Antoni de Moragas Gallissà

Barcelona, 1913-1985

Antoni de Moragas Gallissà

Antoni de Moragas Gallissà was at the forefront of architectural renewal in the Spanish post-war years. His furniture pieces have become design classics. Moragas accepted the tenets of Rationalism, but he added a personal warmth to the relationship between purpose and form. 

 

Antoni de Moragas Gallissà was born in Barcelona, where he, went on to study and work as an architect at a time when Spain was lagging behind other Western countries both intellectually and industrially. In 1949 he founded Club 49, a group interested in establishing links with the European and American avant-garde of the time.  

  
In 1957, after institutionalising Club 49 as Grupo R, Antoni de Moragas began to foment Barcelona's architectural reform and industrial design. The number of these projects began to increase, and debates were fuelled as part of the new discipline of industrial design, launching Spain's FAD Association of Industrial Design (ADI-FAD) in 1960. Its founders included Antoni de Moragas, Miguel Milá, André Ricard and Rafael Marquina, and Moragas was its first president. He also took on other collective representation roles, and wrote articles of reflection and criticism, such as “Ten Years of Grupo R Architecture”, or “Values Revisited” (both featured in the first volume of Santa & Cole's "Design Classics" collection). To this day, ADI-FAD remains a beacon for the world of design, incorporating projects by several artists, now published by Santa & Cole. 

 
Moragas' creations in the field of design, including the Moragas table lamp and armchair, both in Santa & Cole's current catalogue, are on display at the Por la Dignificación del Hogar Popular (1954) competition and at the Brusi-San Elías building in Barcelona (1967-1970). His design style is a blend of functionality and Nordic features, inspired by the famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto with whom he had a close relationship in the 1950s. His architectural projects include the refurbishment of the Fémina, Arenas and Liceo cinemas, as well as several homes in Barcelona. 

 
Moragas accepted the tenets of Rationalism, adding a personal warmth to the relationship between purpose and form. Today, his furniture pieces are considered design classics, designed for industrialised production, even though they were initially handcrafted in limited series. "Craftsmanship has died to make way for Design (...) The artisan used his instinct to guide his work, while the industrial designer uses reason to guide his plans," he wrote in his journals from 1961.  

 

Santa & Cole overviews the basic premises of Moragas’s thinking in a book bearing his name, which recaps his career. Antoni de Moragas is a figure of unquestionable importance in the development of 20th century Catalan architecture, urban planning, and design. 

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