CASA SEAT closed 2020 as the new reference space for Barcelona residents and visitors to the city. After opening last 19th June, CASA SEAT received 51.330 visitors until the end of the year, who were attracted to the space by its gastronomic offer, the company’s latest innovations on display and an intense cultural agenda, which featured more than 150 activities - including conferences, concerts and different artistic events - as well as four exhibitions that paid tribute to the figure of Federico García Lorca, offered new video art creations by international artists and brought SEAT’s industrial legacy closer to the public through the exhibition of some of the brand’s most emblematic models.
CASA SEAT opened its doors just over half a year ago and has also been the setting for important company events, such as the presentation of the new SEAT MÓ urban mobility business unit in June; the announcement in July of the 5 billion euro investment plan in R&D until 2025 and the appointment of its current President, Wayne Griffiths, on 23rd September. It has also been the place to be for the faithful followers of the company, as it was the backdrop for the first physical display of the new CUPRA Formentor, the new SEAT Leon, the new SEAT MÓ eScooter 125 electric motorbike and the new SEAT MÓ eKickscooter 65. In addition, the SEAT Minimó concept car and the SEAT Tavascan concept car were exhibited on the ground floor. These attracted the attention of passers-by, who were also able to participate in meetings with the company’s designers who are sketching the models of the future in the CASA SEAT Concept Lab.
The place to meet international experts and institutional representatives
In just six months CASA SEAT has become a major meeting space for future mobility.
CASA SEAT hosted a number of meetings in 2020 with experts from three continents who offered their experience and insight into current challenges and pointed out solutions to them. John Moavenzadeh, Director of Urban Mobility at MIT, who led the first digital conference offered by CASA SEAT to the public before it opened its doors (30th April), was followed by a meeting with Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, co-president of the Club of Rome and leading human rights activist, who gave her predictions on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the planet (21st July); a conference by Remi Parmentier, leading environmental activist and co-founder of Greenpeace, on the protection of the oceans (22nd September); and a talk by world innovation expert Stephen Shapiro, who gave his vision on the future of urban mobility (15th October).
CASA SEAT also encouraged institutional and sector representatives to meet and discuss the challenges facing cities and industry. On 29th June, Barcelona and Milan mayors Ada Colau and Giuseppe Sala discussed the future of cities and their role in tackling the current crisis as part of the event Sotto le stelle in piazza grande, which sought to create a virtual bridge between Spanish and Italian Mediterranean cities. Furthermore, on 16th October, CASA SEAT was the venue for the presentation of the Auto Mobility Trends study, which brought together representatives of employers’ associations and trade unions in the Spanish automotive sector, with the participation of the Spanish Minister of Industry, Tourism and Trade, Reyes Maroto. CASA SEAT was also one of the venues for the BNEW congress, held by the Barcelona Zona Franca Consortium in early October to encourage reflection to reactivate the economy.
The stage on which to see international artists and the best local talent up close
CASA SEAT was created with the aim of revitalising the cultural life of the city and making high-quality artistic proposals accessible to the public. In this way, it has given the opportunity to enjoy intimate performances free of charge by internationally renowned artists such as flamenco singer Miguel Poveda, visual artist Alba G. Corral, pianists Francesco Tristano and Marco Mezquida, and orchestra conductor Speranza Scappucci, among others.
Likewise, CASA SEAT has been the stage for the best national talent and has hosted concerts by singers such as Paula Valls, Andrea Motis, Cesc and Sara Roy; performances by the dancers Sara Colomino, Lali Ayguadé and Akira Yoshida, who premiered the dance piece Gizaki; meetings with leading figures from the Catalan music scene such as Mishima and Ferran Palau, and WomenZ day, which celebrated the female talent of Generation Z through performances by singers Núria Graham and Rakky Ripper, the participation of the young entrepreneur Maitane Alonso and a performance by choreographer Verónica Hernández Royo, who presented her new dance company La Dama.
Exhibitions that offer unique artistic proposals and showcase SEAT’s legacy
In parallel with the programme of meetings, concerts and other cultural expressions, CASA SEAT offered four exhibitions that invited visitors to discover artistic proposals never before seen in Barcelona, as well as to revisit the legacy of the Spanish brand. Between July and September, CASA SEAT organised a series of transmedia experiences to pay tribute to Federico García Lorca, including the exhibition of the installation Recreativos Federico, by the artist Alex Peña, a set of seven arcade machines based on the figure, times and work of this universal artist.
In the Prelude to the Biennial exhibition, visitors to CASA SEAT were able to enjoy video art, photography and installations signed by Amina Zoubir (Algeria), Morehshin Allahyari (Iran), Héla Ammar (Tunisia), Raquel van Haver (Colombia), Em’kal Eyongakpa (Cameroon) and Marwan El Gamal (Egypt), who explore concepts such as feminism, anti-racism, identities and the effect of colonialism on the history and culture of their countries. In October and November, CASA SEAT hosted House of the Sun, the new work by visual artist Pedro Torres created exclusively for the space and which reflects on our relationship with the Sun as a species and as a planet through various integrated video art pieces and installations.
Finally, from 26th November until the end of January, CASA SEAT is offering the exhibition 70 years on the move, a display of some of SEAT’s most iconic vehicles to commemorate its seven decades of history. The public has been able to decide on part of the exhibition and has at its disposal a book that offers a tour of the company’s history through its models, as well as a collection of Spanish films that show the evolution of society and mobility and that can be enjoyed on the Filmin online film platform. Likewise, as in the case of the exhibition paying homage to Lorca, the experience is completed at CASA SEAT’s Ametller Origen Mercat d’Autors café-restaurant, which offers a menu designed by some of the best chefs in Barcelona and which was recently chosen by the Macarfi Guide as one of the best in the city.
In 2021 the debate on mobility and artistic proposals continue at CASA SEAT
This year, CASA SEAT will continue to offer a programme of forums, meetings and artistic proposals with which to stimulate debate on current challenges and contribute to co-creating the mobility of the future. To this end, in 2021 it will begin the Guest Cities cycle, which will bring experts, institutional representatives and artists from cities in different countries to Barcelona in order to contribute to the exchange of ideas and best practices in relation to mobility models, urban planning and the design of the city of the future.
The programme will also revolve around a theme that will provide the backbone for each month’s proposals for debate and culture. In January, the programme will review the aims with which it begins each year through different events, including a conference by Thierry Malleret, economist and co-author of the book COVID-19: The Great Reset with Klaus Schwab, Executive President of the World Economic Forum. Malleret will explain how the economy and society can evolve after the pandemic at a meeting to be held at CASA SEAT on 28th January, coinciding with the World Economic Forum in Davos. In addition, visitors to the space will be able to enjoy more weeks of the exhibition 70 years on the move, which has been extended due to positive response from the public.
All CASA SEAT activities are free of charge with prior reservation at www.casa.seat.