Barcelona Design Week 2019 exceeds 67,000 visitors in its most international edition

Almost 25,000 more people than last year took part, enjoying a programme of more than a hundred activities.


The 14th edition of Barcelona Design Week took place from 12 to 20 June, a design event organized jointly by BCD Barcelona Centro de Diseño and the Fostering Arts and Design (FAD) association. It enjoyed the collaboration of the Design Museum, the drive of the City Hall and the support of the Generalitat de Catalunya government. With more than 120 activities and exceeding 67,000 visitors – 25,000 more than in 2018 – the week of design staged in Barcelona has become one of the city’s major cultural definers and one of the most relevant Design Weeks Europe-wide. The slogan for this year’s edition was ‘Transitions’, a phenomenon in which today’s society is immersed and which affects many fields, with design being one of them.

The objective of bringing design closer to the citizens has thus been met. And the response was highly satisfactory. In fact, the BCD project in collaboration with the newly-minted The Creative Net, Diseño en Diagonal, was a success thanks to the participation of almost 44,000 people. The concept consisted of having design traverse the city’s main artery, the Diagonal, with more than 33 activities in emblematic buildings such as Palau Robert, Casa de les Punxes, Illa Diagonal, Hotel 10 Casa Mimosa or Glòries shopping centre, as well as shops, restaurants or showrooms where different local creators staged interventions. Although like every year the epicentre was located in the Disseny Hub Barcelona, which was visited by more than 18,000 people, more than 100 activities took place around the city with the clear intention of bringing the programme to the citizens and to international visitors. Distrito Diseño, the other major area of the programme organized by the BCD, has become consolidated in its aim to bring design to every corner of the city, with the participation of more than 5,000 citizens in the more than 70 design-related activities that took place in Barcelona’s neighbourhoods.

Another public success was the more than 1,100 people who participated in the «Good design is…» cycle. The FAD set out to find out what good design is today and the role it should adopt vis-à-vis the major challenges humanity faces. This premise was behind the programming of a family session in which visitors were invited to analyze everyday objects from the viewpoint of good design, a screening of the documentary Ramos by Gary Hustwit, which gave an overview of the life of one of the most influential designers of the 20th century, the creator of the «10 principles of good design», and a conference session with international speakers from every discipline of design, who offered their own principles to the attending public. Among them were the architect Anne Lacaton, the Feminist Internet collective or the graphic designers from Deutsche&Japaner.

Another highlight was the Barcelona Design Week Summit – Rethinking Wellbeing, an activity of the BCD and Service Design Days with the collaboration of the Design Singapore Council and The Care Lab, with participants of 31 nationalities and speakers from relevant companies such as Philip Design,, Parsons School of Design, frog, Billion Bricks or The Care Lab. This year’s Barcelona Design Week Summit was staged under the slogan of «Rethinking Wellbeing», seeking to turn it into an inspirational tool for creativity when facing micro-challenges and large-scale issues alike. Social challenges as a source of innovation were discussed, designing services for health, inclusion or racism in a programme that covered conferences, workshops and masterclasses revolving around the idea of rethinking wellbeing for a society immersed in an integral transformation process.

Scheduled exhibitions were again one of the fundamental aspects of the design week. In fact it exceeded the attendance record, with more than 11,700 visitors during Barcelona Design Week alone. The shows were: «The Best Design of the Year», which will remain open to the public until 1 September at the Disseny Hub Barcelona, a must-attend event for understanding what is happening in the world of design, architecture, fashion and art today, with a selection of the best productions in 2018. The exhibition comprises more than four hundred works and projects by both professionals and students of the different disciplines of design. This is the FAD’s annual exhibition, this year mounted in collaboration with the Design Museum, and features the shortlisted and prize-winning works of the awards organized by the different FAD associations; «Creating Caring Transitions for Social Good», in collaboration with the Design Singapore Council and The Care Lab, displaying 4 finalists of the President’s Design Award. This exhibition had already travelled to New York, London, Hong Kong and Copenhagen; and the International Pavilion with 3 guest countries (Argentina, Brazil and Italy) presenting 3 installations on how transitions are interpreted through their different perspectives. As for the prizes awarded by the FAD associations in the different disciplines of design, the ArtsFAD Awards for artistic creation, MODA-FAD Awards for fashion, FAD Awards for architecture and interior design and the Habitàcola Awards, plus ADG Laus Awards for excellence in graphic design and visual communication, they received more than 2,300 attendees.

The Barcelona-based ESIETE studio, which this year is celebrating its 15th anniversary, created the identity and graphic campaign for this edition of Barcelona Design Week, which connects perfectly with this year’s theme, devising a possible, striking and sustainable versatile graphic system. «Transitions» is one of the first dynamic campaigns generated with variable typefaces and Python in our country.