We first started to sing the praises of Barcelona’s creative scene in the very first issue of Printed Pages, when we interviewed Folch, Hey and Two Points about the burgeoning design consciousness in the city. That being a year ago, it seemed high time we take a trip back to Spain’s nicest city, where the sky is blue and the people are chatty and the weather’s actually alright even in January, to check up on what’s been happening.
The nice chaps over at Generator Hostels provided us with the perfect excuse last weekend, by way of a couple of nights spent in their design-led accommodation. Located slap bang in the middle of Eixample, the hostel/hotel is surrounded on all sides by studios, bars, restaurants and the odd historic landmark (I’m looking at you, Sagrada Familia) and the beer is cold, the mattresses springy, and the balconies enormous. What more could you want from a hostel, eh?
Between boozing, snoozing and hanging out on said balcony, we managed to tie up with some of the Barcelona-based creatives up to exciting bits and pieces. The first was Adria Cañameras, a photographer up to his eyeballs in commissions who’s still managing to somehow peep cheerfully over the top. He told us all about the book he’s currently in the process of putting together, which will showcase family portraits taken since he was a child and will be published in St Petersburg next month.
We also popped in to L’Automatica, a printing studio in Eixample created by 10 artists, illustrators and graphic designers who first got together to form the collective that would save several tonnes of printing equipment and a fully-functional space from destruction two years ago. They started printing posters in support of the protests that dominated Spain over the summer of 2011, and continue to produce a diverse range of print jobs. They told us about the events taking place in the studio, from a gig at which musicians perform in time with the noises of the heavy presses clunking printing in the background, to printing workshops that are open to anybody and everybody.
Finally, we also had time to catch up with Querida, the young and rapidly-growing design studio we interviewed for our Introducing feature a couple of weeks back. They’ve had a busy time of late between designing issue three of Perdiz magazine and working on their identity for Idep Barcelona. Fortunately they managed to hang out for long enough to ply us with the newest copy of the magazine, which is all about happiness. It worked.