What To Expect From World Design Capital Valencia 2022

The seaside city of Valencia, Spain, was named World Design Capital of 2022, and it has embraced this distinction through city-wide events, workshops and exhibitions, as well as new design initiatives that are intended to benefit the city long after the year is over. As World Design Capital 2022, the Spanish city of Valencia is hosting an array of exhibitions, installations, and events. Here are some of the design highlights to discover.

Valencia Disseny Week

One of the most notable elements scheduled to appear on the streets of Valencia is ‘Valencia Disseny Week’, an initiative driven by the Association of Designers of the Comunitat Valenciana that is closely linked to every edition of Hábitat. This year (2022) will run from 20th to 23rd September and will feature a diverse program ranging from exhibitions to talks, seminars, workshops, and openings. These activities are set to include the ‘Design Walks’, which were extremely well received in 2021 and will be back in enhanced form this year. These routes around design studios in the Comunitat Valenciana aim to give visibility to work and organizational processes. Also, and as in previous years, the program will include ‘Destacados VDW2022’ events, which differ from the rest because of their size and impact in terms of reach, location, production requirements or the relevance of the entity organizing them.

Àgora València 

A unique architectural project created for Valencia World Design Capital 2022 is the Àgora, situated in the main city-hall plaza, and designed to be a gathering point for events and for visitors to learn about the program of activities throughout the year. A long rectangular structure with stilt-like legs gives way to a raised open interior made up of hundreds of small white square panels. Designed by Miguel Arraiz, architect, creative, and project manager of World Design Capital Valencia 2022, together with Arqueha Arquitectura y Urbanismo, and Cosín Estudio, the undulating, wave-like roof reflects the city’s connection to the sea, while the white panels, made with white MDi, a ceramic-like material, reference the region’s rich history with the ceramics and stone industries. Among standout events at the Àgora, a unique lighting installation, conceived by creative studio Radiante Lab with energy efficiency in mind and shown nightly, aims to highlight the structure’s architecture and create a connection with citizens. 

Plaça de l’Ajuntament de València

Jaime Hayon at the CCC

A major highlight of the Valencia World Design Capital 2022 is the retrospective exhibition of Jaime Hayon, whose creative studio is based in the city, with further offices in Barcelona and Treviso, Italy. Opening on 22 September 2022, at the Centre del Carme Cultura Contemporània (CCCC), ‘InfinitaMente’ will bring together a selection of iconic works by the Madrid-born designer and artist, some of which have never been seen in Spain before, including Masquemask, a series of seven large tapestry masks. The exhibition will take visitors on a journey into Hayon’s colorful universe and creative process over the last 20-plus years with large-scale paintings and sculptures, two rooms dedicated to his playful yet complex ceramic and glass work, and a room given over to materials, sketchbooks, drawings, and prototypes. The exhibition will include work made for commercial products, such as vases, jars and furniture, but also limited-edition and unique pieces and works on paper. ‘InfinitaMente’ will be on view through April 16, 2023. 

Carrer del Museu, 2, 4

ADN Ceramico

While the award of World Design Capital is given to a city that embraces creativity, it is also an opportunity for the city to invest in urban projects and initiatives that use design to foster creativity and growth for the future. One of these is ADN Ceramico, a project launched by ceramicist Ana Illueca to promote Valencia’s ceramic traditions and Mediterranean culture while building a platform for contemporary ceramic artists working across the city. ADN Ceramico aims to foster new relationships between the ceramic industry and independent designers for future collaborations through a host of workshops and events throughout the year, as well as a digital mapping of ceramic artists in the region. This map can also be used by tourists visiting the region and interested to discover new work, as well as by brands and companies looking for ideas and new collaborations. Notes Illueca, ‘The most exciting thing for me is that the ceramic community itself is proud of this project. They recognize the need and put energy into making the project achieve its objectives.’

Various locations across the city.

‘HabitatOFF’, from Feria Valencia to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento

One of the most notable activities of all the celebrations of design in the streets of Valencia will be the ‘HabitatOFF’ fiestas that will bring the hubbub of Feria Hábitat València to the city center, specifically to the fabulous new Àgora València. Right in the center of Valencia’s Plaza del Ayuntamiento, the space has already become an icon of the area’s urban landscape, prompting citizens’ curiosity and acting as a loudhailer for design. Within the space, designed by Miguel Arraiz and technical input from interior design consultancy Cosín Estudio, Feria Hábitat València will be hosting a grand party every day after the fair closes to celebrate design. With live music and DJ’s, the party will be open to all professionals attending the fair during that week.

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