Business Design student’s study the viability of a maritime transport service for the Port of Barcelona

Project: Seat Mergo |

Project: Seat Mergo

Business Design student’s study the viability of a maritime transport service for the Port of Barcelona

Students of IED Barcelona Advanced School of Design have designed maritime public transport service systems for the Port of Barcelona. As part of the development process for the Nova Bocana area, the Port Authority asked the students of the IED Diploma in Business Design to design a public maritime transport system based on the real needs of the inhabitants of Barcelona.

Guided by the knowledge of experts from the Port of Barcelona and the IED teaching staff, the students made an in-depth study of the social, economic and technological setting of the future service in order to create a design that would meet the public’s current needs. They went to various neighbourhood associations, interviewed the area’s main stakeholders and analysed the behaviour of the users of Barcelona’s public transport system. They identified the main trends at the big European ports, which are increasingly positioning themselves as “smartports”, using sustainable resources and providing access facilities for people of all types.

The students propose the application of an environmentally friendly service that would use non-polluting, renewable energy resources to reduce pollution in the port. At the technological level, they propose offering online advance ticket purchase systems on a clear, dynamic website, smart ticketing systems and interactive screens at the stations that would provide high-quality, practical advice.

They also envisage this service as being a new place for the citizens of Barcelona to socialise, with accessibility adapted for all passengers, including a bike parking service and access for people with reduced mobility. In addition, with the restoration of the Nova Bocana area, it is planned to open up the city to the sea with services close to the transport, such as restaurants serving slow food and shops selling local produce.

The students followed the Design Thinking methodology and its tools to design the service and generate innovation. From an extensive, in-depth analysis of the environment and the real needs of users, the students succeeded in designing a solid project capable of offering an innovative vision of the Port of Barcelona’s future maritime transport system. They used tools like costumer journey and stakeholder mapping, trend analysis, feasibility and accessibility studies, rapid prototyping and usability testing, techniques that are studied at IED Barcelona.

“The vision of the IED Barcelona students was very important for making this proposal possible, as it will bring a great change to the city. The creation of a viable, high-quality, sustainable service is essential for the Port of Barcelona,” explained David Pino Roca, Barcelona Port Authority Territorial Planning, Technical Concession and Environmental Management manager.

“The opportunity offered to our students by this project was very enriching for their professional development as they carried out in-depth field research that made it possible to propose innovative services for a proposal that came to them as a completely blank canvas,” said Manuela Procopio, director of the IED Barcelona Management for Creative Industries department.




Students: Ioana Crasovan and Juanita Villamizar

Description: Columbus is a maritime transport service that offers a rapid route across the Port of Barcelona. It consists of a boat built using sustainable materials and propelled by renewable energy that offers a modular transport system with easy user access to increase the frequency of the services and reduce passenger boarding and disembarkation times. It is also designed to be a tourist attraction due to its route, location and 360º degree experience, with a restaurant, gift shop and information desk.

NAVIA: La gente, la ciudad, el mar

Student: Toby Fox

Description: Navia is a public transport system that is envisaged as being a new space for socialisation for people, the city and the sea. It uses the latest “smartport” technologies to create a complete user experience before, during and after the trip, thanks to a clear, effective digital information system, smart ticketing and interactive panels that ensure a reliable, accessible and comfortable service. It is not only seen as being a route to link the city and the sea but as offering collaborations with companies and local associations to restore the relationship between the public and the Barcelona coast.



Students: Erna Rán Jóhannsdóttir and Natalia Ruiz

Description: This proposal focuses on studying the information flow between the new maritime transport for the Port of Barcelona and the public. The students noted that the users’ level of satisfaction with urban transport varies according to how simple and effective the service’s information systems are. Information Guide is a clear, dynamic, visual, graphical communication guide for the transport system displayed on a variety of digital media – web site, mobile app and interactive screens – and physical media – signs, maps and boat routes.


Student: Maria Ilaria Robba

Description: This student’s proposal investigates the reputation of public transport services among the public. Using a dynamic, effective and sustainable transport system, “Tell stories, share images”, proposes a comprehensive communication strategy for the maritime transport system that includes positioning on the social networks, a public relations plan and magazine publications that invite passengers to share their experiences over different social communication systems in order to create loyalty and trust in the service.