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The Gaudí floor tile: memory, trajectory and identity in Catalan industrial design

Ferrer, Teresa Navas;


What are the reasons that led to Gaudí’s hexagonal tile becoming a reference point in industrial design with international dissemination? Its origins as an encaustic tile lie in the era of splendour of Catalan Modernisme, in the early 20th century. It was recognised as a solution for modernity in the 1960s, with the process of emerging design culture in Catalonia, which prompted its transformation into an emblematic paving tile for Barcelona’s public spaces. Finally, in the late 1990s, the tile was restored to its original format, acquiring the connotation of urban icon. Since it first appeared, Gaudí’s famous tile has not only demonstrated its versatile nature and easy adaptation to changes of use, it has also played a fundamental role in constructing the cultural, urban and touristic identity of the city of Barcelona. These two factors already form part of the object’s memory and are responsible for its singularity. The analysis proposed here places emphasis on the processes that, from the start of its production, distinguished the tile as a true object of industrial design, thanks to the innovative correlation it established between artistic creativity, technical research and business strategy, together with the evolution of demand and cultural changes.


Palavras-chave: encaustic tile, exterior paving, catalan design, Gaudí, Escofet,


DOI: 10.5151/despro-icdhs2014-0046

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Como citar:

Ferrer, Teresa Navas; "The Gaudí floor tile: memory, trajectory and identity in Catalan industrial design", p. 341-346 . In: Tradition, Transition, Tragectories: major or minor influences? [=ICDHS 2014 - 9th Conference of the International Committee for Design History and Design Studies]. São Paulo: Blucher, 2014.
ISSN 2318-6968, DOI 10.5151/despro-icdhs2014-0046

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