What we do


The core aims of the Foundation are the development of design historical research, the promotion of this subject field and the dissemination of its results.

The DHF’s object of study is both how design has changed over time, and the industrialisation processes that have made it possible.

Design is defined as the configuration of both physical and virtual products. These are elements of visual communication, furniture and objects for everyday use, regardless of their means of operation (manual, mechanical or electronic), as well as costumes and textiles, which have to a larger or lesser extent been serially manufactured by industrial methods, and are commercialised in contexts of mass consumption.

Other areas of interest are interiors, ephemeral constructions, processes and systems, digital projects and artefacts that, because of their unique nature, have required a complex planning process prior to their execution. This is because design is also the discipline of planning or the profession that has developed historically to determine the configuration of products.

The Foundation intends to disseminate and to popularise design, both as practice and outcome, from the perspective of its history and its development.


The Foundation aims to generate new knowledge and methods of research on the history of design by underwaying projects that shed light on the evolution of design. These projects can be done on its own or in collaboration with businesses, schools, universities, associations, museums and other public and private institutions.


The Foundation wishes to disseminate existing knowledge and knowledge that is constantly being generated on design history by means of:
Publications: Text books on design history for educational use and other texts that help disseminate and enhance awareness of design history. The publication of a scientific newsletter aimed at Spanish-speaking historians or the publication of texts for the general public has not been ruled out.

Education:Both the organisation of specific postgraduate courses on design history, and ongoing training for faculty teaching staff who teach design history at undergraduate level and in vocational education. Exhibition curatorship:Construction of narratives based on collections of historical objects. These activities may be organised by the Foundation on its own or commissioned by institutions or companies.

Conservation of documentary and corporate heritage

The Foundation ensures that the design documentary funds are not destroyed and to inform the scholars of where they can find them.
The Foundation works on behalf of protecting the corporate heritage of design-oriented companies. This implies advising them in the organization of their archives of documents and collections of objects, in the dating of their products and in the reconstruction of their history within the framework of company policies.

Companies or entities interested in this service can contact the foundation by calling in the mornings at +34 935 139 729 or by sending a request to: info@historiadeldisseny.org


One of the Foundation’s main objectives is to create awareness of design history as a branch of history or, in other words, as a scientific discipline with an object of study and characteristic methods that distinguish it from other similar disciplines such as the history of art, the history of technology, social history, economic history, sociology and anthropology, from which in turn it is nourished. It therefore organises meetings and conferences or provides support for local, national or international events for design historians.

Annual Report

Each year, the Foundation publishes an Annual Report that includes the initiatives and projects carried out during this period to achieve the objectives set. We include here the memories published since 2010:


Scope of activity

The Foundation is based in Barcelona and mainly operates in Catalonia, although its byelaws reflect its intention also to work in the rest of Spain and to collaborate with foreign institutions. An endeavour is made to ensure that members of the board are outstanding figures on the international design history scene.

Who is it aimed at

The Foundation’s work is aimed at enhancing the knowledge of teachers, scholars and students of design history and at cooperating with those institutions (museums, schools, universities and associations) and companies in which a rigorous, scientific practice of design history is required.


The Foundation seeks to promote a community of design historians in Spain and in Spanish-speaking countries and to cooperate in its coordination. It therefore organises meetings and conferences or provides support for local, national or international events for design historians. The Foundation intends to carry out a census of design practitioners who work in Spain and in Spanish-speaking countries.


Dating and documentation

of historical objects

Historical studies

for companies and institutions

Relating to aspects of design,

such as product, graphics, fashion and dress, etc.

All services are provided in accordance with a case by case estimate. Contact: T: +34 935 139 729 T: +34 663 852 449 info@historiadeldisseny.org