Lara Penin is Director of Transdisciplinary Design...
2018: The Disseny Hub Barcelona establishes itself as a festival, talent and innovation venue
The city of Barcelona stands out as a center for culture, design and progress, and for another year the Disseny Hub Barcelona is one of the main centers for the promotion and dissemination of creativity and innovation. The building increased its visibility both within the city and globally in the world of design. In 2018, the Disseny Hub Barcelona received 530,000 visitors at exhibitions and programmed activities at the El Clot Library- Josep Benet, the Design Museum, the FAD and the BCD. In addition, the building and its installations had over 2,000 daily users, not only visitors but individuals who use the space as a place to relax or enjoy a coffee in the cafeteria. Throughout the year, it hosted 368 activities, which works out to an average of 3 sessions per day.
Apart from its content on culture, heritage and innovation, the building’s facilities now provide a connection between neighborhoods and a space for everyday use in the area of Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes. At the logistics and structural level, this year the building has evolved to offer a better and sustainable services, as well as providing the facilities with more autonomy. Some facilities and rooms have also been rearranged, the efficiency of the emergency exits has been secured, and the building's schedule has changed. Opening hours are Mondays from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on Tuesday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
A space for festivals and specialized conferences
The building has proved to be a multi-purpose space that can accommodate events with a variety of themes and in a number of formats for the greater public. Its facilities allow for the organization of festivals, film cycles, exhibitions, markets, fairs and conventions, among others. There was considerable buzz regarding Barcelona Design Week at which two major design organizations, the BCD and the FAD, collaborated for the first time; the ADG Talks conferences, and the Barcelona Ethical Fashion Fest, an ethical and sustainable fashion festival, which ran at the Disseny Hub for the second year running. It also continued to host events that have been with the DHUB since its beginnings such as the OFFF and the ADCE Festival, and was chosen as the perfect location for new events such as the Llum Barcelona festival; MECAL the animation, virtual reality and short film festival and the Riares Festival.
A space on trend
In addition to its capacity to host new projects, the Disseny Hub Barcelona has strengthened its reputation as a space on trend. The building has continued to maintain its status and has increased its presence and relevance in the creativity, art, trends and technology sectors. Highlights include events such as the B-ANIME cinema series at the El Clot Library - Josep Benet, and the Design Museum exhibition, Design Does. In addition to being the headquarters of the Museum and the Library, the building is also the home of two important private design organizations located in Barcelona but with a European scope: the Promotion of Arts and Design and the Barcelona Center of Design. These organizations promote products produced by local talent and are constantly on the look for innovations. This year, the Disseny Hub Barcelona has also hosted events by these organizations including the FAD Awards, which award the best creations in the fields of architecture, industrial design and graphic design; the Roca bathroom design program; the Design Market in December; the BCD jumpthegap; and the Creativity and Trends Days at the Design Museum that focus on new creations and approaches to the design of the future.
A space that supports innovation and talent
The future perspective is always at the forefront at the Disseny Hub, with proposals that focus to the role of creation as a driving force of the future. The building has hosted projects such as the Mobile World Congress 2018, Mater FAD, Design For Living, and has supported innovative concepts such as design food, new materials, trends, and the training of young talent with programs such as MID TALENT and the Design the Restaurant Experience, both organized by BCD. It has also given more visibility to relevant projects such as the Barcelona Ethical Fashion Fest and Barcelona Design Week.
This year, the work of Disseny Hub Barcelona has been recognized by the City Council of Barcelona. In accordance with the substantial value that it has in the world of design in the city the city has approved providing €900,000 to companies and creators linked to design and fashion.
A space for reflection
The Disseny Hub has always taken part in social and cultural issues that demand reflection and dialogue, foster critical thinking and reasoning, as well as social rights and equal opportunities. But at the same time, the facilities have desired to offer a space for children and adults, to bring the greater public culture and learning through activities such as reading workshops at the library. Innovation and creativity are values that have also been used to undertake initiatives in relation to culture, literature, gender issues, and the empowerment of women, among others.
In closing, we can say that the Disseny Hub has experienced a year full of activities, evolution, and positioned as a creation and design center, the nucleus of an important network of creators, professionals, companies, ideas, entrepreneurship and projects. A growth that we hope to maintain and for which we will continue to work for. At the same time, the building also has challenges in 2019 that include improving the public perception. The Disseny Hub is in a privileged location that provides it with visibility and a reputation so it needs to contribute not only to the culture of Barcelona and the design world but to its neighbours in an area that is constantly evolving. For another year, we are facing the challenge of being the main promoter of talent and a support for businesses in the design industry while continuing to be the engine of culture and innovation for the public.
To answer this question, in the seventies the industrial designer Dieter Rams offered design in particular and society in general the...