The space Roca Barcelona Gallery is hosting the exhibit ‘Designs for a better world’ until October 27, a set of innovative projects whose goal is to improve the lives of communities in need. Among them, visitors can see BANDAS, a collection designed by Patricia Urquiola for GAN. The exhibition, organized by Roca’s “We Are Water Foundation”, shows a series of projects designed to generate solutions to several of the problems and needs of the planet, in order to enrich the life of the populations with fewer resources.
On October 9, in the framework of this exhibition, a round table titled ‘Integrative Solutions’ took place: a presentation on business initiatives that favor the sustainable and economic growth of small communities, promoting employment and optimizing the use of scarce resources to achieve self-sufficiency. The authors and promoters of some of the designs in the exhibit had the opportunity to explain the nature, goals and development of their projects.
One of the speakers was Mapi Millet, current director of GAN, who talked about the role of the GAN Women’s Unit in the manufacture of the BANDAS collection by Patricia Urquiola, and the growth and subsequent expansion of this project. GAN Women’s Unit is a community of women from villages in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, who had lost their jobs after the local workshops that employed them had closed down. It was then that Mapi Millet proposed to designer Patricia Urquiola including them in the manufacturing process of her BANDAS collection, which she enthusiastically accepted. Thus began a long development process characterized by a fluid exchange of artisan and technical knowledge that revalues craftmanship and offers these women stability and economic independence. The resounding success of BANDAS encouraged GAN to continue using the traditionally feminine work in its products and thus increase the number of women who benefit from this project. After Urquiola, several more designers have joined this initiative.
Other participants at this round table included Curro Claret and his Jeans project carried out in collaboration with the Arrels Foundation; Álvaro Catalán from Ocón, with the PET Lamp project -lamps made from recycled plastic bottles and manufactured by artisans from different countries such as Colombia, Ethiopia, Chile and Australia- and Santi Serrat, responsible for the content and publications of the We Are Water Foundation.