‘Comunidad Circular’: promoting the value of contemporary Spanish craftsmanship
In March 2021, as part of Madrid Design Festival, LZF participated in an exhibition titled ‘Comunidad Circular’ (Circular Community), an event designed to promote the value of contemporary Spanish craftsmanship. Held at the Central de Diseño—located in the Matadero Madrid, a landmark cultural centre—‘Comunidad Circular’ was organised by the Sociedad de Artesanía Contemporánea (SACo) and Mazda (the Japanese car manufacturer’s first electric car, the MX-30, was modelled in clay by a Takumi clay master and designed using a 360 degree sustainable approach).
The aim of ‘Comunidad Circular’ is to consider the value of contemporary Spanish craftsmanship, both now and in the future, and to think about the importance of sustainable production methods. The concept for the exhibition, designed by Madrid-based studios Placton and Estudio Báltico, was based on a circle, using the idea of a shared ideology that seeks to open dialogue in any direction. During the event, LZF had three of its handmade natural wood veneer lamps on display: Minimikado, Dune, and Lens Oval.
Among many of today’s consumers, there is an increasing awareness of the value of handmade objects and a growing understanding of the adverse impact of mass production on the environment. Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic has arguably exacerbated our sense of fragility, and we are more likely to find solace and meaning in that which is valued and useful: handcrafted objects are just one example.
Spain has a rich and eclectic history of traditional craftsmanship, but unlike a number of other countries, there is no existing ecosystem helping to promote it: SACo is seeking to fill this void. Its origins come from the collective experiences of twenty artisanal Spanish companies (including LZF)—embracing a range of disciplines, they have a strong and allied heritage of exquisite artisanship. The first association of its kind in Spain, SACo is striving to keep long-established crafts alive. Connecting the old with the new—tradition with innovation—its objective is to preserve Spain’s cultural history, while at the same time ensuring Spanish craft is at the cutting edge of design. Those companies involved with SACo create handmade pieces imbued with emotion and made to last. Using noble materials, such as wood, leather, ceramic, and textiles, they each have a desire to increase awareness of contemporary Spanish craft, both nationally and internationally.