Friday, October 22, 2010

Barcelona has Design in its DNA

I had the privilege of being the guest of the Barcelona Design Center this week. I participated in several sessions with city officials, local designers and design students, where I learned about the efforts of the City of Barcelona to build talent and infrastructure in Barcelona so that companies can setup their design operations there.

The city itself is designed by talented architects who build open spaces into every city block. Watch the picture below and you will notice that there are open spaces built into every block. I visted some of these blocks and they seem to have inherited the architecture from the great architects who build Barcelona's magnificient cathedrals.

I saw this design tradition of focusing on people and sustainability in contemporary design as well.
Instead of giving you my opinion, let me share a very innovative product I saw at the design gallery at Roca of one of the Barcelona companies.

It is a toilet sink combination. The water you use to wash you hands is stored and used to flush the toilet. The designers at Roca focus on aesthetics and sustainable design. The product is a run-away success and customers are paying a premium to get this product.

I met several design managers from local design centers, designers from the local companies and students from local design schools to learn about their experience of living, working and doing business from Barcelona. Focus on design, a relatively inexpensive supply of talented designers, resonably priced accomodation, good public infrasturcture and a committed city administration makes Barcelona a good place for corporate design centers.
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