Valencia’s Alfaro Hofmann Collection explores the cultural significance of industrial design

Design International
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(Alfaro Hofmann Collection)

If you find yourself in Valencia, Spain, and you’re tired of Santiago Calatrava‘s immoderate, Jurassic Park–like Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, there is a much smaller and more interesting cultural space for you.

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The Alfaro Hofmann Collection is a small compound in an industrial quarter of the city that includes a collection of sculptures by the important Valencian artist, Andreu Alfaro; a small research institute; and the architectural offices of Fran Silvestre/Andres Alfaro, who created the complex.

The Hoffman Collection focuses on the culture of everyday objects of the 20th century. It features a collection of hundreds of home and personal appliances (irons, toasters, radios, etc.) that includes some of the most important industrial designs of the century.

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Unlike, say, the Museum of Modern Art’s design collection, which really highlights design, this collection looks at the importance of these objects as they contributed to the evolution of the appliances’ function and their importance to our culture.

The collection of commercial refrigerators would never be found on West 53rd Street, but here they make a convincing argument for the evolution of this cooling machine.

The Alfaro also features a collection of artwork and promotional literature on each of the objects in a research center that is open to the public. The collection is located at Fusters, s/n, Pol. d’Obradors 46110 Godella, Valencia, Spain.

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