Solo studio’s catalogue for “1.000 m2 of desire”

“1.000 m2 of desire – Architecture and sexuality” is the exhibition currently taking place on CCCB (Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona) under the curatorship of Adélaïde de Carters and Rosa Ferré, from the past October 2016 until March 2017.

This outstanding exhibition points out how Western society, from the 18th century until the present day, has looked, planned, design and build, physical and imaginary spaces addressed to sex culture. From the utopias of Sade, through the “Maisons closes” in Paris, to the hippie communes and the Playboy clubs.

1.000 m2 of desire brings together architects, artist, researchers and philosophers to explores the huge power of architecture and spaces as places of sexual desire and as a mechanism of power and control over the population, creating gender stereotypes and reinforcing a patriarchal society.

Solo, founded in 2011 by Óscar Germande, is a graphic design studio based in Barcelona with the intention to develop honest, intelligent and austere designs.

The institution CCCB contacted them to create the catalogue for the exhibition.

The catalogue is designed with an orderly, flexible and direct structure that displays the practical content of the exhibition.

Catalogues can be sometimes tricky publications, due to its numerous quantity of contents and information, and at the same time, it has to be clear and understandable information for different types of public.

The reader can find the catalogue in two publications, either in Catalan or Spanish. Although the content is the same in both, the covers differ. The colour palette is within the magenta spectrum, changes between the publications. Light magenta is used as a common background. In the Spanish version, a second colour appears. Purple is placed on top of the background, which changes the relationship between the elements; typography and grid.

The choice of colours might also be seen as a purpose to problematize gender connected colours. Since magenta, red and pink are all colours related to sexuality, eroticism and traditional gender roles.

The layout structures the information, text and images, in a hierarchic way. For the text, the typographic weights organise the message in a clear and direct manner. The imagery framework grows from the centre to the edges of the book, challenging the traditional ways of catalogue publications.

These two components on the layout make this publication a perfect combination between traditional and modern editorial design.

Thanks to the shading effect on the introduction pages and the double page images, the monotony is broken, resulting in a fresh, agile and vivid look.

In conclusion, Solo studio delivers the message that the exhibition wants to expose, in an intelligent and elegant way for a wide audience.