Enea, pioneer of design furniture in the Basque Country

A touring exhibition and documentary explain the origin of this industry, from the 1970s and 80s through to today

Artesanos del diseño

In the 1970s and 80s a number of people decided to create a design industry that was non-existent in the Basque Country at the time. This was the field of design furniture and design products for the equipment of spaces. Some of those people were part of the Eredu cooperative, founded in Legorreta (Guipúzcoa, Basque Country) in 1963, from which the Enea brand was eventually born in 1984, when they decided to venture into a new design-based product line with higher added value.

Our story is one of the 8 tales that make up ‘Artesanos del diseño’ (‘Artisans of Design’), an exhibition and documentary which are part of Mugak, the Basque Country International Architecture Biennial. This exhibition has been promoted by Habic, which is a cluster of equipment, furniture, and design firms from the Basque Country. It reviews the journey of these people and the evolution of their companies until today.

The exhibition is made up of eight products, one from each company, that have marked a before and after in the Basque furniture sector. They are shown disassembled so the detail of each piece can be easily appreciated. In Enea’s case, the piece that has been selected is the BCN chair, which was designed by Josep Lluscà in 1988. This piece marked a turning point for the company and even for the overall industry: it was the predecessor to the design contract chair and market in Spain in the late 80s, and served as inspiration for later chairs from both Enea and their competition.

After exhibiting in Bilbao and Vitoria-Gasteiz, ‘Artesanos del diseño’ will arrive in Donostia-San Sebastián on 25th November. The exhibition will be located in Plaza Zuloaga, and the documentary will be played at the Basque Country Architecture Institute. Would you like to have a guided tour and/or attend the documentary presentation and screening? Register here.

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