Auditing the Creative Process

That’s the title of Ferran Adrià’s upcoming exhibition in Madrid. Taking place in October, at the Espacio Fundación Telefónica, it will be a huge exhibition dedicated to the creative universe of Ferran Adrià and his team at elBulli. Covering almost 1000m², the exhibition, supervised by Adrià himself, will be the largest dedicated to the ingenious […]

That’s the title of Ferran Adrià’s upcoming exhibition in Madrid. Taking place in October, at the Espacio Fundación Telefónica, it will be a huge exhibition dedicated to the creative universe of Ferran Adrià and his team at elBulli.

Covering almost 1000m², the exhibition, supervised by Adrià himself, will be the largest dedicated to the ingenious creator to date. The revolutionary paradigm shift that set elBulli’s cuisine apart from the rest will be shown in the exhibition using a massive collection of notes, drawings, plates, and utensils, but the real purpose of the exhibition will be to delve into the creative and innovative process that made this transformation possible.

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Adrià has been immersed in this mammoth research project since 2010, when elBulli closed its doors. The result is an overwhelming reflection on what it is that makes us creative and allows us to keep innovating over the years. Maps with innumerable branches which outline the creative process, and interminable lists of questions which ponder everything, will challenge visitors and dare them not only to measure themselves against Adrià’s prodigious brain, but also against their own. This is elBulli’s other legacy, which promises to continue feeding our minds, even once the cookers are switched off.

Who was the first person to think of separating the white of an egg from the yolk? Perhaps it happened by chance, by mistake. Does this mean that fate is a creative method? One of millions? Can we awaken creativity? What a wonderful discovery it would be to discover a user guide, an instruction manual that would enable us to change the way we do things, to improve, innovate, re-think and re-consider ourselves.

It should be a universal guide, one that could be used by butchers, writers, IT technicians, comedians, publicists, teachers, etc. It should be a manual for everyone, simple enough for a child, that would encourage us to experiment, to share it and to enrich it.

Ferran Adrià claims that such a manual can be written. He calls it a map, the creative process map.

In order to understand where this map came from, one must travel deep into the heart of his restaurant, elBulli. For 25 years, from 1987 to 2011, the team at the restaurant in Cala Montjoi worked relentlessly with the aim of making the language of cuisineevolve and find its own essence, always seeking to be as disruptive as possible. Discussions were held with other creative fields: industrial design, graphic design, chemistry, physics, architecture, painting, photography, philosophy, sculpting, music, and so on.

The visitor will first find themselves in a space where they are immersed into creative ecosystems of different natures (workshops, stories, experiments, seminars, transmissions). This space will serve either as a place to be wandered around fleetingly by visitors, a permanent space during the run of the exhibition, or a place to return to after visiting the exhibition. It will have three functions.