Understanding Design is an association whose objective is to enhance the culture of contemporary and avant-garde design. It is proposed as an ongoing program focused on professionals, young creatives and the general public, which presents a cycle of activities structured around the experimental, multidisciplinary, industrial and artisan, open, shared and unknown, focused on the field of design.

The potential of Understanding Design lies in investigating and sharing new design methodologies and creative processes of designers with international projection, generating their own content through new informative and experiential formats.

In 2019 we will explore under the concept of Identity, the multiple meanings of this word and its relation to design. Gender, identification, cultural appropriation, globality, locality, sense of belonging, public and private profile.

What is identity? Who defines it? Can design talk about identity? Do the objects have an identity? And gender? And nationality? Can the materials and processes have a designation of origin? Does the nomenclature give identity to the object? Or the object to the nomenclature?

Below you can check the activities from 2018 which were structured around the topic New Realities.

New Realities — 2018 edition

Talks, workshops, an installation and a collective exhibition, were held in Barcelona and l’Hospitalet (16→19.05.2018), focusing on New Realities, to explore the role of design in the conception of new scenarios, phisical and conceived through the virtual.

This series of Understanding Design activities were curated by Diego Ramos and Saúl Baeza.

Interno installation by Lolo & Sosaku

Lolo (ARG) and Sosaku (JP), two artists based in L’Hospitalet, created an installation for the festival, in their workshop space. The internal installation refers to the myth of the golem: “… a golem is, in medieval folklore and in Jewish mythology, an animate being made from inanimate matter.”

The name comes from one of the four works presented, a sculpture with internal mechanisms that strike from inside but can not be seen: it is like an interior call.


Studio ilio, designer Dom Sebastian and MAIO architects were running one-day workshops at Elisava, LCI Barcelona and ESdesign (respectively), working on the creative processes and experimentation from different design perspectives: product-materials, experimental fashion and architecture-interior design. Each workshop was completed with a presentation open to the general public. Check the videos below and the full program for more details.

Studio ilio + ELISAVA – Rearranging the habitat

Dom Sebastian + LCI Barcelona – Experimental textiles for fashion and footwear

MAIO + ESdesign – 21.600


Studio ilio, designer Dom Sebastian and MAIO architects explained their way of working, from experiences and projects that put in value experimentation in the design process.

New Realities exhibition

One of the main activities of the festival. The exhibition’s proposal was a multidisciplinary review through 13 pieces of national and international creators, with the intention of answering possible questions and exploring new realities.

Is designing a physical or a virtual act? Is photography the virtual medium of the object? Is light an analog or a digital expression? Through the image, does the object become representation? Does the machine understand the material better than the hand? Can matter be digital? Do we consume more analog design than virtual? What is analog, what is digital? What is physical, what is virtual?

Press clipping

Download the full press clipping here.

The festival has been carried out by Diego Ramos, Saúl Baeza (curators) and Tai Sans, with the collaboration of Guim Espelt. Graphic design by Raquel Quevedo.

The team wants to appreciate all the participants, universities, companies and entities that have been involved in a way or another. Thank you for the support!