The BCN Design Week 2011 reaches over 2.000 participants
The BCN Design Week 2011, organised by BCD Barcelona Design Centre, closed last October 21 having achieved a considerable success, attracting over two thousand visitors from 15 different countries. The excellent results as regards participation, the high standard of the speakers and – particularly – the positive response and satisfaction shown by those attending, all helped to consolidate this international congress as a major event on the international calendar for promoting and discussing design.
This new edition of BCN Design Week focused on the relationship between knowledge, innovation, opportunities and progress, key concepts of the European Innovation Policy, the Innovation Union, a key initiative of the of the 2020 strategy.
From 17 to October 21, businesses from diverse productive or services sectors, professionals and experts from the world of design and innovation gathered once again in a platform for exchanging experiences, to debate and network, which this year will include new activities in order to extend its scope and open the event to the whole city.
In this context, and on the basis of design as the accelerator of the innovation and activity that is essential for transferring ideas to the market and transforming them into products or services to meet users' demands, the BCN Design Week kicked off with two days of conferences at Design Congress 2020 with the aim of raising awareness and reinforcing the vital importance of this discipline as a competitive factor for companies, as well as for public services.
Once again, BCN Design Week featured internationally renowned speakers from top companies such as Microsoft, Oblong, Nokia, Telefónica, Smart Design or Exipple, who talked about the relationship between innovation, design and competitiveness from the perspective of the design of experiences or design applied to mobile handsets, spatial interfaces or ecological design and sustainability.
From the conferences we could extract various key ideas, such as the key role of design to solve users’ needs when it comes to design experiences in order to improve people’s quality of life. This is one of the ideas raised by Heather Martin, interaction design manager of Smart Design, who stated that “the 33% of chronic diseases are motivated by emotional reasons such as depressions, which proves the urgent need to apply experience design on the patients treatments in order to improve their emotional state”.
In this context, Josh Ulm, experience design manager at IoResearch, stated that "despite the market is saturated with products and services, if entrepreneurs focus on users’ needs and try to find out how to improve their quality of life, they will definitely find new market niches”.
On the other hand, according to Roland Jones, managing director of Experience Design Group, “we are already getting in the experience economy era, which it is ruled by information, innovation and intangibility”.
One of the most inspiring conferences was delivered by Germán León, CEO of Exipple, who positioned Barcelona as an ideal city to undertake valuable projects. León also cheered up the attendees to “become entrepreneurs, to create start-ups and to believe in good ideas as the best way to cope the currant crisis”.
In addition to the Congress Design 2020, the BCN Design Week 2011 included a full programme of activities. On Wednesday 19 the Catalan company Escofet 1886 was awarded with the Cambra Design Management Prize. The award ceremony, held at the Roca Barcelona Gallery, counted with the attendance of Xavier Carbonell, managing director of the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona as well as with the Deputy Mayor of Economy, Business and Occupation of Barcelona Sònia Recasens.
The ceremony was preceded by the roundtable "¿Can design help us to overcome the crisis?", where participants performed an interesting debate in which were revealed some of the clues that may help businesses to increase their competitiveness through design.
It is worth of mention that, for the first time, the BCN Design Week included a full day programme focused on ecodesign. Under the name Ecodesign Day, conferences, workshops and awards were organised to provide attendees with the chance to exchange knowledge and learn about the crucial role of ecodesign and its sustainable “rules” for products, processes, environment and services.
Other activities organised from 17 to October 21 are "Thought up in Barcelona", organised by the Barcelona City Council or the Open doors day, a tour where a series of design studios, offices and professional design workshops, architecture and crafts open their doors for visitors.
The BCN Design Week organized for the first time the activity "Guest country", an initiative aimed at generating business opportunities between professionals and companies participating country. The guest of this first edition has been Austria, a country that excels in the design potential of the sector and the projection of its professionals. "Guest Country: Austria" included a symposium organised at the Roca Barcelona Gallery during which attendees could see presentations delivered by a delegation of five Austrian designers and four representatives of companies engaged in the design of the country.
This edition of the BCN Design Week acquired special rellevance due to the celebration of the first edition of the Barcelona Design Festival, a major event organised by BCD and FAD, in collaboration with the Barcelona City Council, that seeks to place Barcelona as an international design capital. This initiative includes a programme with more than 60 activities, exhibitions, prizes, debates, congress, ideas market or celebrations among others.
The BCN Design Week put an end to the Barcelona Design Festival with a closing dinner participated by over 100 representatives from the business sector, the creative industries and government bodies. During the event, Ferran Mascarell, Regional Minister of Culture of the Generalitat, and Jaume Ciurana, Deputy Mayor of Culture, Knowledge, Creativity and Innovation of Barcelona, pointed out the key importance of empowering design within the current scenario of crisis.
Al in all, the BCN Design Week 2011 contributed to the success of the first edition of the Barcelona Design Festival, an event that within next years is expected to become one of the biggest promotional platforms of Barcelona, its professionals and businesses, while fostering the creative and innovative profile of the city.
After six editions, the BCN Design Week, organised by BCD (Barcelona Design Centre), now counts with up to 120 renowned experts and over 6.000 attendees who have had the opportunity to learn, share and discuss various topics that mark the current agenda of the design and innovation sector.
Preparations begin for BCN Design Week 2012
After achieving record participation in 2011, BCD is more strongly committed than ever to ensuring the continuity of this international congress in coming years. To this end, preparations will shortly begin for BCN Design Week 2012, which will face new challenges and new social economic and global scenarios as we pursue the goal of promoting greater understanding of design and its strategic value both for companies and society in general.
Check the photos from the BCN Design Week 2011!