Madrid Design Festival, the sixth edition of the city event promoted by La Fabrica is underway. From 7 February to 9 April, the Spanish capital hosts exhibitions, meetings, awards and cultural activities

February in Madrid has long been the month of design.

The sixth edition of the festival directed by Álvaro Matías and promoted by La Fabrica (a private cultural enterprise that has also successfully organized PhotoEspaña for years), aims to bring the public closer to design and its protagonists, Spanish and foreign.

Twenty-eight exhibitions, installations, competitions, prizes and meetings are scheduled from February 7 to April 9, with the involvement of around eighty companies and the participation of around six hundred professionals in the sector.

Talent, creativity and economic development are the axes around which the festival is centered, which promotes support actions in favor of the local emerging fabric and builds bridges for international collaborations.

Madrid Design Festival is a showcase of contemporary design, understood as a tool for improving daily life and a search engine for solutions suited to the crucial challenges of today: from urban sustainability to the depopulation of rural areas, from energy efficiency to the depletion of natural resources.

Seville invited city

Not many people know that Seville is a city historically linked to creativity and artisanal talent.

Just think of the marvelous creations of La Cartuja, an ancient ceramic factory on the banks of the Guadalquivir where since 1841 elegant crockery decorated in the English style has been made. In the exhibition Seville. Illuminated shade (at the Centro Fernán Gómez) offers an unprecedented journey into Sevillian design, from the most traditional languages to the most avant-garde proposals.

A hundred pieces show the fruitful mix between the artisan heritage of the past and the futuristic planning of the present.

The works of 25 artisans and designers - including Las Ánimas, Javier Menacho, Iloema, Todomuta, La Cartuja de Sevilla and Yukiko Kitahara - focus on the active values of design Sevillian, to get to know the Andalusian city from a different perspective, contemporary and perhaps, so far, little explored.

Exhibitions and installations

As always, there are numerous exhibitions proposed by the Madrid Design Festival, even if they lack a common thematic line.

The Fernán Gómez Cultural Center - a municipal space in the very central Plaza Colón - hosts, as always, most of them.

In addition to the exhibition dedicated to Sevillian design, the Madre natura collective will also be inaugurated on February 7, a collective designed to stimulate the sense of belonging to the planet by touching on themes such as circularity, sustainability and eco-design; Madrid, alpha of modernity, a retrospective look at ceramic production in the capital in the mid-twentieth century; and the installation Contorni dell'acqua, a project by the Turin architect Teresa Sapey for Formica Group.

Worth noting this year is the strong involvement in Madrid of the American Hardwood Export Council. In fact, the AHEC promotes the exhibition Slow, Design slow for a quick change (also at the Fernán Gómez Center) by presenting the works of 17 young creatives selected from nine Spanish schools, the whose prototypes in American wood were handcrafted by the Navarra carpentry in Madrid.

Three varieties of North American wood from AHEC are the material chosen by Inma Bermúdez with Moritz Krefter, Jorge Penedés and Álvaro Catalán de Ocón for the Natural Connections series, installations designed for the public refreshment within the spaces of Madatero Madrid, another important cultural center managed by the municipal administration.

Lastly, an AHEC project is Orixe: a series of functional and sustainable wooden furnishings (for outdoors, indoors and contract), designed by Studio Stone Design for Savia and presented both at Fernán Gómez and in the spaces of the Institución Libre de Enseñanza.

Fiesta Design, a space open to the public

Madrid Design Festival 2023 opt for a new one and choose a location as a meeting point between the public, professionals and companies. In the whole capital there is no space more suitable to host Fiesta Design than the intimate and half-hidden headquarters of the Institución de Libre Enseñanza in the elegant residential district of Chamberi.

The building itself, made up of ultra-modern pavilions - parallelepipeds wrapped in chromed steel strips designed around a small garden by architects Cristina Diáz Moreno and Efren García Grinda - is a symbol of the contemporary that dialogues with the story of an ancient and important pedagogical institution, founded in 1876.

Public talks, meetings reserved for professionals (Madrid Design Pro, from 15 to 18 February, including the architect Stefano Boeri among the participants), prize deliveries, small exhibitions will be held in the auditoriums, classrooms and small rooms and educational activities promoted by design schools such as Ied Madrid, the Polytechnic School of the University of Navarra and the Francisco de Vittoria of Madrid, or events organized by companies such as Amazon, Mini and Ikea (main sponsors of the Festival).

All with the light-hearted and enthusiastic spirit of a veritable design festival.

From 15 to 26 February ILE will also host the projects of the Rising Talent Award presented at the latest edition of Maison & Objet, where it will be possible to admire the works of the seven young Spanish designers returning from the successes of Paris.

Madrid Design Festival. In Madrid, from 7 February to 9 April.