16 December 2022

Vertical gardens, temporary green furniture and mobile applications that explain foreseen actions are just some of the proposals presented in a bid to reawaken the interest of Barcelona’s residents in this commercial hub.

An interdisciplinary team of IED Barcelona students has participated in the Dissenyem comerç programme, an initiative of the Department of Tourism and Creative Industries, and the Department of Commerce, Markets, Consumption, Internal Regime and Finance, promoted by Disseny Hub Barcelona and Barcelona Activa. Its objective is to promote local commerce in the city thanks to the transformative power of design.

Specifically, the students worked on revitalising the Paseo de Gracia Commercial Hub; first, carrying out field research to find out the reality of this important location, and then developing various creative proposals for its recovery.

During the research phase, students perceived a certain disconnect between residents and this area: many consider it a mere passageway dedicated to tourists and consumers of luxury products. In order to recover it and take advantage of its high cultural value and central location, they devised various proposals in line with the other need detected: to increase green spaces and leisure environments in order to bring it closer to the people of Barcelona.

To this effect, students presented projects ranging from the co-creation of vertical gardens to installations of sustainable temporary structures in culturally strategic points, as well as temporary green furniture. They also suggested organising shop window display contests decided upon by popular vote and talks between different businesses to enhance the proximity value of their products. Finally, to achieve more fluid and closer communication with Barcelona’s residents, they proposed a mobile application as a tool to explain the different actions proposed.

The students participating in the “Dissenyem comerç” programme were: Idoia Ulchur, Rebeca Martell, Lucia Alabart, Marta Marín, Pablo Latorre and Cristina Moretti. Their tutors were João Alves, Teacher of Branding and Director of the Momento agency, and Cesc Grau, Teacher of Creativity and Events, and Director of C es C Studio, both coordinated by IED Barcelona’s Management & Design Strategies school.

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