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An encounter with design, innovation and trends at the Roca Barcelona Gallery

September 18, 2012

The design festival kick-starts the jumpthegap® competition.

Yesterday, Thursday 13 September, the Roca Barcelona Gallery welcomed the Innovation and Design Trends Party: a conversation with Wallpaper* magazine. A chat-colloquium with Benjamin Kempton, deputy interiors editor of the London-based magazine Wallpaper*, and Josep Congost, Roca Design Manager, both members of the jury for the 5th international design competition jumpthegap®.

Key topics during this colloquium included young creators, bathroom design, design trends and the jumpthegap® competition as a platform for new and young talent. In addition, it was a good opportunity to involve the audience in exchanging experiences, ideas and opinions about the world of design.

Josep Congost emphasised that "when it comes to designing, we have to think about the user since 70% of the products currently being manufactured will be of no use in 10 years". Therefore, both Congost and Kempton agreed on which qualities, such as economy, comfort, hygiene, cleanliness, water conservation and product architecture, are essential for a good design.

According to Kempton, the challenge designers face is how to combine dreams with reality, and "for this, photographs in trends magazines can be a great source of inspiration", he explained. Kempton reminded the attendees that jumpthegap "seeks new ideas and aims to take a leap in time to find really creative designs that can help us confront this challenge", he adds.

One of the conclusions in bathroom trends that both speakers wanted to point out was the changing relationship the bathroom is experiencing with regards to the home. "Bathrooms are shared spaces without doors; furniture enters the bathroom and parts of the bathroom come out into the bedroom, leading us to assert that privacy in the home is changing", explained Congost. Kempton added, "the bathroom is opening up to the bedroom in the same way the kitchen opened up to the living room". In addition, Congost contemplated the search for more flexible bathrooms that bear resemblance to spas along with the idea of multifunctionality to achieve more space without overlooking sustainability.

The Innovation and Design Trends Party: a conversation with Wallpaper* magazine officially kick-started the design competition jumpthegap®. The competition is defined as a platform for discovering new talents from around the world within the context of architecture and design, allowing them to show their ideas, create and propose innovative solutions for the bathroom space and related products. As Benjamin Kempton put it, "jumpthegap® is more than just a platform for young people. It's a way to show your work to the world and to professionals".

Since the very beginning, jumpthegap® has relied on a jury of prestigious architects and designers. Among the presidents of the previous years figure Ron Arad, John Pawson, Benedetta Tagliabue and Rafael Moneo. This year, the president of the jury is Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima (Pritzker Architecture Award 2010).

Innovation and Design Trends Party: a conversation with Wallpaper* magazine has been an important meeting point in the world of design, a status that is confirmed by the large number of people it attracted this year.

Pictures of the event

  • Jump the Gap 5th edition kick-off 1
  • Jump the Gap 5th edition kick-off 2
  • Jump the Gap 5th edition kick-off 3