logo ayuntamiento cabecera

Design to generate value and face the challenges of the city


The final day of Donostia WeekINN leaves us with the announcement of the creation of a design 'hub' whose objective will be to transform San Sebastian.


Donostia WeekINN has concluded with different reflections on design in the city. Design is understood as strategies to carry out innovative projects. The Miramar Palace hosted the “Value of Design” conference, in which Alberto Barreiro, Professor of 'Design Strategy' and head of Multiplatform Systems at Barrabes, along with representatives of EIDE, the Basque Association of Designers, highlighted the importance of the role of designers to build value and make something that is beautiful, useful and full of meaning. “Design is a discipline that enables us to rebuild the world from a human perspective. Design helps people face changes and emerges from a way of intervening between a hostile world and a lost animal, hence creating the human condition. Designers intervene between the world and people. We are interpreters of the future”, defined Barreiro. The expert from Barrabes highlighted: “The world’s leading companies have designers in their founding teams. The next economic revolution is going to come from creativity rather than from machines”.


Design has to study different types of strategies and the behaviour of people towards these strategies through elements such as the feeling of exclusivity, customisation of products adapted to each user, the user experience or the feeling of social belonging. However, it also has its challenges: “This new world is characterised by complexity, automation, excess, uncertainty and the lack of meaning. This is faced with creativity, authenticity, becoming human again, adaptation and the search for new meanings”, pointed out Barreiro.


lunes 27 contenido1Barrabes and Fomento de San Sebastián have been working together for some time to design the city. Iñigo Olaizola, Head of Innovation and Competitiveness at Fomento de San Sebastián announced the intention to implement a design 'hub' in the city “to generate value and face the challenges. Design to give answers, face the work and design as an attitude. We want to promote a 'hub' that has a training offer on different levels”. In this respect, Alberto Barreiro, highlighted: “San Sebastian has an ecosystem that is rich in education, rich in creative experiences, such as the Basque Culinary Centre or the San Sebastian Film Festival. 'Smart City', leisure, tourism, surf, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives are underway. For all these reasons, this city needs a design 'hub' to articulate all of the value. Design will give immediate value and will transform the city in the long term”.


Benicio Aguerrea, Coordinator of EIDE, and Olaia Irulegi, Director of LKS DiaraDesign also participated in this act, making a balance of the association’s activity and raising awareness of the future challenges. “From the point of view of design, new agents and technologies are appearing that can generate new value proposals with meaning for users. We must pay attention to the new profiles of designers emerging in relation to questions, such as the product, systems, communication, physical spaces or interaction services. 'Design Thinking' is the methodology to understand the user and the market and to give specific solutions to be able to transform the future”, reminded Irulegi.


lunes 27 contenido2

'People Analytics'

Friday was opened at Talent House by Emilio J. Castilla, Professor of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with a talk on human resources and staff recruitment strategies aimed at the heads of companies from San Sebastian. Castilla gave the example of Google, a multinational company that has become the most popular company to work for according to various studies, but which initially faced important problems in incorporating talent into its teams. “Nowadays, it attracts the best because it carries out different types of analysis which enables it to know whether an employee is going to be reliable or not. It carries out a very strict selection process, with interview techniques that change over time, and looks for the skills it requires. Nobody is perfect with all of the skills and abilities, but the human resources team is capable of detecting the skills that the workers can develop and, once inside the company, these skills are fostered through training”, explained Castilla.


However, those responsible for Google also analyse another series of variables, such as the type of food offered in the company canteen, to detect whether this food can cause health problems that affect employee performance. “The change in culture, the change in the management of human resources in different parts of the process is so important that it is worth compiling data and making an analysis. Using this analysis, we can find out where we are now, what we are doing well as well as what we are not doing well in order to change things”.


San Sebastian is Fashionable

lunes 27 contenido4Fashion has made an important niche for itself this Friday at the Donostia WeekINN. The most relevant event in this respect was held at San Telmo on Friday afternoon. The San Sebastian Fashion Cluster organised a full day’s events to raise awareness of new business models through two of the region’s most important fashion schools and three of the most important designers on the national scene. Javier Barroeta, Creative Director of the firm, Javier Barroeta, and Director of the Haute Couture School in Bilbao; Iñaki Muñoz and Aitor Muñoz, Creative Directors at Ailanto and José Ignacio Hernández, Director of AEG Ikastetxea, addressed the essence of haute couture and the transfer of its values to emerging designers, the handling and use of the latest technologies (laser cutting, digital stamping, 3D printing...) and the creative guidelines to become a brand with an easily identifiable hallmark within today’s fashion world.


In the morning, the Garbera Shopping Centre hosted two interesting talks- workshop aimed at the design sector, textile production and patterns. On one hand, Asun Domínguez explained the eight keys to optimise the sale of a product through innovation in the relationship between the customer and the seller. On the other hand, Ianire Soraluze spoke about the innovative keys to add value to a 'Kilometre 0' product.


We cannot forget the 'Street Style in San Sebastian' exhibition, promoted by the Economic Promotion Department’s San Sebastian Fashion Cluster, that is on display at the Miramar Palace until 30 th October. This exhibition shows the presence and historic evolution of fashion in the streets of San Sebastian and in the most emblematic areas of the city. As Ana Balda, Professor from the Faculty of Communication at Navarra University pointed out: "Not many years ago, the latest fashion trends were first unveiled in San Sebastian".

 lunes 27 contenido3

Entrepreneurship and Technology

The social entrepreneurship barnetegi organised by Sinnple ended today. We are now waiting to see whether the knowledge acquired and the projects that have been formulated for 15 hours will go ahead with the help of leading mentors who have collaborated in this training.


Throughout the morning, the Boulevard Marquee displayed some of the leading innovative projects developed by local entrepreneurs. Donostia WeekINN has concluded its 2017 edition with a positive balance: around 80 events held at 37 venues all around the city and over 200 hours of talks, conferences, round tables and workshops. Many of the events and meetings held this week will continue over the forthcoming months. Collaboration proposals and synergies between participants which will also be turned into specific projects have been channelled. The work continues, perhaps in a less visible way for the people of San Sebastian, but innovation does not stop. The objective of all this is to turn San Sebastian into a worldwide reference in innovation, discovering and fostering talent among young people and providing our business sector with human capital that is prepared to face the challenges of the society of the future.


Latest news

On April 27th starts a free online training organised by Hotmaps in English. This training is directed... Read more ...
Fomento de San Sebastián, as part of the European DEVISE project (Interreg Europe), organised a... Read more ...
On November 14th 2019 an online webinar will be held within the framework of the Hotmaps project,... Read more ...
Fomento de San Sebastián, within the framework of the European DEVISE project (Interreg Europe),... Read more ...