IED celebrates 25 years designing the future at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

On 18 November, IED Design School will celebrate 25 years since its arrival in Spain and its position as the country’s international leader in design education at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The Italian group Istituto Europeo di Design, which is over half a century old, has 11 centres spread across Italy, Spain and Brazil, specialising in design, fashion, visual communication management and design strategies.

IED began its journey in Spain in 1994, when it opened its first school in Madrid. Eight years later, in 2002, IED Barcelona was inaugurated. The latter was a project driven by Alessandro Manetti, current CEO of IED in Spain.

Over the course of these 25 years, the group has trained over 40,000 students of 100 different nationalities in the IED schools in Madrid and Barcelona, and currently has 3,300 students in its classrooms. Further, there has been a 39% increase in the total number of students for the 2018-19 school year, compared with the number of enrolments five years ago, for the 2013-14 academic year. This demonstrates the consolidation of IED as a centre of reference in design education, at both national and international level. 

Its commitment has focused on offering official higher education programmes in design recognised by national institutions. It further offers three undergraduate degrees validated by the University of Westminster and imparts masters, postgraduate and continuing study courses that are updated annually to ensure they are in line with current professional demands. Over the past academic year, IED has put in place new programmes centred on innovation and new technologies, with specialised courses in Virtual Reality, Service Design, Design for Wearables and Interaction Design. In total, the educational offering adds up to 194 courses taught in Spanish and English.

The philosophy of IED is committed to practical and educational initiatives related to both  institutional and business environments. Between the two centres, the institution has accumulated over 200 collaborative agreements. IED has worked with institutions such as NASA and CERN, events like the Salone del Mobile de Milano, Sónar+D, ARCO and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Madrid, and companies such as SEAT, Lamborghini, Vitra, Desigual, Loewe and Cupra, among many others.

“IED has left a double legacy: the first in relation to the creative industries; and the second to design education, since it has radically revolutionised education techniques linking students with business reality”, states Alessandro Manetti.

The methodology applied concentrates on challenge-based education behind each project and the use of disruptive tools to provide an education that is attentive to peoples' needs. The faculty of the two schools is composed of more than 1,400 teachers from Spain and abroad, who are also professionals in the world of design.

IED has a total of 13,000 square metres of facilities in Spain, dedicated to learning and innovation: IED Madrid has two centres and an Innovation Lab; while in Barcelona, the school has a building and external workshops.


25 years designing the future

IED Design School turns to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, as the international home of contemporary art and creativity, to celebrate its anniversary. Within the framework of the Museum’s TOPArte programme and as the city celebrates the Bilbao Bizkaia Design Week, it will hold a homage to creativity and talent on 18 November. 

IED has chosen the city of Bilbao because it represents the fundamental characteristics of the IED group: having an entrepreneurial identity capable of leading large projects, a commitment to well-being and the quality of social relations, and a leading role in the sectors of technological innovation and creative economies. “We are very proud to be in the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao - the global cathedral of contemporary art - where the territories of art, architecture, design and the creative industries come together in a unique space”, acknowledges Alessandro Manetti.

Under the motto "25 years designing the future", it will present an audiovisual exhibition and a fashion show with designs created by former students of IED Madrid, IED Barcelona and IED Milan. All of the projects will exhibit the philosophy of the school, which has always championed innovation as a way to respond to the needs of society and address the problems of a contemporary world.

The event will bring together, for the first time, talent from Spain and abroad; including designers from cities such as San Sebastian, Barcelona, Seville, Madrid and Ibiza, who will share the catwalk with creatives based in London, New York, Berlin, Milan and Mexico City. The fashion show will also feature a special collection to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Nueva York.