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A Cult of the Object #Antoni de Moragas


Architect Antoni de Moragas played a leading role in the birth of Industrial Design as a discipline of its own, as he took part in the creation of the Association for Industrial Design of the FAD in 1961. As an architect, he defended the fusion of the arts, introducing design at every scale in his buildings and integrating other arts such as sculpture or photography. Regarding industrial design, he defended the need to bring together poetic capacity, the necessary economy and a proper functionality.

(…) in the face of doubt, we always have the resource of trying to do best what we do, by throwing the rest of our poetic capacity into the design of even the most trivial object in our daily life. Antoni de Moragas, The Cult of the Object, 1961

Being an admirer of Alvar Aalto, his humanistic vocation leant him towards the influence of the Scandinavian Empiricism and towards a deliberately fragile balance between crafts and industry, between popular and cultivated, as it is seen in buildings such as the Church of Sant Jaume in Badalona (1957) but also in objects such as the well-known Moragas Armchair or his Glass Tree. Most of this objects, e.g. lamps, tables, chairs, armchairs and knobs, complete places that he designed and display the same ideas as his architecture: common sense, adaptability and a didactically revealed structural mechanism.

His passion for arts and culture was particularly displayed in the House of the Bulls (1961), in the Gran Vía in Barcelona. In this building, Moragas brought together a piece by the sculptor Josep Maria Subirachs, for whom he also built a house in Vall de Hebrón, and bullfight pictures by Francesc Catalá Roca, fixed underneath the terraces so they can be easily seen from the street level.