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Guillermo Santomà installs sculptural interventions in 19th century mansion

Five of the best exhibitions from Madrid Design Festival 2019

The second edition of the Madrid Design Festival saw designers create exhibitions across the Spanish capital. Our favourites include a showcase from mid-century furniture brand Darro and a series of sculptures inside a baroque mansion.

Madrid Design Festival 2019 took place from 1 to 28 February in various locations throughout the city, presenting both national and international projects, and offering visitors the opportunity to discuss and share ideas on the state of Spanish design.

Design reporter Gunseli Yalcinkaya reveals five of the best exhibitions on show:

Guillermo Santomà installs sculptural interventions in 19th century mansion

Guillermo Santomà at Cerralbo Museum

Barcelona-based designer Guillermo Santomà installed a series of sculptural structures in the lavish baroque-style interior of the Cerralbo Museum, a 19th-century mansion and former home of the 17th Marquis of Cerralbo.

Each site-specific spatial intervention was made to correspond with a particular area in the mansion. These included a cluster of geometric lighting within a scaffold-like framework in the ballroom to a couch covered in thick purple resin in the Chamfered Corner Room – an area originally intended for sitting and lounging.

Madrid Design Festival exhibitions

Craftsmanship at Centro Cultural Fernán Gómez de la Villa

This exhibition showcasing Spanish craftsmen from a host of disciplines aimed to demonstrate how craft objects can be integrated into our everyday lives, describing them as an "extremely important cultural manifestation".

Each object in the show was based on six core features of craftsmanship: culture, legacy, excellence, mastery of the trade, creativity and a strong relationship between the creator and owner of the object. Exhibits included a filament lamp, a table crafted from the trunk of a tree, and a traditional Flamenco guitar.

Extraperlo Madrid Design Festival

Extraperlo at a private location

Madrid-based Jorge Penadés invited a host of international designers to exhibit a selection of small objects – no bigger than a shoe box – in this black market-inspired exhibition.

"If a project gets sold, the designer will receive the full amount to refund the investment, not the Spanish government," said Penadés.

Designers involved included James Shaw who showed cutlery with stainless blades and amorphous handles made from high-density polyethylene, and a tiny "wardrobe" called Cocoon made from clay by Marlène Huissoud.

Madrid Design Festival exhibitions

Darro at Centro Cultural Fernán Gómez de la Villa

This exhibition examined the legacy of relatively unknown Spanish mid-century furniture brand Darro, which is described as "one of most solid and transcendental ventures into Spanish modernity".

Showcasing 60 pieces of furniture from the brand's tenure of just 20 years, the show aimed to introduce visitors to the company and its work. Pieces included a low-level wooden cabinet in the mid-century style and the leather-seated armless Riaza chair.

Madrid Design Festival exhibitions

Super Packaging at Centro Cultural Fernán Gómez de la Villa

With its supermarket-style layout, this exhibition explored the past, present and future of packaging and container design, from cans and aerosols to iconic products such as the Coca Cola bottle and the Campbell's soup can.

The exhibition also looked at the future of packaging, in particular sustainable and biodegradable design, including Roza Janusz's Scoby packaging and Don Kwaning's packaging made of wetland weed.