LABoral Market: Design + Love

A place where Asturias based designers can unveil their works every four months

Published: Apr 15, 2013

By Laura Cano (@Via_di_uscita), La Caja Revuelta

On 13 and 14 April, the now classic design market took place at LABoral. This initiative, divided into three yearly calls, has been developed since 2008 with the aim of offering an open space for creativity for designers and entrepreneurs living and working in Asturias.


At this market you can buy jewellery, decorative pieces, t-shirts and craft items made with “lots of love”. For this reason, and for the first time on this occasion, LABoral has launched a seal which certifies that they are self-produced articles, designed by the participants under the premises of sustainable design, limited edition, quality and local manufacturing.


The market, coordinated by Marco Recuero, has been growing in success with each new edition. Since the beginning, the number of both the public and designers attending has significantly increased peaking to 6,000 visitors in the latest sessions. At the one held last weekend, there were 50 stands present, and all of the pre-selected designers have a place for the distribution and sales of their products on the online market site.  And not only them. LABoral has offered for sale at a reduced price a line of products designed and made by fabLAB Asturias, the art centre’s digital fabrication laboratory, along with publications, exhibition catalogues and products normally available in the centre’s shop.

LABoral is not only an art centre. It is also, as its name indicates, a “centre for industrial creation”.  In this sense, design understood as a base for industrial creation enjoys a great presence and support in its activities. This is evidenced in the call by LABoral with the Escuela Superior de Arte del Principado de Asturias [Superior School of Fine Art in Asturias] (ESAPA) for the LABoral 2009 Young Designer of the Year Award, and the organisation of the experimental design exhibition Nowhere/Now/Here. Another example is the space Trastienda, a new concept of shop-workshop which conceives of  design practice and the production of objects as an open and permanent research process. In this space you can not only buy products, but also fabricate your very own thanks to the online information, in this way including you in the specific creative and research processes.


As parallel activities to the market, the exhibitions can be visited free of charge.

On this link you can browse the participants’ websites, their products and find all the necessary information on this recent event.


But let us concentrate on the significance of all these initiatives. The museum, as it is understood today and based on the theories of new museology and critical museology, is a place made by and for society. A space for learning, debate, enjoyment and cultural and social development. The museum must be integrated in its community, make itself necessary and support and create initiatives that establish collaboration dynamics.


LABoral could be described as an excellent example of this conception. In the case of the design market, various objectives that will only be achieved with the help and effort of the community work in conjunction: to support local talent and its ventures and give visibility to young Asturians with interesting initiatives and innovative projects, make known the artistic activity and exhibitions being held at the art centre and in doing so introduce the non-specialised public to more experimental and technological art. Ultimately, create links, gain audience loyalty and give opportunities. A participative tool that makes the centre a driving force in the city and region.


Additonally, through its actual exhibition programme LABoral is committed to on-site artistic creation through grants and residencies, which results in the production of works and exhibitions. For all of these reasons -to which we can add the educational workshops, seminars and the great amount of activities they offer- the centre is an open, participative and accessible institution which other similar institutions at national level should be fix their sights on.


I end with a quote by Nina Simon, museum consultant, designer of diffusion and citizen participation projects and exhibition design, and also the author of the blog Museum 2.0:


“Being successful with a participatory model means finding ways to design participatory platforms (…)”


The design market is undoubtedly a participatory platform with which everybody wins: the art centre and the citizens. Don´t miss the next one!

    Logo LABoral
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  • 33203 Gijón (Asturias)
  • Spain
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