Which is the greatest challenge you could find on being World Design Capital? And particularly thinking of Valencia?
To me the greatest challenge starts in 2023. The year 2022 and the title WDC will create a certain awareness in the public and in media. And of course the government will provide a certain budget for the program. But the real challenge will start once the official year is over. Will the programs go on? Will the citizens have understood the value of design for them? Will new ideas be created? Will there still be a certain budget for design and architecture solutions in the interest of the citizens and so on and so forth. This will not be easy as examples of former WDC´s show as well. Creating a 3 to 5 years plan would most probably be a good idea to make sure all involved parties understand it´s a longer path to follow.
IF Design is currently working on the White Book of design education. How do you see the future of this field? Where do we find the strengths and weaknesses of today’s education?
Yes, our iF Design Foundation has initiated a project named “The Future of Design Education „as we think this is one of the key challenges for the future of the design industry. Do we educate future designers that will be really needed by the industry? Do we teach the skills the industry is expecting? Do young designers need different skills in Asia, in Latin America, Africa or Europe? Will the design profession become more relevant and important than in the past? Do designers have to be half creative, half engineer? Do we have the best professors to educate future designers? Are the systems (at least in Europe) too theoretical and not state of the Art regarding Technology?
At the beginning of the project the iF Foundation has defined 70 questions and those questions were the fundament for discussions on different continents with all involved parties. The whitebook will define the status quo and explain potential directions but Education is a government responsibility. And I myself am not super optimistic that we can really change an education policy of a country. But no matter if yes or no, we will go on dealing with this issue as it is crucial for designers, companies and governments.
How do you perceive the current relationship between German design and Spanish design? Do you think we have both influenced each other’s way of creating over the last years?
As we know we Germans stand for Technology, for engineering, for solidity etc. Long lasting quality but not very inspiring, some people say. Spanish Design and Architecture seems to have some more inspiration integrated. And if we take the young generations, Spain has to offer a lot! What surprises me is that Spanish Design and Architecture and especially the creatives are not so well promoted internationally! Other countries and governments promote their creative industries definitely better and I can only motivate the government or recommend to make use of this emotional reasons to discover Spain from the creative side.