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LECTURES at Museu del Disseny de Barcelona

Toni Cumella + Martin Bechthold, Lectures.

“Design, Industry and Innovation. Ceramics Applied to Architecture” is a programme of activities and lectures organised in cooperation with the Ceramics Chair of the International University of Catalonia, addressing the latest technological innovations and research with regard to the application of ceramic materials in architecture.


18h Contemporary Procedures Applied to the Production of Ceramics Toni Cumella (Ceràmica Cumella)

Toni Cumella’s workshop began with his grandfather, Josep Regàs, a potter born in Breda, a town with a long tradition of ceramics workshops. Later, his son, Antoni Cumella, moved to Granollers and turned the family workshop into a factory at the service of architecture, which he also used as the structure for his renowned personal work.

Toni Cumella, the third generation, was born in Granollers in 1951. Though he studied industrial engineering and photography. He learned the trade working alongside his father, who he describes as “a good teacher”.

Today, Toni Cumella boasts an extensive catalogue of works, on the one hand, in the restoration and rehabilitation of architectural heritage. In this regard, he has been involved in the restoration of such significant buildings as Sant Pau Hospital, the Palau de la Música and Park Güell in Barcelona, Can Garí in Argentona, the courthouse in Terrassa, La Farinera in Girona and La Ricarda in Prat de Llobregat. Nevertheless, his involvement has been as or even more crucial in contemporary and avant-garde projects, in which he has worked alongside world renowned architecture teams.

Toni Cumella has also had a remarkable teaching career, which includes a lengthy collaboration with the Architectural Association of London and participation in ASCER Ceramics Chairs at several schools of architecture. And it appears that the future of family tradition is assured thanks to Guillem Cumella, the fourth generation of ceramicists.

19h Automated material manipulation . Martin Bechthold(Harvard University. GSD)

Architects have rediscovered their interest in architectural ceramics as a multifunctional material for contemporary designs. Today’s innovations in material technology, digital production methods and assembly approaches allow for applications that combine the materials’ emotional appeal with new functionalities. “Expanding Designs” presents speculative designs and research by Harvard’s Material Processes and Systems (MaP+S) group that involve robotic technology, design experiments and studies geared towards industry integration.

Martin Bechthold is Kumagai Professor of Architectural Technology at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), director of the school’s Doctor of Design Programme and co-director of the Master’s Degree in Design Engineering at Harvard University. His material-based research develops and prototypes novel architectural applications, documented in his latest book on “Ceramic Material Systems” with Birkhäuser. Bechthold leads a research collaboration between the GSD and scientists from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, geared towards developing new adaptive material systems for buildings. The Wyss Institute appointed Bechthold as Associate Faculty.


Auditorium del Museu del Disseny

Admission free


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