L’H Cultural District · 2017

A metaphor on human communication using the structural element of a several paired chairs.

Bridges is a project conceived for Barcelona’s Plaza Europa on the occasion of the Mobile World Congress. The project will be installed for one year in the municipality of Hospitalet del Llobregat, near the trade fair complex (and site of the MWC) Fira de Barcelona 2. After the event, the work will be moved to another location in the same area.

It aims to be a metaphor on human communication using the structural element of a chair. The composition is formed with three modular elements in an arc shape that transform into seating facing each other.

The arcs that unite the chairs are graphic representations of a language, an imaginary code that is transferred between each one. An extension of the backs of the chairs, they make them become one piece – a bridge that conducts interpersonal communication; alone or with someone else, side-by-side or one in front of the other, face-to-face or with their backs to each other. Users can connect with each other, or remain alone in their chairs: powerless to disassociate from the communication (or non-communication) network that dominates and rules our lives.

As in other designs from our studio, Bridges acknowledges a sculptural tradition that is part of Spanish contemporary art. The work of the sculptor Pepe Espaliú springs to mind, and his sculptures that join together cages (called, Visual Aids), which make us reflect on the profound isolation that those diagnosed with AIDS suffered at the end of the 1980s. Another point of reference is a monument in L’Hospitalet; the Puente de la Libertad by Eduardo Arranz Bravo. It is a 9-metre-long bridge that unites two sculptures representing the two opposing sides of the Spanish Civil War – here connected and pacified through art.

Bridges is our first urban design project. Guided by the rule of finding ‘the extraordinary in the ordinary’, this creative studio has, since 2010, presented a series of industrial designs that give form to objects that are, in a fashion, playful, aesthetic and reflexive all at once. Welcome – an indoor playhouse for children – is amongst the studio’s most well known designs, along with Jambo, is a lounge chair inspired by a traditional African chair, and Nansa - an indoor swing.

Project commissioned by L’H Cultural District.
Art direction by Mermelada Estudio.
Photos by Manu da Costa.
Text by Albert Mercadé, art critic and Arranz Bravo Foundation Director’s.