This morning, the King and the Queen of Spain, together with Carmen Vela, Secretary of State of Research, Development and Innovation from the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness are presiding over the awards ceremony of the National Awards for Innovation and Design 2016. And once again I’m delighted to be part of this amazing event.
This year, the gala is taking place in the beautiful city of Alcalá de Henares, a city of great academic prestige, famous for its 15th century university and for being the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote. I could not think of a better venue.
This is always one of the most special annual meetings of my agenda, and a great way to start the year, because I don’t like to miss out on the opportunity to see some of the greatest designers of the country and to chat with some of my best colleagues.
In my sector, is very important to get from time to time inputs from others that are doing similar things in their professional life, and this is also the ideal place for taking the pulse to the graphic design sector.
Besides, I have the opportunity to meet one more time the King and the Queen, and shake hands with them, and that is always an incentive.
They preside over this ceremony year after year, and that’s because The National Awards for Innovation and Design are the highest award given in Spain in recognition of companies and professionals who have stood out for their excellent and exemplary trajectory in some cases in the field of design and in others in the field of innovation.
These awards recognize both innovation and design as essential factors to increase competitiveness and economic performance as well as to bring quality of life to citizens, and this is something that cheers me up, especially when we talk about design.
Sometimes in my job I feel a bit lonely and misunderstood, so I appreciate seeing that is not only me who think design is relevant, but that there are also others considering that what I do in my daily work, is essential to increase competitiveness and economic performance.
The opening speech of the King has been excellent and he has remarked the fact that “Innovation and design are major determinants when assessing the capacity and prestige of a society, of a country, in both its public and private sectors and in both artistic and industrial fields”.
He has also mention, in an affectionate nod to the great author born in this city, the importance of highlighting the work of people and entities that, like Cervantes in his great novel Don Quixote, dare to do things differently, to take a path not travelled before by others.
Innovation and design have a common denominator, which is to look for creative ideas with a proactive vision, something that helps to keep moving forward.
The award-winners of this edition in design are Mario Ruiz Rubio, National design prize 2016 for professionals and Simon, National design prize 2016 for companies.
Mario Ruiz Rubio is an industrial designer with a long career. Born in 1965 in Alicante, Spain, he graduated in Industrial Design from Barcelona’s prestigious Elisava Design School and started his independent professional career in 1995 opening his own studio in Barcelona. He has won this prize due to his skills and multidisciplinary experience in diverse fields. I’ fell happy for him.
On the other hand we have Simon, a company that I did not like so much in the past. However, I have to recognise that they have done a great job recently investing in changing their traditional designs, so I feel happy for them too.
And after the speeches and the greetings, we had a session of useful networking. Old friends, new friends, people I hadn’t seen for a while… Is always nice for me to get out of my studio and talk for a while with other that are facing more or less the same problems and joys I face in my professional life.
Congratulation to the winners and see you again next year!