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Levisman: “Until 1930, there was no modern furniture, designed, built and tested in Argentina, but only classic furniture. Since then and until the 1970s, they remain in force”

As part of the 1st chapter of the curatorial program Epic: feats of Argentine Design, the industrial designer Franco Chimento interviews Martha Levisman, architect, historian and archivist specialized in the modern movement and the work of authors such as Alejandro Bustillo, who renewed the style decoration in the 30s.

How her devotion to archives was born from investigating the work of Bustillo and the architecture of National Parks; and her work with 12 original files to give rise to her book on the production of Argentine furniture between 1930-1970, which contemplates the history of the furniture companies that changed the course of national design. “I was lucky that everything I am telling I lived; I met each one of the people I am mentioning ”, points out this 87-year-old architect who believed it necessary to surrender to what she calls“ submerged movement ”, daring to dive to the bottom of the ocean to make what was lost appear, put it in order, and make books to spread those stories about design and architecture. You can see the interview on our YouTube channel.

Architect (FADU, UBA) and archivist, Martha Levisman belongs to the International Confederation of Architecture Museums. She is the author of the three buildings of the Antorcha Foundation in Buenos Aires. She made the proposal for refunctionalization, and the study of equipment for the National Library in Buenos Aires for its implementation. She has been the Director of ARCA (Argentine Contemporary Architecture Archive) since 1998. She has published the books “Bustillo. A project of National Architecture ”(2010) and“ Design and production of Argentine furniture 1930-1970 ”(2015), among others.

Franco Chimento is an industrial designer from the National University of Mar del Plata and a design researcher. Member of the executive team at Fundación IDA in Asset Management of Product and Industrial Design, he is also a teacher in the Industrial Design career at UNMDP.

Epic: Feats of Argentine Design is a multi-format curatorial program that reviews a century of history, through the collection of Fundación IDA and other archives. During April and May, we presented the 1st chapter, 1920–1940.