On January 12 Spain’s Department of Housing and AVS opened “La Vivienda Protegida: Historia de una Necesidad” (”Social Housing: A History of Need”), an exhibition tracing the history of social housing in Spain, from its creation in 1900 to the present day. In colaboration with architect Ariadna Cantis, we’ve designed the exhibition, facing the double challenge of presenting the architectural characteristics of the buildings while showing how the evolution of customs, lifestyles, and Spanish society in general have changed the way this housing has been lived in over last century.

In putting the exhibition together, we took inspiration not only from the domestic context, but also from the buildings’ exterior architecture and the larger landscape of contemporary urban housing. The result is a trip through time, presented through a system of chromatic gradients that identify the different historical periods, and a set of shapes superimposed to represent various architectural elements. These visuals unite the exhibition’s graphic displays, including videos, and are complemented with sound effects.

The audiovisual component plays a central role in the exhibition. Starting from archived photographic material, we used motion graphics to give movement and strengthen the idea of a trip through time. The use of color as an organizing principle contrasts with the original black-and-white photography, emphasizing the historical and chronological concept of the exhibition.

“La Vivienda Protegida: Historia de una Necesidad” is up at the Sala de Arquería de Nuevos Ministerios in Madrid until February 28th 2010

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