Barcelona Design Week – 2016

BarcelonaDesignWeek2016Last June, Barcelona hosted the 11th edition of Barcelona Design Week (BDW), organized by Barcelona Centre de Disseny (Barcelona Center of Design, BCD). It was a very busy 12-day programme that included a vast number of activities for the general public as well as industry professionals.

This year, the Design Week welcomed more than 12 000 participants, exceeding the attendance numbers of previous years. A record number of international attendants increased the international exposure of the event after more than a decade of its existence.

More than 70 design-related activities

The Barcelona Design Week was centred around more than 70 design-related activities: conferences, exhibitions, lectures, discussion panels and networking activities for professionals. Over the course of one week, participating professionals had the opportunity to discuss the future of design and its influence in a rapidly changing society.

Among the design-related exhibitions, the most outstanding was Interfaces, 100 years of design, that celebrated the industrial design journey of electric products manufacturer, Simon. The exhibition showed the evolution of industrial design over the last 100 years and raised questions about the relationships between people and technology, and the use of technology to humanize our environment.

The central attraction of this year’s BDW was the second edition of the celebrated Design is Future event, organized by Toormix and the Barcelona Center of Design. This 3-day event, at the Design Hub of Barcelona, brought together more than 300 companies, organizations and professionals to discuss the new trends and methodologies in design, and to share their experiences. One of the most discussed topics was the role of design in the social sphere and in improving people’s lives.

One of the novelties of BDW 2016 was the first edition of Design4Food. Aimed at examining the relationship between design and gastronomy, this event explored the most significant current and future trends in this area. The event was a big success in terms of attendance, and brought together names such as Alberto Arza (from Food Design Study Paila), Toni Massanés (from Foundation Alicia), and Joxe Mar Aizega (from the Basque Culinary Center).

Another activity that attracted large numbers was Open Design Studios. Conducted by BDW staff, this activity was an invitation to discover 12 of the most important design studios in Barcelona and to learn about the day-to-day work of design professionals.

The last trends in design

For many design professionals, Barcelona Design Week offers the opportunity to exchange ideas, network with other professionals and get to know the latest trends in the industry. Two of the trends that we could see were repeated in the many of the activities of the week. These were the concept of design as a key part of innovation processes, and the impact of design in social processes and as a tool to improve the lives of people.

BDW closed this edition with the satisfaction of having strengthened its presence as a reference in the panorama of international design events, and is already looking forward to the next edition in June 2017.

Have you had the chance to participate in 2016 or previous editions of the BDW? Which activities have been the most interesting, in your opinion? We invite you to let us know your thoughts in the comment section and to share this article in social media.

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