--- Valencia has been in the international spotlight in recent years
for various reasons, however, design had never been valued as a fundamental
part of its DNA. Why has that recognition come just now?
It has been a conjunction of factors. On one hand, that maturity of the
Valencian design that is merited, neither more nor less, of the designers
and also of the companies that have been firmly committed to design for
years. To this has been added a greater institutional sensitivity towards professional
design and the willpower of a group of professionals in the sector
who wish to promote a common project that would put in value before
Valencian and Spanish society, and before the world, all the design that
has been undertaken in this community. Companies have also seen in this
venture a fantastic reason for valuing their work and for being successful.
In short, it was the perfect time to do it, just when the world faces new
challenges - sustainability and care for the environment, circular economy,
human rights - where design has much to contribute.
--- You talk about the origin of a change in the way design is
integrated into the city, how will that change affect the business
people in the contract sector (interior designers, buyers-designers,
In short, what we have always wanted to do is to generate projects in
many areas and sectors that demonstrate that with a designer by your
side everything is easier. We have insisted a lot on the mainstreaming of
design to have precisely that force in that change and that is where the
contract business appears, together with the industrial, ux / ui, the graphic,
the service design or the textile and fashion sectors. In addition, we
want to turn Valencian design into an international benchmark and for
this reason we will organize forums for different design disciplines in Valencia
during 2022, drawing together all sectors to agree joint-solutions
for determining the challenges we face as a society. In the end, this venture
has made design possess a voice and resources to make itself heard,
and we will not let the opportunity pass. Design professionals will be,
from all areas, the ones that will benefit most from everything.
--- The candidacy has received the support of representatives
from the world of design, as well as from institutions, professional
associations and companies. How have you achieved this cohesion
for a common objective?
With an exciting project. All the partners in the different phases of the
project understood that this could only benefit everyone involved, at
many levels. From the professionals to the institutions themselves, to the
industry and to the entire Valencian territory first and then even to the
national one. We all knew how to work together to obtain that candidacy,
with great generosity and with the ‘good vibes’ that make the project
something historic. We have learned to vindicate the Valencian design of
the last centuries, highlighting local industries such as furniture, ceramics,
textiles or graphics, telling a very particular story: that of Valencian design,
which perhaps because of a problem of self-esteem had not been known
how to give an account of itself. This candidacy has been an exercise in
--- What role has the media played to achieve the appointment
of capital status?
You have been fundamental. Somehow, we knew how to express our hopes
and that, together with getting onto the political agenda, quickly put
us into communication orbits where design had not previously entered.
That is why we insist that it is a great joint achievement, of all of us, and
the media have been vital during this project helping us to demonstrate to
68 spaincontract. Coffee Break. Xavi Calvo
--- En las imágenes, Xavi Calvo celebra el nombramiento con
otos miembros del equipo de VCMD. Arriba Joan, Ribó, alcalde
de Valencia. --- In the images, Xavi Calvo celebrates the appointment
with other members of the VCMD team. Above Joan,
Ribó, mayor of Valencia.
the World Design Organization the social support for this candidacy. Until
now the design was a field that was too limited for specialized media and
by opening design to the general media it has managed to land in other
areas less given to that discipline, but nevertheless wanting to find out
--- As a regular contributor writing design articles, do you think
that in Spain there is a specialized quality press that reinforces the
value of design in Valencia?
Undoubtedly there is, with many specialized media and large references
that are published or produced in Spain, with a very loyal audience, and
that has also opted in recent months to generating content related to
Valencian design. Actually, the problem is not the specialized press, rather
it is the generalist press, which has rarely talked about design as they
are currently doing, and it is probably because they do not know where
to place the design. Is it culture? Is it economy? Art? They have not yet
discovered the intersecting value of design.