On Thursday, March 23, 2017, MAS Context editor in chief Iker Gil and several contributors presented our issue dedicated to the city of Bilbao. The event took place at the Edificio Ensanche, a 1944 building designed by the architect Germán de Aguirre, that now complements its original use, a food market, with municipal and cultural uses. The event was organized in collaboration with EIDE, the Association of Designers in the Basque Country.
This was a special event for us as we were able to present the issue dedicated to Bilbao in the city and because it is the hometown of our editor in chief. The room was at full capacity with Bilbao residents, authorities, and professionals from diverse disciplines. We were honored to have the presence of several authorities such as Ricardo Barkala Zumelzu (Deputy Mayor and Councillor for Works and Services, Urban Renewal and Public Spaces), Asier Abaunza Robles (Councillor for Urban Planning), Pedro Mª Barrerio Zubiri (Director of the Bilbao Bizkaia Water Consortium), and former Mayor Ibon Areso, who also participated as a panelist.
Iker Gil opened the event discussing the origins, goals, and overall ambitions of MAS Context to help frame the conversation about the Bilbao issue. Afterwards, he explained the three conditions that sparked the publication of the issue at this moment and the organization of the issue in four chapters. He finished by giving an overview of the different contributions included in the issue.
After the initial setup, Mick and Oskar of the graphic design studio Meneo shared their work as designers of the issue. Besides designing the layout using the guidelines Thirst created for MAS Context, they have been responsible for other aspects, such as the video that serves as a teaser for the issue, a series of illustrations of significant buildings in Bilbao built during the twentieth century, and a video of the production of the five posters created for the issue.
Architect Patxi Garcia de La Torre, who contributed two articles to the issue about seven significant buildings in the city and Metro Bilbao, remembered those who have contributed to the transformation of the city and have since passed away, such as Diana Balmori, Zaha Hadid, and Otl Aicher. Architect Lucía C. Pérez-Moreno shared the main aspects of her two contributions: the role of magazine of Nueva Forma to position Bilbao as a third cultural node in Spain and the unbuilt project of the Alhóndiga Cultural Center. Architect and former Mayor of Bilbao Ibon Areso outlined the comprehensive plan for the transformation of the city from an industrial city to a service city, as well as the second strategic plan to foster a creative economy for the city in the future. Architect Koldo Lus Arana talked about the after-effects of the opening of the Guggenheim Museum, the successes but also the missed opportunities and failures of the process. And finally, Ruth Mayoral of ZAWP (Zorrotzaurre Art Work in Progress) shared the work that the organization is doing for the social, economic, and cultural revitalization of the Ribera de Deusto and Zorrotzaurre ahead of the transformation of the area.
Besides the contributors located at the table, several others were present during the event, from filmmaker Koldo Serra and architects Javier of IDOM and Elena Martínez-Litago to graphic designer Diego Sanz and photographers Aitor Ortiz and Fidel Raso.
To complement the presentations, we organized an exhibition of the five posters that have been created for the Bilbao issue. Coordinated by Meneo, five local graphic design studios designed posters for different aspects of the city. The graphic design studios are Meneo, Eider Corral, Vudumedia, Hopper Ink, and La Machine.
A limited amount of copies of the Bilbao issue as well as the posters and a T-shirt were available for purchase after the event.
Thank you very much to all you who attended this memorable event. And thanks to Karramarro for documenting the event.