10th design conference at CMD

Last friday, I spent the full day at the Design Center of Buenos Aires, in Barracas district (Centro Metropolitano de Diseño) for a conference organized as part of the first design week in the city.

A full day to embrace design in Argentina as a whole, with a wide range of perspectives: design from a tangible, product centered approach to an immaterial, innovation centered one. Various Argentinian designers shared their personal experience, best practices, vision on their profession, their creation process, from inspiration to realization. Analia C., event co-organizer, highlighted the importance of time dimension to appreciate design in Argentina because all speakers started their career in the 90s in a difficult context. It is a specific period in the country, where design was at its beginning and had to be explained. 

A full day rewarding to approach the paradigm evolution we are living and the synergy between design and innovation in this context. 

Design = Quality + Strategy + Innovation

The CMD (Centro Metropolitano de Diseño) has been created 15 years ago promote design in the city and empower creative initiatives. It is located in the heart of Barracas district, a former factory neighborhood which is now turning to creative factories and design projects.

Here is what I have learnt from their speech. These are not quotes.


Graphic designer

Martin worked several years in Germany mainly as a football shirt designer. He explained to us how were created some of them to show the importance of research phase before designing and the importance of generating emotions. 


Each product has to be designed considering the 3 questions of the golden circle (Simon Sinek): Why? How? What?

Design has to create an emotional link between the user and the product.

Design power:

Turn the clock back, creating a time machine thanks to emotions generated. This is very strong for football shirts that can remind a fan of specific match and moments.

Pay tribute to the past, looking for inspiration in the past.


Answer the question « How? » via the design process and especially the research phase.

Generate emotions for the users.

Experience sharing:

Dedicate time for previous work: research, investigation, observation.

In a good design you can always find back this work. For exemple, the OL shirt idea was based on the Light that is an important component of Lyon city (Les frères Lumière, the light festival…) An easy way to understand a city or country identity is to visit their top 5 museums.


Industrial designer

Francisco has his own design studio he created in Milan. He now works between Milan and Salta. He used mainly light design example to show us his creation process, designing something that never existed before. 


Design exists through the very essence of things. An idea travels inside until going out as something discernible and understandable by the others.

Design is a conceptual work.

Design power:

Create value to the world offering something new that pushes back the limits of current knowledge.


Transform an idea, an intuition into something that never existed before, and was just in your mind.

Discover and contribute to the world with a new idea. Disrupt the preset logics and solutions. Take advantage of new technologies to create a new esthetic dimension, a new language and a new typology.

Experience sharing:

Learn from any field. Everything, mixing up in your head, may be very useful when it’s time to design.

Learn by doing. Experiment and work using a trial and error approach. Each prototype will teach you something that will get you closer to the final idea.

Each problem is in fact a new opportunity.


Industrial designer

Federico has his own studio. He showed us various product of the catalogue to explain the conception process. He showed the quality perceived by the user is impacted by all processes around the product creation. Fabrication, communication and commercialization are as important as material, shapes and creative processes. 


Design creates sensorial experiences.

Design power:

Generate a dialog between past and contemporary times in one product.

Take advantage of material, morphology and technology to create strength for products.

Experience sharing:

The designer’s role is not limited to the product. It incorporates more processes related to the new product launch.

The quality is important for the product but also for all these processes correlated to be perceived by the user.

The design mindset is more and more adopted by different professions.


Industrial designer & jewelry artist

After working as an industrial designer, Marina is now a jewelry artist and designer. It supposed to free the creation process she was used to, to adopt a more artistic process. She exposed her inspiration process and the emergence of her identity as an artist. Each personal process is unique. More personal is the process, more unique will be the result. 


Design as an industrial designer is thinking about functionality, measurements and scale.

Design as a jewelry artist is more about experimentation and hand-working with the material.


Express herself using a way that is a fusion between art and objects.

Experience sharing:

Her influence comes from her environment, her experiences and the objects she recollected. The common connection defines her identity and what she wants to express.

She created the collection starting from experimentation and not from a projection, an idea. (1) Sensation experimentation. Freeing oneself unable to let appear characteristics of one’s identity. (2) Material experimentation departing from sensations.

It is important to go to know ourself and in the process learn what makes us unique.


Industrial designer

Rolando talked about design and lean thinking.


Design process can be applied to business.

Design power:

Humanize technology.

Generate new ideas and innovate.

Experience sharing:

Our visual thinking is very powerful.

Unlearn logics from our environment.

Adopt an attitude of confidence.

Think with hands and prototype quickly.