Paradís: the design and creativity festival
16 Dec 2020 /

Paradís: the design and creativity festival

We recently held the first edition of Paradís, the new festival of World Design Capital Valencia 2022, which featured express conferences and open debate on creativity. The professionals who participated approached different lessons regarding the discipline from very different perspectives.

Under the heading “Reinventing yourself”, the designers Ana Gea of Gràffica, David Ruíz of Ruiz + Company and Eduardo del Fraile gave short talks on how ideas arise in times of stagnation or crisis.

Eduardo del Fraile explained how, at a time when his studio was at the height of success (having already received more than 100 awards) he decided to reinvent himself and how that impulse gave rise to a project that would last more than five years: KONG, a spirit (specifically, rum) inspired by gorillas. The entrepreneur risked everything for the project, even selling his house. Finally, thanks to his persistence and the support of the organisation that helps gorillas, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, the project was implemented and it triumphed, reinvention being the key.

How do ideas arise in times of stagnation or crisis?

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Ana Gea, co-creator of the publication Gràffica and founder of the Palau Gea studio, showed that she is an example to follow when adversity knocks on the door of a designer. Her talk focused on the fact that the key to triumph is knowing how to make the most of those moments of crisis to reinvent ourselves, on how our attitude and the fact that we live in the present” are the keys with which to unlock ideas. The entrepreneur explained how she managed to gain from the crises of 2008, 2010 and 2020: she did so via the creation of the magazine Gràffica, a visual map of emotions for dissemination in schools (together with Eduardo Punset and Rafael Esquerra) and a book on the design business, respectively.

Our attitude and the very fact that we live in the present are the keys with which to unlock ideas.

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The graphic designer David Ruíz (of Ruiz + Company) told how he left his whole life on standby to sail around the world. After four years of adventure, he settled in 2020 and has managed to gain new perspectives on the current situation of design. Now, Ruíz has realised that constant advertising makes users reject it, that Facebook has lost potential compared to other social media and that it is necessary to have thousands of followers to be somebody relevant. Challenges that can only be tackled through reinvention and creativity.

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David Ruíz left his whole life on standby to sail around the world, during four years of adventure.

The second day of conferences was entitled “Design seen from three perspectives” and included the participation of Ana Hernández (Masquespacio), Dídac Ballester and Núria Vila, who made us reflect on different facets of design.

Ana Hernández, cofounder of the interior design studio Masquespacio, showed us some of the transcendental questions that designers should ask themselves with regard to ideas. The entrepreneur meditated on questions relating to the value of ideas: How do you know how good an idea is? Is an idea that takes longer to germinate better than one that arises all of a sudden…?

How do you know how good an idea is? Is an idea that takes longer to germinate better than one that arises all of a sudden…?

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Dídac Ballester, a graphic designer who specialises in book design, reflected on his area of greatest knowledge: the space in a book. For Ballester, the space in a book goes beyond” the pages. When this professional designs books, he takes his cue from alternative artists who play with their space.

Furthermore, he focuses on how readers, in turn, modify this space, alternating the pages in their own way, using paperclips, underlining… Moreover, the designer expressed that the relationship between the space of the book and other spaces is interesting. This element, therefore, becomes a key part of editorial design.

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For Dídac Ballester, the space of a book goes beyond the pages.

Núria Vila showed the audience how ecological and sustainable design is always possible. “The key is to study materials and possibilities for the designs commissioned by each client.”

The creator gave two examples of her own projects. The first consisted of the creation of a restaurant menu made from a recyclable material and which furthermore consisted of dismountable parts to avoid the need to reprint it whenever a dish on the menu is changed. Her other project involved the creation of a 100% compostable coffee packet for Slowmov, which she achieved. “The future will be sustainable or unsustainable,” concluded the designer.

Ecological and sustainable design is always possible. The key is to study materials and possibilities for the designs commissioned by each client.

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On the last day of the conference, the designers Pepe Gimeno, Rocío Martinavarro and Ana Criado spoke of the borders of creative space.

Pepe Gimeno, National Design Award 2020, talked about how design consists of inputs from different disciplines such as marketing, communication and advertising, but how – on the other hand – it is also composed of plastic arts and other artistic disciplines. The designer posed the complex question of whether design is art, since both disciplines influence each other. The conclusion according to Pepe Gimeno? The two disciplines are differentiated by a border, consisting of the purposes pursued by the designer/artist in each one.

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Design consists of inputs from different disciplines such as marketing, communication and advertising, but it is also composed of plastic arts and other artistic disciplines.

Rocío Martinavarro, of the Mayúscula studio, showed us how design can serve to demolish borders and establish meeting points. She discovered this via a project in which more than 50 graphic designers from around the world were paired to create a piece of work. The result showed her that design is able to overcome border differences such as the use of different languages or not sharing the collective imagery of each country. Martinavarro reached the conclusion that there is a new cross-border space based on the idea that design is intercultural, that it becomes the fruit of understanding.

Rocío Martinavarro showed us that there is a new cross-border space: design is intercultural, it is the fruit of understanding.

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The final speaker was Ana Criado, who spoke of her own experience of crossing the Spanish border and deciding to try her luck as a designer in the United States. The Valencian designer began to work for a company specialising in credit titles for Hollywood, together with the designer Kyle Cooper. After overcoming the adversities of confronting a new sector and a language in which she was not fluent, over the years she has learned that the fear of crossing borders, of change, is greater than the real danger, and she was even nominated for an Emmy for the title design of Star Trek: Discovery.

In short, a total of three exciting days, full of learning and shared reflections based on design and creativity. Without a doubt, it will continue. Long live Paradís!

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The fear of crossing borders and of change is greater than the real danger.

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