The GAN space at Gandia Blasco Group’s flagship showroom has made its debut during Madrid Design Festival with PLASTIC RIVERS, a collection of ‘protest designs’ curated by Álvaro Catalán de Ocón and handmade with 100% recycled PET. In addition, PLASTIC RIVERS and PATCH – by Patricia Urquiola – will be displayed in different venues around the city for the fifth edition of the festival.
Craftsmanship and recycled materials for designs with values
On February 18, Álvaro Catalán de Ocón unveiled the new rugs from the PLASTIC RIVERS series, INDUS and NIGER, to the media and professionals from the design industry. Another rug from the collection, GANGES, had already been presented at the ReCollectibleDesign exhibition last year at the Rossana Orlandi gallery in Milan, and was awarded the Ro PLASTIC PRIZE in 2021 for its message about environmental awareness and reusing plastic waste.
Attendees were able to see and touch the handmade rugs made from recycled plastic fibres (100% recycled PET), which reflect the reality of the very material from which they are made and seek to start a conversation about one of the greatest global issues of the industrial age. The rugs are made using the hand-tufting technique and each of them is a faithful scaled-down representation of the most polluted, and in turn contaminating, rivers on the planet. In the manufacture of PLASTIC RIVERS, the thread that comes from recycled plastic waste takes on a new meaning and reveals the paradoxical beauty of its origins: rivers, wonders of nature, have become landfills that drag with them thousands of tons of plastics to the ocean.
Spectacular patterns of basins, mountain ranges, plains, and river mouths in shades of green, brown, and blue stand out in each of the PLASTIC RIVERS rugs, which are also fully recyclable at the end of their long life. “The thread produced from recycled PET bottles creates very soft, strong, and durable fabrics, and at first glance they could be confused with natural fibres. But their origin and characteristics make them very different. With PLASTIC RIVERS, we want to emphasise the origin of this material and raise awareness for the reason for this project”, explained Álvaro. The recycled PET, furthermore, offers a soft and cushioned feel – similar to that of wool – and creates a high level of resistance and durability.
The rugs from PLASTIC RIVERS will remain display at our showroom during the Madrid Design Festival, as well as new designs from the latest catalogue, which feature creations such as ROOTS by Inma Bermúdez, ECHO by Samuel Wilkinson, and PURE by Made Studio.
PLASTIC RIVERS by ACdO and PATCH by Patricia Urquiola appear in two of the main exhibitions of MDF 2022
The Fernán Gómez Centro Cultural de la Villa theatre is again the epicentre of this international festival. The 25 years of Matador “Journey to the heart of a legendary magazine” exhibition celebrates the anniversary of this unique cultural project by bringing together a selection of original works by the most outstanding authors who have participated in its issues, including Eduardo Chillida, Marina Abramovic, Miquel Barceló, Chema Madoz, Jaime Hayón, and Patricia Urquiola. There is a special appearance of the PATCH rugs precisely in the space dedicated to Urquiola, curated by the designer and produced for GAN by Haworth, a world leader in workspaces. Made from 100% recycled PET fibres, the PATCH rugs are made using the dhurrie technique to form a grid pattern.
Additionally, CentroCentro will host the Dulce Agua exhibition starting on March 24, curated by the art historian, journalist, writer and design specialist design Ana Domínguez Siemens. As the United Nations has stated, ‘water is a right, not a privilege’. However, only 2.5% of the Earth’s water is fresh water and a good part of it is difficult to access. Up to 3500 million people could suffer from water shortages in the year 2025. In the face of this crisis, it is fitting to show what various national and international designers are doing in this respect.
It isn’t just about showing objects related to the world of water and solutions to water-related problems – how to store it, clean it, purify it, use it more wisely, etc. – but also to show projects whose intention is to draw attention to the problem and raise awareness to the public. The Dulce Agua exhibition will show objects related to water use and pollution, such as GANGES, one of the rugs from the PLASTIC RIVERS series by ACdO for GAN.
Gandia Blasco Group x Madrid Design Festival 2022:
Design, craftsmanship, new materials, and colour studios
28, José Ortega y Gasset Road, 28 (Corner. Núñez de Balboa)
Until March 31, Monday to Friday from 10 am to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 8 pm
25 years of Matador ‘Journey to the heart of a legendary magazine’ Exhibition
Fernán Gómez Centro Cultural de la Villa
Until March 13, Tuesday to Friday, Saturdays and Sundays and Holidays from 10 am to 9 pm
Dulce Agua Exhibition
CentroCentro – Floor 3
From March 24 to August 21, Tuesday-Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm