Coming from Colorado studying Interior Design, I had no idea what to expect moving to Barcelona to do a semester at one of the top design schools in Barcelona. At Elisava I am enrolled in a design contexts class, and visual communications and motion graphics class, both of which are completely new subjects for me. As for interior design, I am taking an interior spaces class as well as a retail design class. But for now, I will just focus on the interior spaces class and my change in perspective on interior design.
Our first project was a conceptual project focusing on how spaces fit within space. We were given a grid and we had to put a square, a triangle, a rectangle and a circle into it in a way that creates balance through the grid. This exercise led to the second portion of the project, which was to design an apartment using only the area not covered by the shapes that we placed previously. We were not able to add any walls, only the shapes could be used as walls. Not being able to add walls led to a process of trying to find ways to create privacy throughout the space. Traditionally, the interior walls and spaces are what is designed, yet in this project the additions of furniture and fixtures was what created a unique design.
There are millions of homes, offices or apartments that look exactly the same. Using only 90 degree angles and straight elements. This is the easiest and most conventional way to design but takes away much of the creativity. Pushing your limits is such an important aspect of being a good designer and the uncomfortable projects, such as this one, bring this to light. This project opened my eyes to all the possibilities within a space, regardless of the size or use. In order to get people’s attention, the designer must take risks.
Coming to Barcelona and taking classes at Elisava has taught me that there is not one correct answer to design. There are so many people enrolled in the study abroad program with many differing backgrounds. Initially I thought this would be difficult, however I have learned the importance of differing perspectives and how we can all become better from one another. Taking risks, getting out of your comfort zone and constantly being open to new ideas is the basis of creativity, and Elisava has helped me to realize this.
Written by: Spring 2023 Barcelona student, Annabelle Bradford from Colorado State University.