading figure of the post-Franco generation of designers,
Tusquets created a streamlined
reinterpretation of Gaudí’s
The wildly experimental prod-
ucts of the early-post-Franco
period, rooted in the baroque and
a Spanish sense of the uncanny,
continue in the fiercely indepen-
dent and often idiosyncratic work
of the new generation.
Salvador Dal í
Along with Gaudí, Dalí is a key reference point for Spanish designers.
BD reissued this lamp in 1972.
Carmen is among the more quirky
pieces for Gaspar, a renowned minimalist industrial designer with flair.
Eslava’s answer to the ChiaPet is
made of coconut fiber compressed
with latex; if seeded, it grows grass.
Passeig de Gràcia that’s like Target, Design Within
Reach, and Moss rolled into one. “We were all
architects and interior designers, and you couldn’t
find furniture for interiors, so we did our own. And
if you did one, then you could do another. From the
beginning, we liked to produce our own products
and also the work of historical designers, so we
started to invite designers. Mariscal came to us and
said he would like to design furniture, and we said,
‘Yes, if you design it, we will produce it.’”
The other tendency was a Spanish take on the
minimalist style characterized by the work of Jorge
Pensi, Pete Sans, and the architect and painter
Oscar Tusquets, who was also a cofounder of BD.
Infusing the pared-down aesthetic and industrial
materials of Modern design with bold colors and
patterns, they drew on an ineffably Spanish line—
the influence of 17th-century churches and Gaudí’s
curved forms is almost inevitable in Spain—but
translated for contemporary technologies. It was
essentially the Bauhaus forestalled by 60 years of
cultural, political, and economic isolation.
Meanwhile, with the opening of international
trade, older companies that were still functioning
in a craftlike mode were just beginning to grasp
the importance of design. They had to hold off
aggressive competition from Italy, France, and
West Germany in the domestic market, but they
also recognized the opportunity of exporting to new
markets where the appreciation for contemporary
design was better developed. “For the first time, in