WORLD DESIGN SPOTLIGHT: The Corona Falla as an example of modernity
11 Oct 2022 /

WORLD DESIGN SPOTLIGHT: The Corona Falla as an example of modernity

The Fallas are a very traditional celebration, just like the principal fiestas of most towns and villages. They have their rituals, protocols and paraphernalia that have remained unchanged over many centuries, which is also part of their charm. Some falla commissions are more innovative, others are more conservative. And then there is the Falla of Corona, located in the Ciutat Vella district, in the Barrio del Carmen neighbourhood of Valencia, which, despite its 150 years of history, has positioned itself as the most avant-garde, an unofficial title which it sets out to renew every year, because every year it is reinvented with a creativity which cannot be properly understood without its link to design in all its domains (fashion design, product design, graphic design…).

Beginning with its “casal”, the place where the “falleros” meet, which does not look like a conventional casal. On the door, for example, they have a digital counter that, every year on 19 March, begins a count-down showing how many days remain until the next Fallas are held. Furthermore, there are no portraits of the “falleras mayores”, or main representatives of the commission, by way of a historic gallery, as is usually the case, but in their place is an exhibition of small dolls that represent them, together with a name plate for each one. 

As of the year 2000, this falla commission proposed the involvement of designers and artists in its monumental proposals, thereby looking at the fiesta from a creative angle. To this end, they appealed to renowned cultural figures.

In 2005, for example, the fashion designer Francis Montesinos designed the costume of the fallera mayor; the following year, the artist Miquel Navarro planted (erected) the falla of Corona, which gave them international visibility. The film director Luis García Berlanga, who could not be more provocative and brilliant, gave shape to the Corona falla of 2007. And so on each year. 

In 2013 and 2014 it was the turn of designers Dídac Ballester and Ibán Ramón, who continued with innovation as the standard to dismantle the established norms and continue to put a new spin on the least conventional concept of the fallas. The 2013 falla questioned, with a critical attitude, the taste for baroque and ornamentation; that of 2014 was entitled “El joc de la reivenció” (The game of reinvention). 

The bold attempts by this falla commission to disrupt normality in the fiesta have earned it the recognition of the Association of Designers of the Valencian Community (ADCV). It is the only falla that has received such rewards thanks to its monuments, which are true gems of ephemeral design with an incineration date. 

Isidro Ferrer (double National Design Award winner, for craftsmanship and design), the artist ESCIF and the designer Javier Jaén are some of the thinkers that have contributed to forging the history of the Corona Falla as a modern falla centre. 

Yinsen studio, formed by María Pradera and Lorena Sayavera, were also called upon to have their moment of glory in the field of the Fallas with the invitation to collaborate, together with the workshop of artist Manolo Martín, to design the fallas for Corona in the ill-fated year of 2020.

The designers of Yinsen were also the authors of the official poster for the Fallas of 2018, with a very attractive graphic campaign that showed a series of fire icons, a heart and an ornamental comb, showing different festive scenes under the slogans, “som foc, som pólvora i som tradició” (“we are fire, we are gunpowder and we are tradition”), on traditionally crafted posters made from coloured paper.

With the sudden appearance of the COVID19 pandemic, the fallas ceased to be held and two years passed in a state of shock and inactivity. The project of Yinsen was frozen in time until, at last, it could be taken up again in March 2022. 

Their proposed monument was the construction of a life-sized security truck with graffiti on the side, with the message “Jo per a ser feliç vull un camió” (I want a lorry to be happy), an ironic phrase that was completed with the interior of the vehicle loaded with wads of false banknotes, 54 million euros in total, destined to burn. To burn a lorry-load of money as a gesture of rebellion and criticism of the capitalist system, the authors explained. 

The Mossén Sorell-Corona falla continues to be, each year, a showcase of creators unrelated to the world of the fallas, which enriches its outlook. For their part, María Pradera and Lorena Sayavera, Yinsen, form one of the Valencian creative studios with most repercussion on the international panorama. Their work has been selected in national and international publications, and they have received awards such as ADG-Laus of Barcelona, the Graphis, of Nueva York, and the European Design Awards (Oslo, Istanbul, Vienna and Warsaw).