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A group of design students from UDD participated in an international internship program in design and technology at Elisava, located in Barcelona

The event provided a fantastic learning opportunity for our students in the areas of Space and Object Design, Graphic Design, Digital Interaction Design and Fashion Design and Management.

Twenty-one students from the Santiago and Concepción campuses went on an academic exchange trip to Barcelona, Spain, one of the world’s design capitals. The students were accompanied by authorities of UDD Design, including Alejandra Amenábar, the dean of the school, Germán Espinoza, director of the Digital Interaction Design program, and Francisco del Despósito, director of Undergraduate UDD Design in Concepción. During their two-week trip, students were able to explore global trends in the field of interactive design.

With more than 60 years of experience, Elisava – School of Design and Engineering of the Universitat de Vic – Universitat Central de Catalunya – has been at the forefront of thousands of students’ design and engineering training worldwide. Located in the heart of Barcelona, it has trained more than 20,000 people from over 70 countries, building up an outstanding track record in preparing students to meet the challenges of the modern world. «It has been wonderful to see how UDD Design students have made Elisava their home in just 15 days. I hope this course will be the first of many,» said Carla Palagos, International Relations at Elisava.

During the International Internship, students gained a deeper understanding of the interaction between design and technology, the implications of design on user experiences, and critical insight into the impact these elements and new ways of interacting have on people, industry, and society.

As part of their stay at Elisava, students had the opportunity to visit several important companies in the field of design. The main goal was to understand the role of designers within these companies and the kind of work they do. One of the companies they visited was Nacar Design, a leading agency in developing strategies and products. This visit helped them understand the relationship between design agencies and multinational companies. Another company they visited was Candy Crush, a technology-based company that has a global presence and is the creator of one of the most popular mobile phone games in the world. Finally, visited the Sant Joan de Déu Paediatric Hospital, one of the most important hospitals in Spain specializing in the treatment and care of children and adolescents. This hospital has made significant advancements in designing experiences for its patients.

Links with foreign countries

For Alejandra Amenábar, this experience adds to others that the UDD Design promotes among students in relation to the connection with the rest of the world. «For us, it is very important that students can experience the reality of design in other countries and see how designers work abroad. This instance of learning in a school of design and engineering as renowned as Elisava adds to other experiences our students have had, such as the recent participation in the Salone Satellite in Milan, which is part of the Salone del Mobile, the largest design fair in the world».

For design professionals, it is increasingly important to understand how interaction between humans and technology develops, and what criteria need to be considered when conceptualising and prototyping products that incorporate interactive technologies. Director Germán Espinoza explains: «The experience at Elisava has given students the opportunity to project design as a vehicle in which innovation and technology merge. This synergy between disciplines not only enriches students’ education but also prepares them to embrace a future driven by creativity and cutting-edge technology».

Francisco del Despósito highlighted that the cultural exchange was one of the most valuable lessons learned from the trip. The experience enabled students and academics to reconnect with the design discipline from both an academic and professional perspective. We were enriched by the culture, good design, and people who shared their passion for it. This was an essential exercise for those of us working in the creative field, to generate new connections and perspectives».