IE School of Architecture and Design students in the Master in Strategic Design of Spaces are challenged to be future-forward thinkers from the outset. In today’s world, where urban spaces are quickly evolving and city developments must address increasingly complex requirements, overcoming these challenges requires innovative, unconventional approaches.
The program places huge emphasis on becoming a designer of the future. Students are taught strategic thinking to produce adaptable, holistic solutions that maximize space, while also impacting behavior, boosting productivity and increasing user satisfaction. Alongside this, truly well-designed spaces should further sustainable development goals and even increase brand loyalty. Some of the students’ recent projects showcase the program's effectiveness, and the innovation and success of its past students.
For example, program graduate María Jose Nava Muñoz is the designer behind the Pasaje Jose Cuervo in Mexico. This uniquely integrated space represents the vision and values of the world’s leading producer of tequila, while also developing an outstanding asset for the people of Tequila, the city from which the drink takes its name.
It is a place for learning alongside personal and economic development. It’s a place where students, local residents, visitors and businesses can come together on site in one of Tequila’s largest residential zones. Pasaje Jose Cuervo aims to imbue a sense of belonging in both visitors and Tequila residents. It is, in short, a symbol of the company giving back to the community.
The space has a feeling of accessibility, opening up to its urban setting to draw people in naturally to the activities taking place there. Users of the space can learn about and enjoy Mexican culture, crafts, and food in what the designer describes as “a harmonic integration of public and private stakeholders.”
From Mexico now to Dubai, where another graduate, Rasha Al-Tekreeti, has repurposed an abandoned amusement park with an eye on the tourism of tomorrow. Her DNATA hub seeks to partner with Dubai’s main air services provider to offer a holistic tourist solution post-Expo 2020, bringing culturally aware visitors and locals closer together at the same time.
The geodesic dome will unify the indoors and outdoors, while shielding visitors from the desert heat, and act as a unified travel solution for all budgets. Businesses dealing with food, local culture, hotels and even camping will come together in one space, exemplifying both how deserted urban spaces can be redeveloped and the future of integrated tourism solutions. Events at the site’s interior domes, which will be redeveloped in stages, will engage visitors with local culture and society. This future-forward solution, as with the Tequila project, is one that will bring visitors and residents together.
Continuing the collaborative theme, IE School of Architecture and Design have partnered with arquideas to launch the new Spaces for Creativity competition. Bachelor’s or master’s graduates in architecture, design, or a related field are invited to present their solutions for a small nursery school through a graphic presentation. The judging panel of world-class academics and professionals in the field will decide which submission is worthy of a life-changing prize: automatic admission into IE’s Master in Strategic Design of Spaces and €11,500 toward fees.
If the Tequila and Dubai projects are an indication of the talent and innovative thinking in the current crop of young architects and designers, the level of competition should be outstanding.