April 22, 2022
We usually share a lot of insightful stories about technology, design or crypto on our blog but we rarely talk about what inspires and keeps us going in this ever-changing world, and in this lately quite traumatic geopolitical situation. Inspiration as such has many forms and can come from various sources. Our main source of inspiration this month was Gaudí's city: Barcelona. As we had the chance to attend this year's Mobile World Congress and spend a few days around the city after the event, we had plenty of time to discover what this one of a kind city offers.
Let me introduce myself: I am Ferenc Muck, Head of Design at this wonderful team and writer of the article. As a designer I try to recharge my creative batteries while on a holiday and I try to absorb every detail of new cities and environments around me. You may be familiar with the catalan "headquarter", Barcelona, you may have never visited, however, this guide won't spoil you with the top 10 attractions but will rather help you to find the things that can recharge your senses on your future trips.
The playful genius
Of course, we must start our list with mentioning the unique genius, Gaudí. The city is full of his works from the Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló and Casa Milà to the wonderful Parc Güell, just to mention a few. You simply must love his playful and positive approach in his works. For me the biggest lesson from this master was the respect and love he had for nature. Gaudí did not want the Sagrada to be higher than the Montjuic mountain because he never wanted to create anything greater than God’s work: nature itself. You can see the wonderful ideas in his work originating from nature: the forest-like interior of the famous church or the sky blue mosaics in Casa Batlló. We tried to dwell on this idea and went hiking in the mountains of Montserrat the next day to let nature do its healing job.
In art we trust
As an art lover it's great to visit the classics of Spain and check out Dalí's, Miró's or Picasso's artworks. On the other hand, don't be afraid to shock yourself with the brilliant works of today's contemporary artists. Moco Museum does a very great job showing you an extensive line of works and making you speechless. Moco has a unique and bold branding itself which is a truly great inspiration for your next design work. The strong and vivid pink with the black really stands out and represents all of its strong statements. But enough about the museum's branding: We have seen iconic pieces from Banksy and also stunning works from Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Salvador Dalí, Damien Hirst, Keith Haring, KAWS, Yayoi Kusama and more.
From the beginning, I’ve always created art with the idea of communication behind it. You get into graffiti when you’re younger because you don’t just want to make artwork in your room for only you to see—it’s about getting work in front of people and creating a dialogue. Kaws
This quote can really inspire us, digital designers to share our work, ask for feedback, and show it to the audience early on.
One thing I always do on similar exhibitions is collecting colours for future design projects with the Adobe Capture app:
You can see that graffiti has a very strong appearance all around the city, especially in the Gothic quarter. The main dilemma is the question which was often asked by Banksy: Is it art or is it vandalism? I believe that sometimes the line is thin between the two but my subjective view is that everything that enhances the mood of a grey and boring street, adding a plus to its environment is street art. Graffiti is also frequently used in restaurants and bars. This Vegan Junk Food bar we bumped into randomly represents a unique style and great tribute to the streets and vibe of Barcelona.
The city is also very keen on highlighting important social dilemmas. This campaign about mental health was really standing out whenever I saw this billboard in the underground or around Plaça d'Espanya. “No és culpa meva” means “It's not my fault”. How calming is it to finally be able to talk about your real problems without feeling ashamed because of them?
Food can teach you about business
In the last few years I became more foody and tried to value local cuisine and quality food but I never thought that food can teach me something about business. In most catalan restaurants you have the feeling that they really focus on the quality and not on quantity. Usually the tables are full and people stand in queues on the streets. One of the restaurant owners said that they could easily create a franchise network from their places but they don't want to grow bigger. They want the current audience to be the happiest possible and their places to remain the same humble spaces they were at the beginning. I added a few pictures of my favourite dishes and restaurants:
Technology on steroids
Lastly, it's no secret that as a creative guy and a total nerd, one of the world's biggest mobile conferences inspired my hats off. After collecting some quality leads from our own stand I had the chance to check out the new 100 megapixels camera of Samsung Galaxy S22 and some concept cars from Fisker too.
I believe that as a designer, travelling means so much more than just visiting new places. It’s also about getting to know new people, different cultures and approaches and integrating these into our personalities. The more things you manage to incorporate into your soul, the more diverse, inspiring and innovative your designs will become.
We hope that you found this blog post useful! Do not hesitate to follow us, so you won’t miss interesting stories in the future either. This article was provided by Ferenc Muck, Head of Design at ff.next. Melinda Havas, Head of Marketing & Business Development and Bence Siklós, Business Analyst revised the content.