The relationship that Isaac Díaz Pardo would have in Magdalena and Buenos Aires with the group of Galician intellectuals exiled in Argentina, above all the most important and brilliant of them all, Luis Seoane, would result in the creation in 1963 of the Laboratorio de Formas de Galicia (the Laboratory of Forms of Galicia).
Díaz Pardo’s trip to Argentina and his meeting with intellectuals in exile, above all Luis Seoane, led to the creation in 1963 of the Laboratorio de Formas de Galicia.
The Manifesto of the Laboratorio, published in 1970 and drafted by its two founders, Seoane and Díaz Pardo, who would be joined shortly after its creation by the architect Andrés Fernández-Albalat, declared the main goal of the institution to be the study of the forms developed in the Galician past and which continued today; and their application to industrial objectives in order to achieve, the production of distinct items with roots and that have as an added value its guarantee of origin that lies beyond cosmopolitanism (”We want to enrich the world with our difference”, as Seoane wrote).
The chief goal of the Laboratorio was the study of the different formal designs developed in the Galician past and their application to industrial objects, thus creating a production rooted in the past.
In the year of its creation, the Laboratorio de Formas entered into an agreement with Cerámicas do Castro, the ceramics company created by Díaz Pardo together with some partners at the end of the 1940s to carry out projects prepared in the crucible of ideas that was the Laboratorio.
The first projects of the Laboratorio de Formas were the restoration of Sargadelos, the creation of the Carlos Maside Museum and the foundation of the publisher Ediciós do Castro.
The first projects of the Laboratorio de Formas were:
1. The restoration of Sargadelos. This was the most important vehicle for implementing the ideas of the Laboratorio de Formas in industrial design, with the opening of the circular plant designed by Andrés Fernández-Albalat. It was built next to the old steel factory originally constructed at the end of the 18th century by the businessman Antonio Raimundo Ibáñez.
2. The creation of the Carlos Maside Museum, also in 1970, was an idea promoted by Luis Seoane, who wanted to gather together the works and documents related to the Renewal Movement in Galician art starting with Castelao. It was opened initially as a temporary measure in the premises loaned by Cerámicas do Castro, until in 1982 its final headquarters were completed: a building consisting of hexagonal modules, designed by Albalat next to the Cerámicas do Castro factory.
3. Ediciós do Castro began to operate in 1963 with the publication of two albums of engravings by Seoane. Its aim was to spread Galician culture and reconstruct the contemporary history of Galicia, which at the time remained largely unknown to most people.
The Laboratorio de Formas project also received support from exiled Galicians such as Lorenzo Varela and Rafael Dieste, together with most of the intellectuals in Galicia. As well as the projects mentioned above, the Laboratorio engaged in other important activities: it issued a formal request that the site where the old industrial complex of Sargadelos (1972) operated should be declared a historical and artistic site, and promoted the creation of the Seminario de Sargadelos (the Sargadelos School) (1972), the Instituto Galego de Información (IGI) (Galician Information Institute) (1977), the Novo Seminario de Estudos Galegos (New School for Galician Studies) (1978) and the Laboratorio de Industria e Comunicación do Castro (the Castro Laboratory for Industry and Communication), which was the headquarters of the Isidro Parga Pondal Geological Laboratory of Laxe and its funds; as well as the publisher Ediciós do Castro and the printer Imprenta Moret.