The Thousand Facets of Design in the May Agenda of World Design Capital Valencia 2022

World Design Capital Valencia 2022 unveils its final agenda for the month of May, more than four weeks full of openings, presentations, conferences, screenings and exhibitions distributed by some of the cultural and innovation centers, and the most outstanding museums and galleries in the city. 

This month has begun only a few days after the expected announcement of the start of the works of Àgora València, the pavilion of the World Design Capital 2022 in the Town Hall Square. Àgora València, project of World Design Capital València 2022 and of the Ajuntament de València that has the underwrite of the Diputació de València, La Marina de València and the Valencian companies Inalco and Wandegar, will become a meeting point open to the whole society and it will bring design and the creative talent of the whole Valencian Community to the general public.

Cinematographic May 

During the months of May and June new screenings will be projected within the “Cinema Designs" program of the Filmoteca de València. During this cycle, promoted by World Design Capital Valencia 2022 and Cultura de la Generalitat through the Institut Valencià de Cultura, the bond between design and the seventh art is explored since the very inception of both disciplines.

Yesterday, 3rd of May, La Filmoteca screened ‘‍La chinoise' (1967), in which the French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard reflects through an unconventional staging and an aesthetic marked by red, between pop and minimalism, on cultural and political issues of the day such as the revolutionary struggle and the impact on the Maoism university community, a year before the student protests of May '68: Paris, summer 1967. 

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Image Courtesy of WDC2022

On Thursday, the 19th of May at 8 pm and on Tuesday, the 24th of May at 6 pm, La Filmoteca will screen 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown' (1988), one of the most commercially successful comedies by Pedro Almodóvar, starring Carmen Maura, Fernando Guillén, Julieta Serrano, Antonio Banderas, María Barranco and Rossy de Palma. Winner of the Goya Award for Best Film in 1988 and candidate for the Academy Awards, 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown' marks a change in Almodóvar’s filmography, as it moves away from the underground aesthetic of its previous films to approach the sumptuous world of haute couture and postmodern design of the late eighties without neglecting his passion for kitsch and the usual aesthetic around gay culture. The film has an impact on the costumes and accessories of the characters and on the furniture of the luxurious penthouse in the center of Madrid where the action takes place. Almodóvar brings together a varied and colorful catalogue of designs ranging from the Tolomeo lamp, the Breuer Wassily chair and the coffee earrings designed by Antonio Alvarado, to the collection of kitsch key rings of the ‘mambo taxi’ the costume of Julieta Serrano, inspired by André Courrèges.  

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Image Courtesy of WDC2022

On Tuesday the 17th of May at 8.15 pm La Filmoteca will dedicate a special session to the world of ceramics through the screening of two feature films that will be presented to the public in the Berlanga hall by the Valencian ceramists Enric Mestre and Xavier Monsalvatje. 

The documentary ‘Gold Bricks' (2017), directed by the Chinese filmmaker Tan Hongyu, runs through one of the last artisanal production centers of the famous gold bricks used throughout the centuries in the imperial palace of the Forbidden City. The documentary also addresses the reinterpretation of this traditional ceramic product by a contemporary artist, the French ceramist Jacques Kaufmann.

Within this same session, La Filmoteca will screen the documentary Enric Mestre (2019), directed by Luis H. Pardo, Ismael López and Rafaela Pareja and produced by Melany Pérez Scholthman and Carlos García Aranda for ProVad. The film analyses the work of the ceramic sculptor Enric Mestre through the comment of the art critic Román de la Calle, especially focusing on the legacy of the landscape of Alboraya in the sculptural and pictorial work of this ceramic artist.

Valencia and Kaunas (Lithuania), brought together by culture and design

On the 6th of May at 7 pm and on the 7th at 10 am, the Espai d'Art Fotogràfic will celebrate the event "Fluxus: Unity through culture", co-created by World Design Capital Valencia 2022 and Kaunas European Capital of Culture 2022. With this year’s official motto as the European Capital of Culture "From temporary to contemporary", Kaunas, Lithuania’s second largest city, will host over 40 festivals, 60 exhibitions and more than 250 performing arts and concert events throughout the year.

Design in the context of illustration, industry and gastronomy

From the 6th to the 8th of May, the Cultural Center «La Nau» will be the scene of the V Days of Illustration, a weekend of activities, artistic interventions, talks and workshops around illustration applied to design. The poster for this edition was devised by Miguel Monck.

Moreover, on the 19th of May at 6.30 pm the book "Once upon a time the design: reflections of a recalcitrant affiliate" by Juan Manuel Ubiergo, director of the Aragonese Center of Industrial Design (CADI), will be presented at the Territorial College of Architects of Valencia (CTAV). In his work, Ubiergo talks about what has been done in the last three decades in the Community of Aragon in order to consolidate the culture of design as a tool for competitiveness.

On the 30th of May, the fifth edition of the Valencia Culinary Festival, which will be celebrated in different locations of the Valencian Community until the 12th of June, will kick off. This festival of Haute Cuisine, in which renowned Valencian chefs bring out their skillset to help position the city and its surroundings as a unique gastronomic destination, it will also focus on design, creativity and innovation coinciding with World Design Capital Valencia 2022.

“Valencia, Shapes Uncovered” at the Berlin Design Week

From the 18th through the 20th of May, the exhibition “Valencia, Shapes Uncovered” organized on occasion of Berlin design week will show the work of some of Valencia key design ambassadors, when it comes to furniture, lighting, tiles, and deco. The showroom is curated by IVACE (Valencian Institute of Business) in collaboration with the World Design Capital Valencia 2022. 

In such an iconic Berliner venue like the Hallesches Haus, pieces by some of the most talented manufacturers and designers in the region will be on display. The presentation will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected works by the Valencian awarded in the last edition of iF Design Awards, together with extra content exhibited by World Design Capital Valencia 2022. The ideal opportunity for industry professionals and design enthusiasts to be inspired by the Mediterranean vibes of the design capital in the heart of Kreuzberg.

6th Edition of the ADCV Awards

On the 25th of May at 7 pm the 2022 ADCV Gala Awards will take place at the Teatre Principal, launched every two years by the Association of Designers of the Valencian Community. In this edition, these awards have achieved record applications, with 555 entries -25% more than in 2009-, in 38 categories. The ADCV Awards exist with the aim of rewarding the excellence of design of the Valencian Community and recognize the positive economic, social, environmental and cultural impact that design achieves by integrating into companies, institutions and initiatives.

Around 10 first-class exhibitions with design as the main character remain open to the public during the month of May throughout the city

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Image Courtesy of WDC2022

Until the 13th of May at the Colegio Territorial de Arquitectos de València (CTAV) you can visit the exhibition "Denise Scott Brown. Travelling with Denise", curated by Jeremy Tenenbaum, Maria Pia Fontana and Josep Maria Torra. This photographic compilation, which constitutes the fifth exhibition of "The Architect’s Album" session, portrays images from South Africa, New York, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Yugoslavia and California during a tour of places that the architect knew and photographed. Brown is an architect, planner, writer, professor and partner at Venturi-Scott Brown & Associates in Philadelphia. This architecture studio is considered one of the most influential of the 20th century.

Last March the exhibition "Visual Process" opened its doors in Las Naves, which exposes the creative process of the Dulk urban artist. The exhibition, which can be visited until mid-May, pays special attention to the innovation aspect that connects the world of failures and creativity with the digital world. For this reason, it presents 3D images of the fallout, as well as video-artistic projections on the process of creation and a space of citizen interaction for all audiences.

Throughout the month and until the 26th of June, the exhibition "Design the air" curated by the designer Vicent Martínez, remains open at the ‘González Martí’ National Museum of Ceramics and Luxury Arts to demonstrate how the culture of the world can be enriched and, in that way, to reposition and project into the future. "Design the air" reviews the history of the Valencian fan through a journey that goes from tradition to contemporaneity and that counts with the participation of twenty design professionals from different parts of the world who reinvent this iconic object in different shapes, textures and technology.

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Image Courtesy of WDC2022

One of the main spaces of the capital, the CCCC, hosts until the 29th of May the exhibition "Why am I like this?", organized and produced jointly by the Consorci de Museus de la Comunitat Valenciana and World Design Capital Valencia 2022 with the support of the Provincial Council of Valencia. The designs on display are part of the Pérez de Albéniz-Bergasa collection and have been collected and drawn by Juli Capella to explain how it works. In this way, the exhibition collects 120 everyday objects tell their own story and are helped by drawings of how they are and why they are so.

Also, until the 29th of May you can visit the exhibition "Through the post-truth. Pepe Gimeno. 20-22 Works". Located in the Palau Joan de Valeriola, headquarters of the Chirivella Soriano Foundation, within the program of activities of World Design Capital Valencia 2022, it unveils the plastic work of Pepe Gimeno, derived from experimentation with the laws of perception and abstraction and motivated by the dangers of post-truth for the common good. The monograph covers the last months of his long and prolific professional career as a curious designer and vocational artist through his latest works. This is done without forgetting his vocation for typographic design, one of his most recognized hallmarks.

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Image Courtesy of WDC2022

Under the name "Temporada Il·lustrada", the gastronomic-cultural space of the Muviment del MuVIM (Valencian Museum of Illustration and Modernity) hosts some works by the best Valencian artists in a series of exhibitions that will last until July 2022. During the month of May, the spotlight is on Luis Demano. The works of this Valencian illustrator, son and grandson of painters, have been seen in the main newspapers of the country and are characterized by social criticism and a clear avenging component. The exhibition will be open to the public during the months of April and May.

The exhibition "Mans i Màquines. Apunts Ceràmics" at the Jaume I University continues to be open to the public until the 31st of May. Visitors can discover how ceramic art and design get close by taking parallel positions until they seem to become elements of the same language. The exhibition, directed by Rosalia Torrent Esclapés, brings together ceramics belonging to the Alfa de Oro industrial design collection, deposited in the Taulell Manolo Safont Museum in Onda, in dialogue with works of artistic ceramics contributed by the Museums of Vilafamés and L'Alcora.

On the other hand, the IVAM hosts an itinerary along the Bakalao Route through its posters until the 12th of June. The exhibition "Graphic Route. The design of the sound of Valencia" radiographs one of the most unknown aspects by the public around the clubbing scene the city between the eighties and nineties: posters and graphic design. Curated by Antonio J. Albertos, Alberto Haller and Moyu Santana, the itinerary includes 132 posters, 86 flyers and two documentaries that incorporate personal interviews with different agents linked to the design process -designers, artists, printers and cultural managers, together with a selection of the paradigmatic posters and merchandising of the time.

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Image Courtesy of WDC2022

Until the 19th of June, the IVAM will also host the exhibition "Anni and Josef Albers. Art and Life". This is the first time in Spain that the paintings, drawings, photographs, textiles, furniture, glass pieces and jewelry of this unique couple of creators are exhibited together. A total of almost 350 works, some of them never seen, that go through the work of both artists. For this show some of the most exceptional large format tapestries made by Anni, have been gathered, including the singular 'With verticals', and well as the abstract series 'Homage to the square' made by Josef starting from 1950, together with its stained-glass windows, collages, furniture and graphic works. Most of the works come from the Anni and Josef Albers Foundation, as well as institutions such as Josef Albers Museum Quadrat, Peggy Guggenheim Collection and individuals who have lent pieces.

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Image Courtesy of WDC2022

The Saló del Respecte of the Scala Palace will house, until the 10th, the exhibition "Josep Renau and the time of images". The exhibition has been promoted by the Diputació de València with the intention of revisiting the cartelistic work of this internationally renowned Valencian artist and with the goal proposing new interpretative views of the artistic environment to which he dedicated a good part of his creative career. The exhibition consists of a set of about seventy posters, accompanied by more than thirty illustrations, book covers, pocket guides and various graphic documentation, through which the cultural value of the Renaunian artistic career will be revealed as a testimony of a collective memory.

The installation "Life Wins!" by Cachetejack, a duo of illustrators based in Valencia formed by Nuria Bellver and Raquel Fanjul, produced by the Botanical Garden of the University of Valencia and World Design Capital Valencia 2022, can be visited until the 9th of October. This initiative is part of the action to share the values of the New European Bauhaus promoted by the European Commission in order to bring the Green Deal to the places we live and promote a sustainable, inclusive and beautiful future for everybody. A score of exuberant and colorful images emerge from among the trees and plants in a sensory experience conceived as a celebration of the creative energy of nature in a living museum in the heart of the city.

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Cite: Diego Hernández. "The Thousand Facets of Design in the May Agenda of World Design Capital Valencia 2022 " 14 May 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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