Son[i]a #176 Ricardo Duque about L'Automàtica
L'Automàtica is a former printing workshop in Barcelona that has recently been reclaimed by a group of designers, artists, and illustrators who have restructured a failing business into a self-managed cultural association. Inspired by the management and organisational methods of Basque txokos, the sum of the experiences gained by its members in different creative fields make it something of a collective production project.
Focusing on the revival of traditional artisan techniques that had fallen into disuse, such as letterpress printing, L’Automàtica has captured the imagination of the city's cultural scene and has started to produce hybrid projects that are a mix of workshop, performance and co-creation formats, transcending its original status as a printing press. In the midst of the digital era, similar revivals of traditional printing techniques are taking place all over the world, along with a return to artisan aesthetics.
SON[I]A talks to Ricardo Duque, co-director of the MACBA website design team Todojunto and one of the ten founding members of L'Automàtica, about why they decided to get involved in a self-management project, the benefits of slowing down production processes, and the return to artisan approaches.