School furniture, of great importance since 1917

Publicado el 19 Jul, 2019

In the middle of the 21st century, with constant changes and adaptations of all kinds in a matter of a short time. Need for technological and social reinventions. We are in the age of innovation and uninterrupted development.

Although this seems to be of the most modern and contemporary, throughout history there have always been changes and innovations. To all these changes, education has not been left out… the changes were already significant in 1917!

Before the great concern about the problem of the schooling of the popular classes of the city of Barcelona, Els Grups Escolars was created with the pedagogue and artist Manel Ainaud as its director. As Ainaud stated at a conference in 1916, for this new global project, pedagogy, architecture, furniture and decoration became part of the same ideal.

To develop the project, Els Grups Escolars relied on Josep Goday, who was in charge of architecture. Apart from the design of the buildings he would also take care of the design of the furniture.

For this matter, Goday specially designed furniture for school needs, pedagogical needs, working methods and organization.

As eva Pascual’s report points out El mobiliari de Josep Goday per a les escoles de l’Ajuntament de Barcelona, beauty became part of the educational idea and, therefore, Goday took into account aspects such as the objects that formed the decoration of the spaces and their atmosphere to make the school a beautiful and pleasant space for children. Goday wanted them to feel that this space was theirs, as if it were their home.

Goday incorporated the collective tables, for four students, into kindergarten classes leaving behind the classic desks where children sat on fixed benches. He also incorporated large windows to give light to the classrooms and used light and cheerful tones. In those classrooms, the teacher’s table and chalkboard were no longer the center of attention. There were decorative elements such as flowers and plants and art works of world importance on the walls.

Unfortunately, all these changes and innovations changed radically with the end of the Civil War. Ideological control was imposed with an idea based on conservative ideas.

We can therefore say that the desire to improve, to facilitate the day-to-day of students and teachers and to adapt to changes in methodology and educational system is a concern that evolves over time.

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