Exhibition 2017

The Workshop of Dreams

A project by: American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC)
With the collaboration: IE School of Architecture and Design, Hay Festival Segovia
Fabricated in: La Navarra Carpintería
Exhibition Design: Filipe Faustino, Andrea Buchner
Program: Architecture and Landscape
Date: August, 1 to 20, 2017
Site: Museu Comarcal de la Garrotxa, Carrer Hospici 8, 17800 Olot (Girona), Spain

The Workshop of Dreams is a creative journey that brings together four of Spain’s most exciting architects and designers, with inspiring talents from diverse cultural fields, in a celebration of Spanish creativity and craftsmanship with wood.

The process of design usually begins with a client who has an idea or a clear need for a building, space or object. Please design a three-bedroom house. Our town needs a new library. I would like a new winter coat. Then, enter the professional to further research the problem, work out possible solutions and prepare the documents for execution.

But what happens when the normal process is called into question and the roles of client and professional mesh? What happens when there are creators and inspirers who work closely together defining both the “problem” and the “solution”? The result is The Workshop of Dreams.

In this scenario, four designers- Izaskun Chinchilla, Benedetta Tagliabue, RCR Architects and Jacob Benbunan- worked in partnership with – Juan Mari and Elena Arzak, well-known Spanish chefs, Martha Thorne, Director of the Pritzker Prize, Javier Cercas, writer, Juan Luis Arsuaga, paleoanthropologist – to define and create entirely new objects made of wood.

This challenge presents a unique opportunity to start with a clean slate. The first step is for the designer and inspirer to get to know each other, to push each other to break down boundaries, and to freely explore new ideas together. The resulting objects to be made are the dreams of the inspirer, but also the dreams of the designer, to attempt a new type of design or employ ideas that have been going around in his/her head, but have not had the chance to be realized.
The resulting works, crafted in American hardwoods also express the power of dreams by exploring new uses and new ways of working with a natural material. Thanks to the advice of the American Hardwood Export Council and the donation of fine woods, and the skill of Carpintería La Navarra in crafting the designs, the resulting four designs are really dreams come true.

Introduction by Martha Thorne