Another organization just set up shop in Barcelona to promote knowledge-sharing and innovation. Barcelona Knowledge Hub was officially launched last week and is located in the beautiful cloister premises in the Carrer del Carmen. It is a collaboration between Academia Europaea and the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRI): two organizations that have knowledge dissemination in their DNA.
The Barcelona Knowledge Hub will focus on the promotion of multidisciplinary scientific activities that include the perspective of the social sciences and the humanities. Their goal is to contribute to the consolidation of a genuine European area of innovation, research, and education. A beautiful ambition, but I do hope that this new organization will not reinvent the wheel. It would be of great added value if it would clearly define its added role in the vivid ecosystem of different entities pursuing a leading real for Barcelona as Innovation HUB. Just to name a few: Barcelona Growth, Barcelona Global, Barcelona KEY and the Barcelona Mediterranean Innovation HUB. Read more
The 2013 Smart Fabrics Europe Conference on wearable technology was held in Barcelona last week. Don’t be fooled by the name smart fabrics. In reality, this is a multi-disciplinary topic touching upon (flexible) electronics, nanotechnology and interaction design while attracting artists, designers, manufacturers, fashion labels and large multinationals as Nokia, LG, Apple, Philips. An excellent reminder that innovation occurs at the intersection of different sectors.
This article is organized in several sections:
1) wearable technology, 2) safety, 3) multidisciplinary research, 4) flexible device revolution enabled by nanotechnology, 5) battery life time, 6) Big Data stimulating DIY, 7) Imagination and 8) Innovation lessons.
Wearable technology is ready to market. The past few years were focused on showcases, featured designs and a lot experimentation and prototyping. But soon Read more
Barcelona has a huge amount of events every week– check.
Barcelona inspires a lot of unexpected initiatives – check.
Barcelona is famous for its artistic heritage, which makes it the fourth most visited city in Europe – check.
Barcelona is a forward-thinking, innovative artistic metropolis – I believe so. Check!
“There are a lot of things to improve and to dream about, but Barcelona is an artistic city with the remarkable energy in the air” – says Mertxe Hernàndez, director and founder of WeArt festival in Barcelona. After the first week of the festival, which will take place for an entire month, we are sitting next to the newly opened Culture Center of BCN and chatting about the needs of our artistic city, about the creativity and its barriers, and about the art, of course. Read more
It all started with the Dada movement and Marcel Duchamp putting everyday objects with a unique twist in a museum. With this, he started a revolutionary development in the plastic arts. Nowadays, we are witnessing the revolutionary development in the printing arts. But before an object can be 3-D printed, it must first be invented.
Biscuit Mug at MIBA
Barcelona has a lot of museums, from famous ones to smaller, less discovered ones. One of the latter being MIBA: Museum of Ideas and Inventions located on Carrer Ciutat 7. If you use the glide, you reach the basement where inventors create unexpected objects. The museum is split into different small areas: discovering area, corner of the absurd, prototypes and fun-ventions.
Each invention starts with a drawing of an idea. If you give that idea a chance, you might end up earning money with it. MIBA showcases different objects along this road. Some succeeded to reach out to the world, while others can only be found in the museum. Take for instance the Biscuit Mug, responding to the trend of multi-purpose and multi-functionality. I might use that. Or what about The Smile Plate that has an incorporated mirror so you will never have that lettuce between your teeth without noticing it. Hard to get out of bed in the morning? Perhaps the exhibited jumping alarm clock can help you, since you have to chase him through the room to shut it off.
A question that comes to mind when looking at the different exhibits is the necessity. A crucial element when talking about innovation: is the invention useful and does it solve a problem? Otherwise, it stays art for art sake, which is a completely different purpose of existence. Nonetheless, it is good to have a look at those that didn’t succeed. We don’t only learn from best practices, perhaps we learn even more from our failures. These inventions can be a good reference point and make you think, what is lacking? How could it be better? Read more
This post is not about the well-known book of Tom Kelley on the design innovation focus of IDEO and his lessons on creativity: Art of Innovation. It is about art and innovation. Or even better, how they go hand-in-hand in our very own city of Barcelona. You just have to go to the MACBA, visit the exposition ‘art, two points’ on the ground floor and have a look at the artwork titled ‘Flags for Organizations’ from Art & language in 1978.
Four flags in four different colors are attached to the wall. Red, Blue, Yellow and Green. Each flanked by a bullet point manifest, resembling a different perspective on society. The composition somehow makes you reflect on the French Revolution with Marianne raising the flag for “Liberté, égalité and fraternité”. Each color representing one of these values. But, there are four flags in this art piece instead of three. How come? The power of innovation, of progression and change is added as a fourth value to the canon. When you read the manifest of the yellow flag, you start to acknowledge the spirit and conditions for entrepreneurship. Very true and inspiring to see it reflected in such a way. Read more