-Boris Groys Journal #07, June 2009, Self-Design and Aesthetic Responsibility
Project organized by Office of Design
Executive Director/ Miguel Leiro; Creative Director/ Victor Clemente; Managing Director/ Cristina Schaver; Web/ Fernando Espeso; Design Support/ Daniel Ballesta
Project financed with Ayudas Creación Injuve
At present, Madrid is an environment where the majority of young designers find themselves developing new models to form their creative and entrepreneurial methods. In this situation of economic limitations alongside artistic and technological possibilities, the generation of coordination, the search for collaborations, and the creation of networks away from the official circuits, become essential processes. The festival explores these realities by employing design as a tool that engages us with the cultural fabric of both the city and the country.
Boris Groys’s introduction to this text invites us to recontextualize design––to view it from the intersection of society and individuality. We are encouraged to shift the field to a more intimate scale, in which the categories of designer and designed are questioned and challenged. MAYRIT extends this line of inquiry towards the composition of urban spaces, asking whether cities are designed, or if they themselves design their inhabitants.
This project seeks to incentivize similar proposals, uniting an active generation of young Spanish designers under one program. Maǧrīţ, which means “land rich in water,” references the medieval name of the settlement upon which the city of Madrid stands today and from whom she takes her name. The nod to this small Arab enclave suggests a spatiotemporal displacement that, through design, allows for an interrogation of the present ecological and political identity of the Spanish capital. From the etymological origin of Madrid, we propose thinking about the cultural development of the city through an aquatic metaphor, in which the artistic capacity of young creators is the torrent that nourishes and enriches the city. Following this proposal, the festival structures itself along the serpentine course of the Manzanares River, whose adjacent neighborhoods host the majority of our events. With this, MAYRIT proposes uplifting an urban identity developed beyond the frontier boundaries of the river and the circumnavigating M-30 highway, thus reclaiming the creative potential of Madrid’s outlying districts.
This festival will be carried out in partnership with a variety of locales and institutions that host exhibits and events. Their diversity keeps MAYRIT from homogenizing content or scale and promote a multiplicity of perspectives in contemporary design. We also collaborate with emerging curatorial projects coalescing across Spain, aligning them with the festival’s mission and spaces. This allows us to support projects that are already underway and unify them under one program.
In the same way that water nurtured that small enclave where the origins of our city were forged, the talent of MAYRIT’s participants guides us toward an uncertain future in which design will perform an essential role.