Hecho en Espana

Work by a new generation of Spanish designers is taking over furniture fairs, showrooms, and museums.

It used to be people like Antoni Gaudí and Santiago Calatrava who immediately came to mind when you thought of Spanish architecture and design. Not anymore. A new generation of rising stars—including Jaime Hayon, Martí Guixé, and Abalos & Herreros—are becoming as well known here as they are in their own country. Jaime Tresserra’s meticulously hand-crafted bar cabinet, CuldeSac’s innovative chair for BonEstil, Abalos & Herreros’s energy-efficient tower, and the other projects featured here are evidence that Spain is an important center of design experimentation and excellence.

Opening at the Museum of Modern Art in New York this month, On-Site: New Architecture in Spain (February 12–May 1), curated by Terence Riley, features more than 50 projects by both native and foreign designers that represent the current wave of architecture in the country. The ever-growing International Furniture Fair of Valencia (FIM), which debuts products from Spanish companies, is a good source for new furnishings. And this year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York (May 20–23), sponsored by Metropolis, promises the biggest-ever contingent from Spain.

While there is no discernible style to Spanish design, it can be characterized as modern with an underlying sense of playfulness and an increasing concern for environmental issues. Whatever else you want to call it, Spanish design is a force to be reckoned with.

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