John Stuart Mill defines utilitarianism as the belief that accepts utility or the principle of the greatest happiness as the foundation of morality, asserting that actions are right to the extent they promote happiness. 

The battle for the hegemony of modernity at the beginning of the 20th century has much to do with the friction that arises between the artistic object and the designed object. Loos mocks pointedly in Ornament and Crime, a direct attack on Art Nouveau's attempt to control everything, stripping us of "all future life and effort, development, and desire."

Islands   ︎︎︎Vilagrasa   © Meritxell Arjalaguer

Ornamentation does not improve the functional qualities of objects but impacts sensitive, emotional, and cultural aspects that connect us to them, allowing their differentiation and attributing qualities that serve a communicative function, bestowing new values upon them. Ornamentation favors some objects over others by providing elements that allow us to establish preferences through emotions.

Adolf Loos's criticism of ornamentation and its impact on the Modern Movement will devalue the recognition of the potential it brings to design. However, starting in the 1970s, the principles of the Modern Movement, characterized by rationality and functionalism, will begin to waver.

The purely instrumental consideration of objects articulated by Heidegger and later adopted by the Ulm School through Gui Bonsiepe, will be challenged in the philosophical realm with the introduction of new factors such as desire or enjoyment, which Emmanuel Lévinas will propose in opposition to utilitarianism.

"Less is More" will give way to Robert Venturi's "Less is a Bore" and Postmodernity: a movement that will emphasize the semantic dimension of the object, where analogy and metaphor will become crucial in understanding the relationships we establish with objects, beyond their functionality.

Box recycling bin  ︎︎︎Vilagrasa   © Meritxell Arjalaguer

Designed for the company Vilagrasa, Box is a solid waste recycling bin. Its shape, a simple abstraction of an open box, makes it easy to deposit waste. The color of its interior and the simplicity of its pictograms clearly identify the type of waste it contains.  

Box recycling bin  ︎︎︎Vilagrasa   © Meritxell Arjalaguer

A simple formal exercise that transforms the iconographic plasticity of a cardboard box into a functional waste container, optimized to make possible a more efficient production.