Sustainable Tourism of the Future by IED Barcelona Product and Interior Design Students at BDW’21 Pro

Project: NAVIA: People, the city, the sea | Management

Project: NAVIA: People, the city, the sea

Sustainable Tourism of the Future by IED Barcelona Product and Interior Design Students at BDW’21 Pro

Fourth year students of the Bachelor of Arts in Interior and Product Design have presented their final projects, focusing on the tourism of the future, within the framework of Barcelona Design Week ‘21 Pro.

Under the concept ‘New Tourism – New Scenarios for a Sustainable Future, the event showcased the vision of IED Barcelona’s new design talent with relation to a sector that needs to redefine itself.   

Taking the city of Barcelona as a case study, and with the COVID-19 pandemic as a backdrop, the proposals aim to provide responses in terms of innovative services, products and spaces, taking into account the evolution of users’ needs and habits, changes in the system of priorities, and the emergence of new requirements and regulations in the tourism sector. 

In this way, they present possible advances from different perspectives — some more speculative and others easier to materialise in the current context — focusing on the main lines of action for the transformation of the sector: sustainability, inclusion, technology at the service of citizens, connection with nature, recovery of heritage and socialisation.

On one hand, proposals have been conceived that integrate a strong technological component. These include capsule cars and futuristically-designed accommodation to transport and lodge travellers in a hypothetical future that demands greater safety guarantees, as well as high-altitude balloons that explore the possibilities of space tourism.  

From a more local perspective, other projects focus on discovering the city, its green spaces and heritage. Students have devised diverse interventions that appeal to a connection with nature, inclusion or emotional linkages with the environment. A sensory space to discover Barcelona’s identity through senses other than sight; ergonomic and sustainable blocks conceived as places for rest, reading or socialising in parks and gardens; and temporary light installations in the trees of Parc Güell, are just a few examples.

Gastronomy and leisure activities to strengthen a sense of belonging and interactions between citizens and visitors are also lines of action materialised within the projects. From interventions in the city’s local markets through culinary experiences, to public spaces that create dynamic connections between locals and tourists.

This presentation, held in a hybrid format at Barcelona Design Centre in the presence of a group of experts from the sector, was the culmination of a work process developed by the students over the course of five months, in collaboration with Barcelona Global.