IED Barcelona expands its facilities with Point Two, a human-tech space dedicated to applied research in design
IED Barcelona Design School is expanding its learning spaces with IED Point Two, an environment dedicated to investigating the link between technology and humanity with design as a central pillar. Located 400 metres from its main facility, IED Point Two was also conceived as a space characterised by constant evolution and interaction with Point One — IED Barcelona’s laboratory school in Calle Biada — from a global and cosmopolitan perspective, interconnected with the urban context.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution requires us to redefine educational spaces and adapt them to the needs stemming from technological impacts. Since its inception, IED has been a driver for change, attentive to current transformations, opting for creative methodologies and bringing labour market demands closer to students’ learning experiences. IED Point Two goes a step further, offering an environment that is not only based on education, but also transformation, through the development of innovative projects.
“IED Point Two is envisaged as a space that establishes a dialogue with the future”, explains Alessandro Manetti, Director of IED Barcelona and, since 2019, also CEO of the group in Spain. “A meeting point between human beings and technology, through the methodology of design, with the objective of educating and preparing people to face the challenges posed by technology in an increasingly accelerated, uncertain and complex scenario”, he continues.
In this way, IED also takes a stance on an open, inclusive and tailor-made pedagogic approach, overcoming the limits of new professions and linking business networks with academic training. “We have committed to a space that enables a connection with business markets, utilising new working methodologies, unique to IED, to rethink the current educational system, taking a step forward and bridging the gaps between education and business, as well as technology and humanism”, adds Alessandro Manetti.
TWO SPACES: Humanism and technology
IED Point Two was born from the will to contribute to the definition of new educational formats. It feeds off the experience of the main facility, and at the same time, complements it through projects that anticipate future needs, humanising technology by way of design.
In the heart of Barcelona’s Gracia district, the space is conceived as a blank canvas. An environment that opens itself up to the promotion of soft skills, competences inherent in human beings, such as creativity, the ability to solve complex problems, new forms of leadership, team management and critical thinking; as well as to experimentation through projects closely linked to the city.
A total of 2,000 square metres distributed across seven floors that include flexible and dynamic classrooms and invite the use of creative methodologies that generate innovation. The furnishings respond to these needs, taking into account practicality and functionality. Seven rooms have been equipped for the development of projects in multidisciplinary teams, and two “silent rooms” have also been set up. Further, environments for personal development are key elements within the building, as are two open, diaphanous spaces that enable users to play with their distribution depending on the requirements of each project.
The architectural remodeling of the space was carried out by Franconi Architects, the same studio that worked on IED Point One in 2011. This first facility marked a before and after in educational environments, going beyond the traditional concept of the classroom by implementing living laboratories, constantly adapting to rapid technological developments.
DESIGN THROUGH CO-CREATION PROCESSES
The distribution of the spaces is the fruit of different co-creation processes, which saw the participation of active agents within the IED community: students, teachers, staff and alumni.
Over the course of three working sessions, they not only addressed the issue of the spaces, but also placed special emphasis on user experience through rapid prototyping and gamification techniques, with an aim to understand the potential functioning of the space and which services would be indispensable for future students. “The key to analysis is to place the users at the centre — both students and teachers as well as staff — and analyse their needs in terms of learning, research, communication and exchange, taking into account the evolution of the contemporary world”, explains Alessandro Manetti.
The new building further contains specific departments that connect the business world with training: the Future Innovation Future Innovation Tailor-Made School (FITS), Innovation Lab (ill.), IED Companies, Career Services and Advanced Programs offices. Each one offers a specific interaction with the labour market, providing the possibility to develop proposals that become real projects to improve people’s well-being (ill.), or tailor-made training programmes for companies and institutions (FITS).