Four lexical elements for Eina Idea. Graphics: Gemma Villegas Studio, Arauna Studio.


eina idea is a project launched by Fundació EINA to bring art and design education beyond its known academic and commercial comfort zones. eina idea is conceived as a critical supplement, a machine for aesthetic reflection in permanent exhibition drive, a programming platform, and a cognitive accelerator.

In close collaboration with EINA Centre Universitari de Disseny i Art, and its partner the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, but also outside of academia, eina idea operates through research cells called cabinets—conceptually unique workspaces with tactical objectives defined according to their guest agents.

On a practical level, eina idea proposes traveling seminars, conferences, performances and chamber exhibitions in which students and the general public of Barcelona can get involved. Using variable temporalities and typologies, eina idea wants to be a vehicle for propagations of all kinds, from curatorial thought to memes; from documentary practices to gaming; from experience design to applied critique. In short, eina idea is a search and research intensifier, open to all.


Eina, in Catalan, is the instrument, and eina idea is a two-sided object, an instru/mental, material and concept, poietic and poetic make-think as opposed to over-designed claustro-fuck. Something sounding like eina, in Arabic أين, is the questioning for direction, where-wherever-wheresoever, no matter where. Every direction is two directions, every path is two-sided. Eima or εἷμα, in ancient Greek, is the garment, the fabric—an allegory taking us from textile to text and back, from collective to individual; or, the school as fabric of intensities. εἷμα/εἶδος, an interlacing of mental threads so thick that they form a blanket. Eina as what, how, and where? In the traditional organization of space, there are four cardinal points plus above and below. The seventh direction is the other of these six, the ubiquitous oblique, all directions in between the six complete and exceed the whole. This impossible addition at the end of an associative chain could be instrumentalized as a model for applied speculative thinking, an eina idea.

Manuel Cirauqui, Director

Eina Idea echeme

Cabinets are work cells originated from eina idea. Each one has a specific design nature and, as a whole, are considered living elements, conceptually singular and with self-defined objectives, updated in real time. Every cabinet is proposed, in its transversality, both as a practice module and conceptual space for research, with an established singular format based on a tactical interest and with an approach marked by the collaboration with its invited agents.

Propagations are all the ways eina idea manifests, transmits, gesticulates, podcasts, documents, multiplies and blurs and disseminates, publicizes, repeats itself, translates its actions, converts its present into past and its past into present, revisits its programs and even the programs of others—yours, theirs; private and public—even those truncated by a global epidemic or cancelled by infra-local disasters invisible to the mainstream news. Propagations propagate. They are another way to act or to perceive, or to be in lieu of, like rooftop dancing, online gaming, or archaeology. In a pre-epidemic blog post dated as early as 18 September 2019, eina idea publicized its intention to be “a vehicle for propagations of all kinds.” In fact eina idea, in its unspecified vocation to propagate, expresses a genuine interest in all possible formats, mediums, idioms, and mediums of communication: postcard, lithograph, meme, cereal box, rumor, virus, samizdat, or sms.