'Designs that save lives': Responses to Covid-19 showcased in Barcelona
'Emergency! Designs against Covid-19' exhibition runs at Barcelona Design Museum until January 10
'Emergency! Designs against Covid-19' is the name of the latest exhibition running at the Barcelona Design Museum.
As the title suggests, the show features responses from the world of design to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
The aim, according to museum director Pilar Vélez, is to show how "design is a useful tool for society," with more than fifty objects on display, divided into three categories: protective equipment (mainly face masks), medical machinery, and graphic design from public awareness campaigns.
Co-curator Teresa Bastardes says that from the beginning of the pandemic, the museum began collecting the design world's response to the situation, with the goal of "keeping the collections up to date."
Initial hopes to collect a dozen objects have been well exceeded, with organizers choosing 55 designs that demonstrate a wide range of ideas and approaches.
The exhibition contains several kinds of masks and protective screens, among them the 'Gracia Mask', an acetate screen made in the 'Materia Rica' workshop in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. Its designer, Joan Ayguadé, said that in March he felt the need to create this type of transparent screen in order to facilitate facial reading, something not possible with conventional face masks.
There are also several examples of innovative solutions to the lack of respiratory machines that hit health services around the world, including the 'OxyGEN' emergency respirator, born in Barcelona's Poblenou district and the first of its kind to be approved by the Spanish Medicines Agency for use in hospitals.
The majority of the pieces that are currently on display are made in Catalonia, although the museum expects to add more projects from elsewhere in the months ahead, which will be available to view online, via the museum's website.
We're featuring "various designs that have helped save lives," says Vélez, adding that "the pandemic is not over and new things are needed every day."
The exhibition is free and open from November 13 to January 10, 2021. It forms part of the 15th Barcelona Design Week, which runs from November 17 –26.