The ADI Culture Award 2018 Results

Guillem Ferran
9 min readSep 25, 2018

The ADI Culture Award aims to publicly recognize projects, both in the field of design and culture, which helps to promote the social and conceptual updating of product design or serve to encourage dialogue, ideas and the activity of the discipline.

The purpose of the ADI Culture awards is to give public recognition of projects that contribute to the development of social and cultural design, and which encourage dialogue, ideas, initiatives, exhibitions and publications in the sector.

The members of the Jury of the ADI CULTURE Awards 2018 were:
— Martín Azúa. Product designer (www.martinazua. com).
— Valentín Roma. Writer, curator and director of La Virreina Centre de la Imatge (Barcelona).
— Anna Puigjaner. Architect (
— Ethel Baraona Pohl. Critic, writer and curator. Winner of the previous edition of the ADI Culture Award 2016.
I was invited as Chairman from ADIFAD to follow the difficult decision process of the jury together with Neus Escoda and Laia Aliaga.

Since 2016, ADI-FAD has been organising the ADI Culture awards, the purpose of which is to give public recognition of projects that contribute to the development of social and cultural design, and which encourage dialogue, ideas, initiatives, exhibitions and publications in the sector.

The ADI Culture awards encompass different types of projects, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Projects whose results manifest in a non-objective theoretical framework, which generate critical impact and/or dissemination in the field of design. These might be, for example: publications, exhibitions, series and congresses, physical spaces — galleries, shops — or virtual — web pages, blogs, apps- educational programs, films, and other concepts that have yet to be explored.

Highly conceptual, innovative projects, which may be experimental or interdisciplinary processes, installations, unique pieces or numbered series, objects that do not fit into the usual commercial circuits or which recover or open new avenues in product design.

The awards welcome candidatures with a broad national scope, carried out by individuals or groups. The following may participate:
– Projects carried out in Spain.
– Projects carried out abroad, whose primary participant is Spanish.
– Projects funded with Spanish capital.
Projects that have been selected in previous editions of the ADI Culture Awards are excluded.

It was an incredible experience to follow the Final Jury in all the process to make the difficult selection. The jury received a document one month before the meeting, the meeting was the 24th of April. We signed a contract of confidentiality to not tell anyone the results and conversations developed inside a Room inside the Museum Of Design Barcelona DHub. We started at 10.30 am in the morning and finished at 16 pm in the evening, it was more than 6 hours discussing with arguments, reasons and rereading the different projects descriptions and checking all kind of attached documents like videos, pdf or books.

It was very interesting to listen to all kind of arguments, the process followed a rubric with assessment heading with all the criteria that were in the rules of the competition.

The assessment criteria was:
— Relevance of the research that justifies the proposal.
— The innovative nature of the proposal from a conceptual, strategic, social and economic standpoint.
— Efficient communication of the project.
— Relevance and suitability of the project with respect to its value in the context.

The competition has a single phase: All projects registered from 9 January to 19 February 2018 were judged by the jury made up of national and international design, communication and teaching professionals.

The jury selected 11 projects from 46 registered and give 4 awards and 2 mentions in the two main categories:

— The Project category — for projects that have been registered up to 3 years before the deadline for entries (February 2018).
— The Career category — which recognises projects or people with a significant career in the field of design. One prize is awarded in this category at each edition of the awards. The winner is selected by the jury from among candidates presented at their own initiative, or which have been suggested by the observers appointed by the Board of ADI FAD.

The Final selection of 11 Projects have been published in The Adi Book and are exhibited in the Design Exhibition, and are here shortlisted:

— +Humans. El futur de la nostra espècie, del CCCB.
— El temps, l’accessibilitat i la impressió. 3D, de Óscar Martínez y Maker Convent.
— Com una Cadira, de Jordi Lafón Guerrero.
— Función y Forma: Una mirada al diseño en España, de Chula Productions.
—Documental Miquel Milà. Diseñador industrial e interiorista, de Poldo Pomés.
— Grigri Pixel, de Susana Moliner Delgado.
— Hack The School, espais per aprendre i conviure, de la Fundació Jaume Bofill.
— Llums de Nadal Raval Km 0, de Impulsem SCCL y la Fundació Tot Raval.
— Humanium Metal by IM, de Simon Marke Gran y Johan Pihl.
— The more we know about them, the stranger they become, de Sonia Fernández.
— Topografies del sensellarisme, de Daniel Cid.

Here you can read some of the conclusions and veredicts from the Jury after the sesion. Some of the sentences the participants used to defend the winners.

— The Career category — Gustavo Gili.

The jury of the second edition of the ADI Culture Awards has decided to award Gustavo Gili for his career in the field of design culture. A Recognizing his support for the creation, dissemination and internationalization of design theory that started in the seventies as most things in this country. The ability to build a set of collections with their own style that has generated a glorious era in the creation of design theory in Barcelona and Spain, where it will be difficult for someone to generate that content, to be able to create that space. To be historic and to stay on that point until the present time to maintain itself as an important organizational platform for cultural exchange, texts, reflections and experimental bets. Send a subtle message, as a diagnosis of critical culture today and ask that standards be maintained, seeing that they have changed their role, not being nostalgic and seem currently not as active as in the beginning, with a lesser presence, trying that other platforms of great thinkers arise and that more thinkers also arise, that is why the jury wanted to give a special mention to one of those thinkers.

Gustavo Gili

“Give an impulse to us that we could go back to that period of the Punto y Línea collections, Visual Communication … that ability to internationalize and disseminate design both in Spain and in Latin America.” Valentín Roma

“The ability to bring people from outside to here and bring people from here to outside” Anna Puigjaner

“Maintaining and reinventing themselves at a time when the publishing world is in crisis.” Martin Azua

“As all the big publishers have had to readjust to the crisis: the economic crisis and the digital book and they seem to be up there.” Ethel Barahona.

“There is a need for platforms to publish that have the weight and supply of Gustavo Gili.” Ethel Barahona “Personally, I have too much relationship with H20 and Anna Calvera …” Martin Azua

“Lately when I read research articles, in the bibliography there are many references of papers and little of books.” Martin Azua

“That’s why we should highlight the books since the papers have a paywall that can not be easily accessed.” Ethel Barahona

Mention to Anna Calvera.

The jury of the ADI Culture Awards 2018 has decided to give a special mention to Anna Calvera’s journey as an example, model of reference to the thinking person, to the researcher, not as a designer, but for his contribution to the construction of a theoretical framework between Design and Art.
His vocation in building bridges between the publication of articles, books and numerous investigations. Pioneer in the tutoring of theses related to the design and organization of numerous Congresses.

Anna Calvera, ADI Cultura carrer Journey.

Highlight the ICDHS 10th + 1 congress “Return to the future the future in the past” that is celebrated in your memory. We don’t want to transform this award as a posthumous tribute, to reward when it is too late, nor to transform this award into the version of the National Design Awards in ADI format.

The objective is to identify as a model, a way for new authors to emerge, people who reflect on design and write about design in magazines, blogs … Motivating people to write about design theory. and recognize the lack of recognition you have in life.

“The posthumous awards piss me off, It’s recognizing the spread of knowledge.” Anna Puigjaner.

“Have the ability to devote to reflect on what is reflected in a very specific area.” Valentín Roma.

“Allow yourself the luxury of being able to have that disconnection with the market. I invited him to come to Milan to see what was done and he said no … the interesting thing is in the reflections in the books … I did not want to see stands, products or novelties, but reflections.“ Martin Azua.

“It is not so much where you publish but who writes to you” Ethel Barahona.

The final winners from the eleven projects had been Two projects “Ex aequo” to Humanium Metal and Topografies del sensellarisme.

The jury of the ADI Culture Awards 2018 has decided to give the prize “Ex aequo”, which means ‘alike’ in Latin to the projects: Humanium Metal and Topografies del sensellarisme. Signaling two projects, which pose a reflective moral discourse, a bet on how design can do politics, how design can influence and benefit people beyond a simple project, but create a platform, a structure that can be conceptual create a strategy that intervenes in the social and economic.

Two projects have been selected that show, as an example, a more specific exercise and a more speculative exercise. Humanium for being a conceptual proposal, forceful with an international look that has a strong and direct message, in a moment and in a place, as a weapon manufacturing country, proposes to use the same capitalist system to create a new material that can have a high economic value and unleash reflection among Western countries.

Proyecto Humanium Metal by IM, Premio ADI Cultura Proyecto (ex aequo), byPeter Brune, Miguel A. Barreiro, Simon Marke Gran, Johan Pihl, Humanium Metal.

Project Humanium Metal by IM, by Peter Brune, Miguel A. Barreiro, Simon Marke Gran, Johan Pihl, Humanium Metal, ADI Culture Award Project (ex aequo): A project that invites to rebel against necropolitics, a type of sovereignty based on the human extermination, to which they are opposed with the disarmament of contemporary violence.

“It is a very well communicated project, to use the ingot to communicate all that history and above all it is a project that motivates to use the material to design things, for example elements of jewelery.” Martin Azua.

“The project does not disarm but creates awareness about the problem” Ethel Barahona.

Pis 0. Topografies del sensellarisme, ADI Cultura Project (ex aequo) by Daniel Cid, Francesc Pla, Eva Serrats y Arrels Fundació.

Pis 0 is another more local project that represents the commitment of Fundació Arrels in the work of collaborating with Design in a delicate area. A project that aims to bring down cliches, with Barcelona being the city with the largest number of homeless in Spain, the project explores collaborative methodologies in trying to empathically understand the user, to understand the group of users for whom the proposal is being addressed.

“Having the ability to put on complex projects and above all try to understand them through understanding the real needs of that group.” Anna Puigjaner.

“Having a very demanding space and product design without a specific client but with a complex user, forcing the materials and having to negotiate with suppliers and industrialists the requirements in the creation of a very specific space.” Valentín Roma.

“The Best Design of the Year” exhibition from 5th of June to 22nd October 2018.

The results can be seen in ‘The Best Design of the Year’ exhibition from 5th of June to 22nd October 2018.

- Some of the images are from the spanish article of Experimenta.
- More info of Delta Awards in this Article.
- You can read in Spanish a full article at Experimenta.



Guillem Ferran

Product Design Teacher. Empower entrepreneurs, products and ideas. Barcelona.