#Epic | FEATS OF ARGENTINE DESIGN 1960 - Part 2
“EPIC: Feats of Argentine Design” is a multi-format, curatorial program aimed at reviewing a century of history based on the IDA Foundation collection and other related archives. This is the second issue of the chapter “1960”, which tackles the consolidation of design, its connections with new artistic trends, and the transformation of technologies and materials.
#EpicAnniversary | Frondizi’s Inauguration
Arturo Frondizi (1958 ‐ 1962) was inaugurated as president on May 1st 1958, having been postulated by the Intransigent Radical Civic Union. His victory was partially due to a political pact he made with Juan Domingo Perón (who, at the time, lived in Venezuela as an exile). Supported by his advisor Rogelio Frigeiro, he implemented a “developmentalist” model, based on the integration of agricultural, mining, scientific, and industrial activities, during his presidential term. Such a model, which was a direct continuation of the “import substitution” scheme established during Perón’s era, privileged, in particular, heavy industry and oil production. In 1958, his law proposal to nationalize oil and gas reservoirs and decree them as “exclusive, perennial, and inalienable assets of the National State” was approved by Congress. Simultaneously, he fostered patriotic, anti-imperialist sentiments through national celebrations, such as the 150 anniversary of the May Revolution, which was commemorated with the Sesquicentennial Fair-Exhibition (1960). From 1958 to 1962 Frondizi faced 26 military confrontations and 6 coup d’etat attempts. Such political instability took a toll on the economy by causing exportations to fall and an increase of imports. On March 28, 1962, after refusing to quit the presidency, Frondizi was apprehended by the army and sent to Martín García island. Frondizi’s image and ideas were used often by mass media of the time, both during his term and after his demise. For example, the cover of issue no. 34 of Tía Vicenta magazine (1958) displayed a cartoon by Juan Carlos “Landrú” Colombres, which showcased an “anthropomorphic study” of the presidential candidate. After Frondizi’s deposition, Time magazine published in 1962 an issue entitled “The Failure of Democracy in Argentina”. In counterpart, Frondizi published the book Oil and Nation (1963), in which he validated his policies by asserting the crucial role of hydrocarbon production in the global political and economic landscape.
#EpicAnniversary | Military Coups
The so-called Argentine Revolution ousted president Arturo Illía (1963 - 1966) and enabled the rise of Juan Carlos Onganía (1966 - 1970) to power. His economic policies favored free market policies which, in turn, resulted in working strikes and student protests. On July 29th 1966 military forces confronted, for the first time, members of academic circles when they repressed their demands in favor of the application of the University Reform (1918) —institutional autonomy independent from political authorities—. During the Night of the Long Batons, around 400 people were arrested in five different schools of the UBA. The federal police violently evacuated and destroyed the premises.
Within this critical context, on November 1968, the multidisciplinary collective Tucumán Arde, a group of artists, journalists, and sociologists, carried out a series of synchronized actions in different headquarters of the “Argentinians’ CGT” with the purpose of denouncing the privatization of sugar production complexes in Tucumán. The project included urban posters, mass media ads and promotionals, and the 1st Avantgarde Art Biennial inaugurated (and closed the same day) in the cities of Rosario and Buenos Aires. Some of the group’s most renowned members were: Aldo Bortoloti, Graciela Carnevale, Jorge Carballa, Noemí Escandel, León Ferrari, Roberto Jacoby, Rubén Naranjo, Margarita Paksa, Eduardo Ruano, and Pablo Suárez.
The event known as the Cordobazo, a working class-student protest against assassinations committed during the dictatorship and to advocate for better employment conditions. Members of several working unions were arrested in the streets during the demonstration to prevent their arrival to the downtown area; one delegate was killed. Another confrontation, the Mendozazo, happened on April 4, 1972 in Cuyo. On that day the police faced a group of agricultural producers, workers, teachers, and students, around 15.000 people in total, who gathered in front of the Government House to protest. The police force repressed the citizens using “Neptuno” hydrant trucks to soak them with colored liquids that would make them easy targets. Police actions caused several deaths and hundreds of wounded people. The event prompted the Governor’s resignation.
#EpicContext | Industrial fairs and promotional stands
Industrial and political promotion fairs, influenced by international exhibitions, began a modernization process during the 1950’s through the planned construction of fair stands and large scale advertising. Inaugurated in the Recoleta neighborhood in the 1960’s, the mega Sesquicentennial National Exhibition (1960), built, virtuously, with industrial material and precast concrete. The event laid the foundations for the Municipal Exhibition Center (1960). In the commercial promotion field, some events, like the International Cattle, Agricultural and Industry Exhibition, organized in the property owned by La Rural in Palermo, gathered companies involved in the construction of mega projects developed by architecture and design studios. Studio Agens, a branch of the company Siam Di Tella, developed some of the most risky ventures, pushed by its conviction that “stands are created to sell products, promote a specific image, and communicate messages to the audience”. The agency produced several booths, such as the 120 square meters Siam stand at the 1962 International Cattle Exhibition. The booth, designed by Héctor Compaired and Eduardo Joselevich, received the top award for its well-rounded proposal and for including an audiovisual show projected throughout the space.
In 1966, the XXIII International Cattle Exhibition featured the Bunge & Borne stand designed by Amancio Williams. The booth, surrounded by umbrella-columns, shocked everyone for its material technology. The studio Diseñadores Asociados, composed of a plural membership that, at that moment included: Gonzalo Arias, Silvio Grichener, Gregorio Gurevritz, Carlos Pujals, and Héctor Compaired, won a contest to create the stand of the National Meat Board using an assembly system made of scaffolds and panels. Atelier Studio —led by the siblings Ary and Amaury Brizzi— specialized in publicity architecture and became recognized for its plastic value and technical resolution. It developed projects for companies such as IKA, Fiat, the National Meat Board, and Lepetit Laboratories. The Human Comfort International Exhibition turned into another experimentation platform. The event was also hosted at La Rural. During its first three events (1969, 1971, and 1974, respectively), the exhibition featured more than 300 exhibitors and companies that showcased furniture and appliances for homes, offices, factories, transportation, and modern entertainment venues. The House of the Future, a plastic structure with the shape of a flying saucer made in Finland, was displayed in Comfort I. During the exhibition, awards were granted to the stands: Conqueror, Siam Di Tella, Spar, Winco, Blainstein, Noblex Argentina, and State Gas. The TV campaign produced to promote the event targeted women as the main consumers Another contemporary fair was: Habitat, 1st Exhibition of Materials, Technique, and Architecture (1966), organized by alumni of the FAU (UBA) at the institution’s hall. It was sponsored by the SCA with the goal of creating a link between the university and the building and equipment industry. The ‘69 Expo: Present-day Building in Argentina (1969) was organized based on a similar premise at the Boca Juniors Sports Complex. Also during the 60’s, the architect Osvaldo Pons designed the Cordoba Fair Complex, a milestone of modern architecture due to the symbolic nature of its domes and its landscape quality. The huge building projects that merged industrial and design elements carried on during the 1970’s, when it was halted due to economic and entrepreneurial instability.
#EpicContext | Commercial Art
Artistic practices during this period crossed institutional boundaries, thus originating hybrid languages, new consumer habits, and a close interaction with mass media. Expanding their horizons beyond museums and galleries, artists produced objects, furniture and textiles to be commercialized as ornaments. Edgardo Giménez was the pioneer who conceived, in partnership with Delia Costa and photographer José Costa, Oveja Boba (1963 - 1966), a design store located in 1200 Rodríguez Peña Street (Recoleta) where they sold their own pieces and pop art products by guest artists, such as folk crafts, furniture turned into sculptures, and decoupage objects. A new version of the Mona Lisa became the promotional image of the store. After that endeavor, he opened Mordedura tierna, a boutique established in his own studio located in Olivos and specialized in specific group-oriented influences, such as hippie and naif art pieces. His most renowned establishment was Out of the Box, Center of Art to be Commercialized (1969 - 1973), inaugurated after the Di Tella Institute closed. The store, conceived by the couple Marta Bontempi-Jorge Romero Brest, Raquel Edelman, and Edgardo Giménez, was located at a small establishment inside the Promenade Shopping Mall in Recoleta. Upon its inauguration, a newspaper article claimed: “Out of the Box: the materialization of a delirium”, clearly referring to the unusual and avant-garde characteristics of the household products sold in the establishment. Jorge Romero Brest had a progressive view of design and noticed how it invaded everyday life through images and objects that gradually refined people’s tastes.
The original store was decorated with an impressive display of intertwined fabrics, mirrors, and laminated prisms that fostered the creative imagination of both artists and consumers. Inside, diverse pieces could be found, for example, garments, fabrics, silk-screen prints, mail stationary, tapestries, jewelry, tableware, and special products designed by Edgardo Giménez, such as upholstery fabric, dishware, lamps, and furniture. Mass production of these pieces encouraged the use of materials like acrylic, laminated sheets, neon. ceramics, and glass that displayed very colorful, psychedelic images. During its last year of existence, the store moved to Bonino Shopping Mall (showing, in that final stage, and homage to Alejandro Shaw) and changed its focus by specializing in indoor home design with the goal of “transforming living quarters into livable artwork”. One of the most iconic creations created by Giménez to be commercialized in Fuera de Caja was his series of pop prints. IDA, in collaboration with designer Santi Pozzi and printer Cumby Giraud, reissued that psychedelic imaginary collection in 2018.
The creative bond between the couple Brest-Bontempi and Giménez was consolidated during the decoration of the department located in Parera Street, Buenos Aires City, and culminated with the construction of the “Blue House” (1971 - 1972) in City Bell, La Plata. The latter was planned as an inhabitable structure in the middle of the countryside. This iconic creation by Giménez appeared in Pierre Restany’s publication Domus and earned its author an invitation to participate in the exhibition Transformations in Modern Architecture (1979) at the MoMA.
#EpicContext | Architecture and Design in University Programs
The creation of project-based careers during the 1950’s enabled the professionalization of design in Argentina. Several architects and designers formed professional networks that introduced groundbreaking ideas as part of the new curricula. Designer, theoretician and painter Tomás Maldonado played a fundamental role in this process and we must consider him one of the greatest supporters of design in Argentina. Through his work at the HfG de Ulm (1954 - 1964), the design science center where he shared ideas with Max Bill. His ideas circulated in Argentina in publications and in the mail he exchanged with his colleagues. In contrast to Bauhaus, a school focused in applied art, the ULM endorsed the Good Shape (Gute Form) idea and undertook the project of designing the “man of the future”. In record time, progressive cities like Buenos Aires, La Plata, and Rosario, assimilated these innovative ideas. The first milestone took place in Mendoza. In 1958, the Design Program was created with the support of Abdulio Giudici, César Jannello, and his partner Colette Boccara. The program was offered by the Department of Design and Decoration of the Superior School of Arts at the UNCuyo. The program, along with the one offered in Rio de Janeiro, was a trailblazing project not only in Argentina but also in all of Latin America because it was influenced by non figurative artistic trends and a deep understanding of shapes. Samuel Sánchez de Bustamante (a member of Austral group) directed the program between 1962 and 1966. Aided by his partner Beatriz Penny Cánovas, one of the first engineer women in the country, he created several design workshops, Vision courses, and many extension activities like exhibitions, public museums, and contests linked to regional industries such as wine production.
In 1960, the Industrial Design Institute (IDI) was founded in the School of Exact Sciences, Engineering and Architecture at the UNR, in Santa Fe. Jorge Vila Ortiz (1962 - 1989) and Enzo Grivarello (1989 - 2003) led the institute. The IDI had a very “Ulmesque” profile, since it aimed at binding university and industry. It connected engineering to a creative conception of visual arts, which was an innovative endeavor in that region. In 1960, Alberto Emilio Torres created the School of Visual Arts, known today as the Martin A. Malharro School of Visual Arts, in Mar del Plata. The Graphic Design career was inaugurated in 1966. Nicolas Jiménez —who collaborated with Agens and, later, during the 70’s, directed the Graphic Design and Publicity Department at the EPA— taught there; while renowned designers graduated there, for example, Alberto Potenza —art director at Agens and, later, faculty member— and designer and artist Juan Gatti. In 1963, the University of La Plata opened its Design program within the Superior School of Fine Arts, under the direction of Daniel Almeida Curth. It specialized in two branches of the discipline: Visual Communication Design and Industrial Design. Graduates from the program were prepared to work in a very demanding field due to their technical and cultural skills. Jorge Pereira, a local concrete designer and artist, taught the Visual Communication Design course (1969 - 1975).
The School of Architecture at Tucumán (1939) was founded within the School of Engineering which, in 1952, became the School of Architecture and Urbanism of the UNT. The ideas of such professors as Horacio Caminos, Eduardo Sacriste and Jorge Vivanco helped create a groundbreaking curriculum that included a workshop system and urbanism theory-practice. During the late 40’s and early 50’s, being one of the goals of Perón’s Five-Year Plan, the Eva Perón University City Complex was built. It had a massive size, 18.000 hectares, and quickly became an impressive creative center that also had residential facilities for faculty and students. In San Juan, within the Department of Architecture and Urbanism of the UNCuyo School of Engineering, Exact, and Natural Sciences, José Carrieri led the Plastics Workshops I and II (1956 - 1971) and Leonor Rigau taught the Color course (1959 - 1965). The methodology followed in Carrieri’s workshop focused on the study of shape through 2D plane and texture exercises; as well as the study of virtual and 3D spaces and the effect of time in relation to lightning. Carrieri’s progressive conception of deep understanding of shapes, acquired while being a disciple of the Russian abstract sculptor Antoine Pevsnet, greatly influenced the program.
Meanwhile, at the National University of Córdoba, the School of Architecture and Urbanism (1954) formulated a new studies plan, with a distinct humanistic approach, in 1956. The urbanistic theories that circulated at the CIAM were brought by Italian professors that joined the faculty, such as Enrico Tedeschi and urban planners Lázaro Devoto and Ernesto La Padula. During the 1970 's the “Total Workshop” was included in the program. From 1957 on, new, modern trends were introduced to the School of Architecture (1948) at the UBA through several department systems that aimed to achieve an integral approach. In the Visión area, renowned professors like Gastón Breyer, Alberto Le Pera, Carlos Méndez Mosquera and Rafael Onetto taught courses. Simultaneously, students had access to a laboratory that examined shapes by merging technique and craftsmanship. At the same time, Eudeba published Pablo Tedeschi’s book La génesis de las formas y el diseño industrial (1962). Tedeschi belonged to the ADIA, the Argentine Industrial Designers Association (1962). In 1961, the Italian architect Enrico Tedeschi, in his role as dean and project manager, promoted the creation of the first provincial School of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Mendoza. The School was located inside a modern style building. Previously, during the 1950’s, Tedeschi had collaborated with the urban planning of the Tucuman University City Complex; he had also been a professor at the National University of Córdoba.
#EpicContext | Avant garde garments and textiles
Designers Mary Tapia, Dalila Puzzovio and Charlie Squirru are icons of the period’s art-design fusion. Their integral vision encouraged them to apply experimental garment design techniques, which resulted in innovative pieces. Designer Mary Tapia (Tucuman, 1934 – Buenos Aires, 2011) merged in her garments elements of European apparel with native fibers and pre-Columbian prints. Her pieces became emblems of “creole criollo”. She was part of the neo-avant garde artist circle of Buenos Aires. Her pieces were showcased in diverse venues, such as the gallery El Laberinto (1966), the bathrooms of Colmegna (1967) —a delirious event where models and athletes walked through a platform at the edge of a swimming pool—, and the CAV of the ITDT, as part of its consolidation fashion show Prêt-à-porter Pachamama (1969). The invitation to this event, which was organized as a happening, included a quote by Tapia: “creating an Argentine fashion style has turned into my obsession”. Proud of her origins, paying homage to the traditional carnivals she attended during her childhood years in northern Argentina, she designed garments with handcrafted textiles of that region and other Latin American countries, such as the Ao Po’i and the barracán. She aimed at creating a regional fashion style that could contend with international trends. She opened a store inside the exclusive shopping mall Promenade. Tapia has showcased her garments in Paris. She has received the Gold and Silver Scissors awarded by the Argentine Fashion Chamber, as well as the Konex Platinum Award. Dalila Puzzovio (Buenos Aires, 1945) and Charlie Squirru (Buenos Aires, 1934) are one of the most explosive couples of the Di Tella generation. They experimented with multiple formats and used textile and garment design as a new form of expression. In 1965, they created an urban intervention “Why are they so awesome?”, alongside Edgardo Giménez. The piece was a turning point of pop art, since it was backed by sponsors. During their sojourn in New York, in 1969, they produced more than 200 print patterns for textiles which included objects of home material culture, such as vases, mate cups. and elements related to ecology, space, and minerals. Some of these were used by designers like Oscar de la Renta and Calvin Klein. They were also reissued in Italy and Japan by Vogue magazine. Upon their return to Argentina, they produced the wardrobe for the film Psexoanálisis (1968) and for the TV show Con sabor a Pinky (1977), among other audiovisual productions. They were art directors of several fashion campaigns. Puzzovio developed the fabric, prêt-á-porter collections: Dalila, Forestal and Homenaje a Urano en Escorpio, which were sold at Madame Frou-Frou. She also designed the pre-Columbian, colored wool tricot (c. 1970 - 1972) that featured in the country-urban line. That knit work merged ´pop art colorimetry with prehispanic figures.
Madame Frou-Frou, owned by Rosa Bailón, was located inside the East gallery. It was an eccentric store decorated with drawings by Daniel Melgarejo. The exclusive design proposals showcased there were complemented with the interventions created by textile designer and artist Medora Manero (Buenos Aires, 1920 - 2011), who combined plastic arts and fashion. Manero worked with natural chiffon and silk fabrics; she created cotton, psychedelic dresses; and, from 1967 on, she transformed white barracan fabrics and the rugged picote cloth into original overcoats. Her work recovered handcrafted, hippie style textiles and used them within a context of cultural boom. Etcétera, a store decorated in a wacky way, with black walls and furniture with snake shaped legs—designed by Juan Stoppani and Alfredo Arias—, commercialized the objects produced by Di Tella artists that could not be sold in the institute: the eggs created by Margarita Paksa, Juan Gatti’s chokers, platforms and sweaters by Dalila Puzzovio, and the belts design by the couple Delia Cancela and Pablo Mesejean, who integrated fashion and plastic arts through the use of a poetic language developed, as was part of their career, in London and Paris.
#EpicFeatured | Torcuato Di Tella Institute
The Torcuato Di Tella Institute (ITDT, 1958 - 1970), known as “the Di Tella”, was a cultural and educational institution sponsored by the metal mechanic company Siam Di Tella and founded by Guido and Torcuato Di Tella as an homage to their father. Created as a foundation, the endeavor continued the philanthropic tradition of Siam’s founder by sponsoring intellectuals, artists, and designers from diverse disciplines. The institute had two establishments in the capital city, each with a distinct profile: one in 3230 Virrey del Pino Street and another one in 936 Florida Street. The ITDT aimed at modernizing Argentine cultural production through its several specialized research centers. The Virrey del Pino branch hosted the Economics Research Center (1960) and the Social Research Center (1963). The Audiovisual Experimentation Center (CEA, 1963), directed by Roberto Villanueva; the Latin American Center of Higher Studies in Music (CLAEM), led by Alberto Ginastera in collaboration with Fernando von Reichenbach; and the Visual Arts Center (CAV), directed by Jorge Romero Brest, were located at the Florida Street establishment. These departments were the epicenters of festivals, exhibitions, congresses, scholarship programs, and many other strategies that were implemented in alliance with other institutes, museums, and several public and private organisms.
Scholars and intellectuals gathered at Virrey del Pino Street to research and discuss. Between 1965 and 1971, some of the ideas debated there were published in the Latinamerican Sociology Review and in other publications edited by the institute. The Florida Street branch hosted the “crazy apple” alongside the East Gallery, a crucial space for artistic and intellectual experimentation of the period that merged North American systems and local content. The place -which reached its peak between 1965 and 1970- had exhibition halls and an auditorium that presented plays and concerts by artists and performers, such as: Norman Briski, Nacha Guevara, Alfredo Arias, Iris Scaccheri, Ana Kamien, Marilú Marini and Les Luthiers. The CAV displayed neo-avant garde trends (for example, neo figurative art and pop art) as part of the national and international awards it hosted. Some of the artists that showed their work there were: Antonio Berni, Jorge de la Vega, Juan Carlos Distéfano, León Ferrari, Edgardo Giménez, Gyula Kosice, Julio Le Parc, Marta Minujín, and Dalila Puzzovio, among others. The pieces showcased at the center stood out for their experimentation with multiple materials, their use of technology, their conceptual disruption, and the discomfort they provoked in an audience that appreciated groundbreaking proposals. Some of the displayed artwork that stood out were: the huge, 4 meter high egg created by Federico Peralta Ramos —1965 National Award— and the Double Platforms —1967 International Award— by Dalila Puzzovio, whose art creations, partially sponsored by Grimoldi shoe manufacturer, were meant to be commercialized. Probably the most remembered pieces showcased at the center were the interventions by Marta Minujín, a pop art and ephemeral experiences pioneer, creator of the maze shaped installation La menesunda (1965) —using Siam refrigerators and TVs— and the technological multimedia piece Simultaneidad en Simultaneidad (1966). Some of the most celebrated exhibitions were the 1st and 2nd Industrial Design National Award co organized with the CIDI (Industrial Design Research Center); and La fiesta del afiche (1969), presented to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Meca Company at the ITDT.
The ITDT had an internal design department led by artist and designer Juan Carlos Distéfano, who co-created, alongside Rubén Fontana, Juan Andralis and Norberto Coppola, Carlos Soler and Juan Carlos Indart, the integral communication design shown in graphic and editorial pieces like programs, catalogues, long plays, and street posters. The team experimented with printing processes, photography (by artists like Humberto Rivas), and the use of fonts with image value to achieve a coherent and diverse system: they kept the formats while playing with visual strategies. This system incorporated artistic trends such as op art and graphic synthesis. It became an unprecedented action since it applied a corporate identity strategy to a cultural institution. The Di Tella collapsed due to the censorship policies implemented by the military government of Onganía —shown in the collective exhibition 1968 Experiences—. The violent political context forced several research centers at the ITDT to close. The Florida Street headquarters remained open until April 1970.
#EpicFeatured | Fabrics and Prints
Textile design was a main protagonist during the 1960’s, particularly for its innovative relationship with handcraft and industrial processes. The fruits of these new dynamics had a remarkable impact in indoor and equipment design. Visconti, Interieur Forma, CH Studio and Stilka were some of the most renowned designers of the period, all of which received national and international awards. Visconti and Co. (1935) was founded by José Visconti. His son, Josué “Coco” Visconti, became the firm’s director in the 1950’s. The company had a versatile profile; it produced textile design for upholstery and curtains —made with both manual and mechanical looms—, while commercializing furniture and ornament pieces. Its Design Technique Department offered services such as furnishing, decorating, and creating sets. During the 1960’s, several experts collaborated with the firm, for example, Haydée Visconti, Josué’s life partner and associate (stamps and embroidery), Horacio Sala (furniture), Vicente Marotta (lamps and ornaments), and Margarita Marotta, who began as a furniture designer but, later, designed prints for tapestries and household objects. Visconti’s pieces earned national and worldwide recognition. Some of the awards received by the company were: the Grand Solid Silver Award and the First Solid Copper Award granted by the CIDI —given to fabrics designed by Josué Visconti and prints by Margarita Marotta—, and the Exempla Bronze Medal (Germany). The company participated in several exhibitions, including, the Industrial Design International Exhibition (1963), organized by the CIDI at the Modern Art Museum; a fabric exhibition at the Di Tella Visual Arts Center (1963); the III Environment Exhibition (1968); Argentina within Industrial Design (1970) and Exempla 72 (1972) curated by Basilio Uribe, where Visconti’s piece “Recife”, which merged 9 different threadings, received a special honorable mention.
Inspired by the moment 's formal boom, textile designer and silk-screen printer Marotta (Buenos Aires, 1935) created pieces with handcrafted prints on industrial loom textiles. Trained in France, she became an expert producing “Lyon style” textile prints, later, she experimented by creating compositions that incorporated many small, overlapping matrices in her fabrics. Another innovative technique of hers was the use of split inkpots to create unique colors with a wide range of hues to decorate her pieces. Some of her most celebrated pieces -at times conceived in collaboration with her life partner, artist and ceramist Vicente Marotta— are: “Papillons”, produced by Visconti and recipient of the first award granted by the CIDI in 1967; the fabrics she created for Delia Cancela and Pablo Mesejean; the textiles she produced for Stilka, including the ones made exclusively for the Embassy of India in Argentina; and the pieces she designed for the artist Pérez Celis. The wool producing company Wells S.A. (known as Casimires Wells) was founded in the 1960’s by immigrants who had expertise in the textile field. The firm incorporated modern machinery and an innovative structure that merged the spinning, dyeing, and custom weaving departments and included a design department devoted exclusively to the creation of ligaments and color effects. The implementation of animal fiber (llama, vicuna, and guanaco) technology became one of the firm’s unique characteristics. It made it stand out from other competitors in the market and enabled the company to produce the first Argentine cashmere and alpaca fabrics. Wells employed over 500 workers, including qualified engineers. Oscar Adot (father of designer Laurencio Adot) began working for the company in 1965, after completing textile engineering courses in the United States. In the late 1960’s, at 29, he became the general manager of Wells. The firm’s strategy aimed at achieving high quality and creating a multinational profile, which was accomplished by opening two branches overseas, in Milan and London. For some time, the company exported merchandise to Spain and to other international garment producers, including the renowned French brands Dior, Ives Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin. The firm was much more than a mere textile factory; it became a creative production facility. Even employees contributed to this effect, since everyone, from engineers to sales managers, dressed in an elegant fashion.
#EpicFeatured | Cordoba Graphics
During the 1960’s, the Radio and Television Services of the National University of Cordoba (SRT) had an Art Department. This office, which still today remains without being examined as an important episode in the history of Argentine design, developed comprehensive, multimedia design projects that constituted a body of pieces and objects with a quality that matched ITDT standards. The team produced posters, communication and publicity pieces, brand design (for example, the Channel 10 logo), the “plates” of every audiovisual product, and the studio sets. The designs stood out for their pop style inspired in ludic pieces and their graphic, geometric synthesis. Due to communication requirements, “Di Tellian” graphic style was known for its formal value; SRT pieces, besides sharing that quality, played with semantics and displayed creative humoristic elements.
At first, the Art Department was directed by Víctor Viano and, later, by Miguel ”Cachoíto” De Lorenzi. Throughout its existence, local icons worked there, for example, Lorenzo Amengual, Mario Eskenazi, Raúl Pascuali, Luis Siquot. Photographer Olkar Ramírez, who worked in the station, provided images. At that moment, TV was a new media and, for that reason, the team often experimented and integrated knowledge they acquired practicing the craft abroad. That was the case with Viano, who had worked at the BBC, and De Lorenzi, who had professional training in Italy. The close relationship with ITDT designers was also a relevant influence. The department became a creative seedbed for young, local designers. Soon enough, the work produced by the team received due recognition. SRT pieces featured in the English yearbook Tv Graphics (c. 1964). After such exposure, the careers of the team 's members boomed. Lorenzo Amengual designed at IKA (for Gacetika magazine), and, later, became an ad creative at Cícero and other institutions; Victor Viano moved to Venezuela and, later, consolidated his career as an editorial designer in Madrid; De Lorenzi studied in Italy and, later, worked as a graphic media editor in Cordoba, eventually becoming the art director of La Voz del Interior; Raúl Pascuali, became a renowned set designer (as a member of La Cubana group) in the alternative theatre scene and, later, worked as a professor in Barcelona. Mario Eskenazi —heir of the geometric design that defined the SRT— won the National Design Award in Spain and developed corporate identity projects for both public and private enterprises, like the Barcelona Metro Transportation system; Luis Siquot, lived and worked in Brazil, Germany, and Spain as a specialist in font design.
#Epic #ExpertOpinion | Carrascal + García
Maria Laura Carrascal has a BA in Fine arts and is a PhD candidate at the School of Humanities and Arts of the National University of Rosario. She teaches the course Introduction to the Arts in that university. She has researched issues related to the fields of arts and fashion and has curated exhibitions related to those topics. She is a member of the Association of Argentine Art Critics and she is part of the Academic Committee of the Specialization Program in Strategic Design for Innovation at the Interdisciplinary Studies Center of the UNR. Next month we will talk with María Laura about youth fashion in the 1960’s, discussing the role of artists and designers linked to the ITDT and the East Gallery.
Fernando García is a journalist and cultural critic. He has a MA in Argentine and Latin American Art History from the IDAES-UNSAM. He has worked for several graphic media, such as Clarín (1994-2012), La Nación (desde 2017), and El País (desde 2007). He has also collaborated in radio projects (Metro y Cultura). He was the music programmer and cultural extension director at the Malba. Currently, he performs those tasks at the Kirchner Cultural Center. He has delivered lectures and conferences in institutions and universities across the country. He published such books as Los Ojos, vida y pasión de Antonio Berni (2005), Conversaciones con León Ferrari (2008), and Marta Minujín: los años psicodélicos (2015). Most recently, he presented his text: El Di Tella: Historia íntima de un fenómeno cultural (2021). Throughout September, we will talk with him about the pop movement during the 1960’s, the influence of the ITDT in the cultural landscape, and the relationship between graphic and industrial design.
EXTENSION Trimarchi at IDA
For the past 20 years TRImarchi has been the most attended international event related to design in all of Latin America. Each event, organized in Mar del Plata, has gathered over 8.000 people. Besides offering exclusive conferences, the festival includes workshops, exhibitions, cultural and leisure activities, fair stands, and employment opportunities for students and experts. Club Tri, a space devoted to gastronomy, entertainment, and culture, began in 2017. Since then, it has offered music, art, design, and other activities to engage the attendants. Trimarchi has created the most enthusiastic and young community within Argentine design circles. It has been the seedbed of many of the newest trends. Recently, IDA acquired the TRImarchi collection, which includes graphic pieces, newspaper articles, publications, merch, vinyl records and CDs, among other objects that constitute the creative universe of the renowned cultural event. Celebrating the plural and transdisciplinary inclinations of those who participate in the event, IDA offers its support so that, together, both entities can develop new projects very soon.
EXTENSION Catamarca Carpet Factory
As part of an institutional collaboration agreement, IDA Foundation has allied with the Catamarca Carpet Factory, owned by the provincial Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The factory has produced, for nearly 70 years, handmade carpets using the knot technique done by hand using a vertical loom. The company has produced pieces for firms like Dándolo and Primi. Many designers have collaborated with the company: Alberto Churba, Emilio Pucci, Lucrecia Moyano, and other plastic artists of high quality. The one of a kind factory produces true textile artwork that IDA is keen on promoting. The collaboration agenda includes strategic advisory by IDA in the fields of production and commercialization, as well as an appraisal of current products. The agreement also includes a historical research project that will be coordinated by Constanza Martinez (garment and textile legacy director at IDA). During the visit to the factory, 20 workers were trained in the craft of design and 2000 original carpet cardboard containers were saved (at risk for conversion reasons). The factory, in reciprocity, donated 100 emblematic pieces to the foundation, as well as original carpets produced in different periods.
During this first institutional meeting, we began the production and filming of a documentary. A project to publish a book about the history of design in Catamarca was also developed. Some of the participants present in this forum were Armando Corpacci (provincial director of Handicrafts and Carpet Factories), Roberto Brunello (Minister of Culture and Tourism of Catamarca), and the National Congress House Representative Silvana Ginocchio; Claudia Galindez (executive coordination).
Fundación IDA, Fondos Patrimoniales: 1. Política | 3. Noblex | 4. Amancio Williams, donación Leonor Rigau | 5. Exposiciones | 6-7. Edgardo Giménez | 8. Samuel Sánchez de Bustamante | 9. IDI | 10. Dalila Puzzovio | 11-12. Mary Tapia | 13-14. Instituto Torcuato Di Tella | 15-16. Josué Visconti | 17. Wells | 18-20. Alberto Churba | 21-22. Multimedios SRT | 23. Retrato María Laura Carrascal | 24. Retrato Fernando García | 25-35. Fábrica de Alfombras de Catamarca, fotografías César Acevedo, Iván Calindez, Marcelo Luna | 36-37. TRImarchi diseño gráfico | Archivos invitados: 2. Archivo General de la Nación.
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