Creative Challenge Barcelona

15 - 23 Jan 2018
Barcelona School of Design and engineering (Spain)

Discover how creativity can boost your company and your career!


The first creative challenges took place in Barcelona with great implication of all participants, they have provided very interesting proposals and at the same time they have allowed to further develop the research on the competences during the design process.

Creative Challenges have been carried out for a week, from the15th to the 23rd of January. The challenge began with the visit of Companies to ELISAVA where they introduced themselves and presented their challenges. These three companies, who do not use design in their usual processes, proposed ambitious and audacious challenges, which motivated the work of the teams during a week of intense work. These teams were made up of 30 young designers (last year bachelor students, Master students and young professionals), who worked in multidisciplinary teams without knowing each other before.

The companies that took part and their respective challenges are the following three:

Districte de Comerç is part of the Department of Tourism, Trade and Markets of the City Council of Barcelona, it has among its functions the management of policy development in the fields of tourism and commercial trade, fostering all kinds of actions in these areas.

How to improve the poor visibility of emblematic shops in the city of Barcelona? How to help to create a stronger intercultural commerce network in Barcelona?

Eurecat is a private, non-profit entity dedicated to industrial research and technology knowledge transfer, based on the textile industry, providing technical and human means for all companies, individuals, and entities interested in these areas to effectively apply them.

How to draw the attention of the fashion sector to adapt its capacity for innovation regarding new textiles to this sector?

Xarxa Ambiental is a non-profit Cooperative that aims to integrate people with disabilities. Xarxa is committed to the services sector in the public sphere, facilitating the labor integration of people with disabilities in the local world and public administration.

How to achieve a better categorization of the waste that is discarded, generating new recycling habits?

Participants had two very intense first couple of days. On the 16th the teams worked on the proposal and on the 17th they prepared a first presentation for the companies, looking to obtain valuable feedback to continue developing their ideas. The next two days, each team worked on their selected ideas and on Monday 22 the final proposal was presented.

The motivation of the participants has resulted in proposals of great quality and originality and most importantly a focused and good working atmosphere. Teams that worked on the challenges posed by Districte de Comerç, proposed the design of a website that brought together emblematic businesses, bringing it together through social events, games and the very idea of an emblematic brand, “Ruta dels emblematic”, interacting with both, foreign tourists and residents of the city. The other team proposed an association that would unite and facilitate the interaction of foreign merchants once they arrived at Barcelona and to bring them closer to the client, approaching their stories and treating the idea of a neighborhood as a union, the platform that would guide all this would be called “Co-net”. More information of this project can be consulted at the website.

For the challenges posed by Eurecat, participants proposed to rethink the way they were approaching their different targets, since this was a completely different market from the one they used to deal with, so they propose a shift in the communication between brand and fashion companies. The proposal was a communication strategy, a solution that needs to work with the brand communication from the base aiming to understand the client’s needs from the get go.

Finally, Xarxa Ambiental received a proposal based on a social platform that educates and promotes the action of good recycling in a playful way, through games and social recognition in a virtual community. The other work team proposed a civic card with access to a Civinet platform that allows users to earn points while recycling, those points can be exchanged at eco-friendly local shops. Besides that, the team also re-designed the visual communication of containers and designed a “station” to place them in the street that incorporates a screen to access Civinet platform.

The final proposals pointed out possibilities of great interest and were very well received among the other groups, and specially by the companies who valued very positively the work of participants. Companies congratulated the designers for their ability to question and raise a range of inspiring possibilities and, at the same time, feasible to develop, since they have shown interest in looking for ways to continue developing these ideas.

Simultaneously, while the participants worked on the challenges, a team made up of professors from TUE, FHS and ELISAVA acted as observers, recording and taking notes of the competences put into practice through the design process. On the last day, these observations were shared with the teams to gather their point of view in a self-reflection session around the 10 analyzed competences.

The investigation of the creative process has collected evidence in relation to the 10 competences previously detected and proposed for this Creative Challenge program.Because of this qualitative information has been gathered to enrich the project and further develop the investigation on creative skills.

Finally, it is worth adding that participants have shown great interest on the study of the creative process, and they valued very positively the self-reflection session where they learned about their own competences and also the perception their companions had on themselves. This experience has resulted very interesting for designers to gain more information about their own strengths and also to reveal competences they might keep improving.

We want to thank all the people who has been involved in the first Creative Challenge that has revealed very interesting results in all its different levels. Thanks to the companies who have been highly participatory, also designers who have shown great teamwork competences and finally teachers and researchers from all three universities who have contributed to enhance in the project with their experience and professionality.