Promoting authentic Cuban design


Under the slogan: “Design beyond the form”, the second International Design Biennial of Havana (BDHabana’19), from May 20 to May 26, 2019, will be developed with the aim of contributing to the benefit of society.

The event will be hosted by the National Design Office (ONDi), the Higher Institute of Design (ISDi), the Spaces Project (Lab 26), the Palace of Conventions, the Plaza Cultural Center (31 and 2), the Hispanic American Center of Culture, the Che Guevara Study Center and the Embassy of Spain. This time the provinces of Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey will be subdivided. Precisely, in the city of tinajones will be the closing of the event, after a month of activities in both capitals.

To date, nations such as Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, the United States, Chile, Nicaragua, Peru, Spain, Italy, Belgium, France and the Dominican Republic have confirmed their participation.

The BDHabana’19 will have three main aspects: the theoretical event to discuss the latest in design in the region and the rest of the world; the workshops or workshops, where nationals and foreigners will generate real ideas applicable to the industry, the economy and current Cuban society, and the exhibition event.

As evidence of its multidisciplinary and multicultural nature, the biennial will coincide with the opening of exhibitions, workshops, contests, fashion shows and concerts. It will include the presentation of the National Design Award 2019 and the Design Management Award, to state or private companies.

Leandro Maceo, general coordinator of the event, explained that the Biennial aims to promote the existence of authentically Cuban design; engage the public more with design and its surroundings; establish relationships between professionals, companies in the sector and academia; combine reflection and thinking around the discipline with a great economic value so that it takes an important place within contemporary creation.

Other aims of the event are: to disseminate the work of professionals and students; to make visible the relationship between art, architecture, economy and communication, as well as the work of Cuban and foreign designers, from the fields of industry, economy, society and culture.

Specialists related to interior design, visual communication, the digital world will be able to participate in the Biennial; together with those who work in the categories of products, spaces, machinery, textiles and accessories.

In the opinion of Sergio Peña, rector of ISDi, the Biennial is the festival of Cuban design and this year it will be better than before due to its academic and professional perspective. He pointed out that national creators aspire to insert design in everyday life as one of the ways to achieve the prosperity that the country demands.

“Cuba’s design school is considered one of the best in Latin America, but we must join efforts to demonstrate that our design is alive, different and committed to society. We defend our identity and our way of working, “said the rector.

At the same time, Gisela Herrera, director of the ONDi, added that it will be a more modest Biennial, in terms of scope, but more robust in terms of interests and strategic alliances with a view to solving the country’s problems and the complexities of the industry, from the most urgent emergencies, starting from lines of research in the universities.

The International Biennial of Design of Havana has the support of the Ministries of Industries, Culture and Higher Education, the National Council of Visual Arts, the Cuban Fund of Cultural Assets, the Cuban Association of Social Communicators, the Caguayo Foundation and the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana.

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