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Intermittency. Mendoza Design

After fifteen years of research, IDA Foundation and the Interior Foundation present a key publication to consolidate a federal narrative of Argentine design. Throughout a dynamic and comprehensive tour of material, intellectual, and cultural production from Mendoza, the book invites the reader to discover the history of a province marked by creativity.

The pre-sale of Intermittency. Mendoza Design, published by IDA, the Interior Foundation and Cumbia, is currently underway. The book discloses, through an interdisciplinary perspective, the evolution of graphic, product, and architectural design, as well as the dialogue established by those fields with society, academic circles, and production, in the place that opened the first School of Design in the country, back in 1958.

The text, edited and written by Wustavo Quiroga and Juan Ruades, and produced by Quiroga, Pilar Franco Borrell, and Horacio “Chacho” Puebla with the institutional support of the National Ministry of Culture and the National Design Plan (PND), is the culmination of 15 years of a collaborative process that included the participation of dozens of professionals, historians, and experts in different fields of design who aimed to validate a previously unknown —though incredibly prolific— creative hub within the national landscape.

Along its 420 pages, the book showcases art direction by Boldrini & Ficcardi studio, as well as original material from the archives of both foundations which was produced by creators, both male and female, during key junctures.

As a turning point, the book offers an alternate version from the official history of design that has traditionally focused on Buenos Aires. There are no precedents of a similar document that examines local characters and projects carried out in a “peripheral” province. As such, this work also encourages the creation of new, regional narratives or, even, revisionist, counter narratives aimed at toppling hegemonic actors and events.

In sum, Intermittency. Mendoza Design showcases multiple dialogues established between landscape and history, connects pioneer and contemporary practices, and, above all, expands culture. A journey of years and years of work has resulted in a transversal publication that recovers and validates a new-old node within the map of design, while encouraging readers to keep building the collective memory of Argentina and Latin America.

You can buy it now, at a pre-sale price, by sending an email to


Content Summary

The narrative follows a structure based on contextual chapters that include, on the one hand, texts that give account of the connections that exist between socio-economic events and material and intellectual production; and, on the other, visual sections that show authors and relevant cases of each historical period. As a complement, the last 100 pages display a timeline complemented with synthesized information for every year, resembling a field journal that fosters innovative reading approaches and interpretations.

The five chapters were selected according to criteria based on academic, political, and cultural processes. Through this scheme, the evolution (and involution) processes experienced by design along the past eight decades are revealed amongst a diverse array of situations: the rise of the “modern” group, developmentalism, the social upheaval of the 70’s, the return to democracy, the boom of 90’s cultural management, the wine sector reconversion, and the recent past, when entrepreneurship has boosted a diversification of services and environmental and health crises have threatened many consolidated dynamics.

1. Pioneers. Practical Trials and Manifestos
The first chapter describes the prelude to the academic institutionalization of design in 1958. During this stage, marked by the outbreak of new ideas and the questioning of old tenets, Mendoza sheltered key characters that conceived the province as a favorable place to grow professionally and intellectually. Both directly and indirectly, many creators embarked on a conceptual, aesthetic, and productive quest that was later materialized in such iconic examples as the Fair of the Americas (1954), a forgotten paradigm of Latin American architecture and design.

2. Production, Academic Consolidation, and First Graduates
Focused on the consolidation of education that took place between 1959 and 1975, the second chapter reveals the relevance that concepts connected to Bauhaus and Ulm schools of design, the rise of an industrialist profile, and the celebration of exhibitions had for the National University of Cuyo (UNCUyo). In the field of graphic design, the layout of posters and advertisements was gradually assigned more to university graduates and less to skilled craftsmen; meanwhile, within the industrial design sphere, firms acquired licenses to use furniture models from abroad, thus packing public buildings with such pieces. Convinced that integrality was a key feature of design, some architects undertook the task of sketching from housing structures to their equipment and staging.

3. Light and Shadows. Interruption and Restoration of Democracy
The third chapter discusses the period between 1976 and 1989. Images reflect the contrasts of this intense era: during the civic-military dictatorship, communications became dark and nationalist; then, during the Alfonsín Spring, youth and performing arts became colorful and vibrant. The ’78 World Cup boosted urban modernization and the creation of region-brands. Alongside the first association of design professionals in Western Argentina, exclusive furniture and object stores also appeared in the province. The height of post-modernism had an evident impact on the theses produced by university students and it inspired design graduates to travel abroad with the purpose of interacting with iconic post-modern creators.

4. Intangible Assets. Management and Services
The 90’s, context explored in the fourth chapter, were marked by the use of computing, the beginnings of the internet, and the focus on services. Neoliberalism had an impact on Medoza-based industry, which was barely able to produce a few, exceptional pieces. In a parallel process, privatizations and consulting agencies shaped a corporate identity, while cultural management took the central stage through massive events of significant local resonance. In a world that seemed to become smaller, nomad experts profited from currency convertibility to leave the country searching for new opportunities.

5. New Identities
From the 2001 crash to our present crisis, the fifth and last chapter discloses a heterogeneous landscape. New social actors are marking the rhythm of a versatile and fragmented era. Hyper connectivity has opened unexpected markets: today, packaging or motion graphics products can be provided for clients that reside miles away. The renovation of the image of the wine industry has also become a force for change; wineries are now touristic places and their facilities merge local materials with high tech. Enterprises focused on high mountain activities and urban spaces have adapted to present ways of inhabiting and entertainment by establishing an unprecedented dialogue between design and environment.


Title: Intermittency. Mendoza Design

, general coordination, and texts: Wustavo Quiroga
 and Juan Ruades

Production: Pilar Franco Borrell, Horacio «Chacho» Puebla, and Wustavo Quiroga

: Mariana Mattar

Cover design and art direction: Boldrini & Ficcardi

Editorial design: Lucía Jaime and Marcos Winter. Collaboration: Teresa Bruno

Naming: Tite Barbuzza

Kalidoscopio Typography: Juan Pablo del Peral

Layout and image editing: Leandro Vallejos. Collaboration: 
Damián Domínguez and Gabriel Fernández

Photographic record: Eugenia Mena

Proofreading: Analhi Aguirre and Rafael Córdoba

Translation: Grisell Ortega. Footnotes: Agustina Berenstein and Rafael Córdoba

Research: Direction: Wustavo Quiroga
. Team: Tite Barbuzza, Facundo Burgos Iturralde, Silvia Centeleghe, Martín Endrizzi, Sebastián Fernández Mur, Marcela Giroldi, Sebastián González, Lucía Jaime, María and Matías Jannello, Mariana Mattar, Eugenia Mena, Augusta Peterle, Juan Ruades, and Laura Valdivieso. Collaborators: Matías Badino, Ludovico Casnati, Alejandra Crescentino, Lorena D’Amico, Fabricio de la Vega, Cristóbal Farmache, Miguel Gandolfo, Diego Gómez Acuña, Roxana Jorajuría, Laura López, Gabriela Menéndez, Juan Quiroga, and Rodrigo Sevilla

Review notes: 
Andrés Asarchuk, Alejandro Bevaqua, Pablo Bicego, Ricardo Blanco, Víctor Boldrini, Eliana Bórmida, Laura Braconi, Teresa Bruno, Federico Calandria, Edgardo Castro, Leonardo Ficcardi, Gladys González, Cecilia Iuvaro, Omar Linares, Eduardo López, María Inés López, Raúl Manrupe, Laureano Manson, Graciela Moretti, Carolina Muzi, Ximena Niederhauser, Marcelo Ortega, Ana María Panacciulli, Raquel Perales, Cecilia Raffa, Martín Ríos, Sebastián Rodríguez, Julio Rojas, María Sánchez, Luis Sarale, Susana Simmons, Jorge Specogna, Javier Zarzavilla, and Ema Zuccardi.