Design Tour-Havana

Ideas, people and places we will cover

Contermporary furniture design

Taking the lead in design and fabrication of modern sustainable Cuban furniture is Factoria Espacios. Director Vilma Bartolome will guide you through the manufacturing facility in Central Havana, where even tools have been invented to craft new designs, and over 60 people are employed to keep up with orders. You’ll visit the company’s showroom as well, and learn how the business is setting new standards.
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Graphics' leading role in Cuban Cinema

With the Cuban Revolution, a new movie poster was born. The standard Hollywood model featuring film stars was scrapped. Instead, the story was given top billing. Paramount to this shift was the graphically evocative film poster. At the Institute of Cinemagraphic Arts and Industry of Cuba (ICAIC), graphics specialist Sara Vega will share the challenges of this approach which still defines Cuban cinema today. Visit ICAIC’s silkscreen workshop where classic posters are produced with the most rudimentary equipment, dating back over 55 years, by both young and veteran print staff.
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Political Art: The Legacy

Look back at Cuba’s renowned political posters of the Sixties and Seventies, the graphics that continue to inspire designers. Meet Damian Vinuela, who, in collaboration with business partner Michael Corria, has amassed the largest private poster collection in Cuba. At a special event for our group, Damian will discuss and share his collection. One of the original designers, Olivio Martinez, will be on hand with personal recollections of the period.
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r10 At Work

R10 is the moniker for Jorge Rodriguez Diez, a graphic artist who stands apart in his field. Known for his fine catalog and book designs, he also enjoys pushing boundaries between art and design. His “posters” slyly comment on contemporary life by reappropriating familiar print images. Always provocative and witty, his recent series of works include The Dazzling Light of Freedom, and Guardians.
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A Focus on Illustration

Every year, Casa de Las Américas, a prestigious cultural institution in Havana, selects a topic for its main exhibitions and events. This year, illustration is the focus. Originally a publishing house, the Casa still supports and publishes the works of writers, photographers, musicians, and other artists.

Visit the Home and Studio of Laura Llopiz and Pepe Menendez

This prolific design couple has lovingly restored their Art Deco studio and home, where three generations now reside. In the large, airy studio, view the range of books, magazines, and posters they’ve produced, and works of their peers that they collect. Pepe is director of design at Casa de las Americas, and founder of the Club of Amigos of Carteles (CACa), which promotes Cuban poster design.

Hot Off The Press

Rene Portocarreo Taller is a busy print studio in Old Havana. It is also the site of many print and poster exhibitions. See what’s up now, and comb through a trove of works in stock.

A Special Event at Fabrica de Arte

Fabrica de Arte Cubano, a popular arts center, will open early to our group so you can meet and mingle with many graphic designers, including video artists showing their award-winning music shorts. Eat, drink, and enjoy this relaxed time with Cuban designers who want to learn about you and your work, too. Fabrica will open to the public at 8 p.m., and you’re invited to stay for the evening’s entertainment. Also, next door is El Cocinero, a stylish restaurant in a renovated factory with landmark chimney and rooftop bar. These places embody the spirit and style of Havana today

A Taste For Design

A fresh crop of restaurants are sprouting up around town. They can be enjoyed for their fare as well as their approach to design. Meet some of the young owners and learn about their collaborations with architects, designers, furniture makers, and more.

New In Old Havana

Within Habana Vieja, the largely restored old city center, some young designers have recently opened their own stores and cafes. Shop hot items at these new private enterprises, including Clandestina, an innovative “full circle” design project. A retail store on the ground floor, while upstairs graphic designers collectively fashion new items, making them on site or enlisting local artisans. Members of the group will discuss their goals and latest developments.
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