From creatives to creatives

Blend BCN Creative Industries Festival

Brand story for Blend BCN
Written by Inma Buendía

Knowledge can no longer be ascribed to, or produced within, disciplinary boundaries. Creative disciplines are starting to be imbued by other disciplines to create new, more sustainable, more effective and intelligent realities that also may reinforce the human factor. Blend BCN is the international creative industries festival to analyze the infinite paths we are already living in, while creating an environment to the start of new ones.

FAD and Fira Barcelona first envisioned such an event in 2018. Now, together with the Berlin based agency Gil und Weingärtner at the head core of the project, they launch the first edition of the Blend BCN as a platform to develop ideas and generate projects in fourteen creative industries from architecture and design to film, music, multimedia and fashion.


The story started with the idea of hosting a festival where creatives from all over could connect and reflect about the extraordinary time in which we are globally immersed, showcase the transversal talent of international creatives within a major event and transform Barcelona into the meeting point for the creative industries. As soon as society came back to normal after the pandemic crisis, Fira contacted their long-term partner Gil und Weingärtner. The German based agency was the ideal companion due to its fundamental experience in creative concepts and event production. They grounded and expanded the idea to build the C2C (creatives to creatives) platform and came up with the final concept of Blend BCN: a new creative space built on liquidity where one area of the creative industry blends into the other.


In a flowing staging of networking formats, panels, workshops, partner spaces and artistic installations, within the Blend Talks program, the creative industries festival aspires to become the leading international event that opens up pathways of outstanding cross-industry creative thinking and solutions. “We believe that creativity is the key to developing ideas that will lead us to a better future in social and environmental terms”, says Salvi Plaja, director of FAD. “Our role is to bring content to Blend BCN, ensuring that the public will really encounter the most disruptive and inspiring projects on an international scale”.

1ELISE BY OLSEN. Fashion, Film, Photography & Music.
MARIANA PESTANA. Architecture, Design & Crafts.

A key part of Blend BCN is Blend Talks, a two-day programme of conversations, performances, workshops and screenings. This year, Blend Talks is curated by a group of four experts covering various creative fields. They will “bring together a wide breadth of leading minds and projects across disciplines to further a culture-driven dialogue”. By blending areas of knowledge this year’s experts aim to “get a sense of the aesthetics, practices, and vernaculars that are shaping the state of the arts.” Creativity is no longer attached to a specialty framed in a specific field but it is an abstract concept in a constant interaction and evolution.


“Disciplines such as music, art, and advertising have always been closely connected”, explains Isabelita Virtual, curator of Advertising, Art Direction, Graphic Design’ at Blend Talks. “Technology was not as obviously part of the equation before. However, today it has a significant impact on the field of branding. The role of the creative lead has become a topic of debate, as the use of artificial intelligence systems in the creative process has become more prevalent. This raises the question of how to stand out in this context and how to effectively connect the human brain with technology in order to be disruptive in a system that rewards patterns and punishes difference”, she adds. For Alexander Scholz, the Berlin-based writer and curator in charge of the ‘Media, Multimedia, and Videogames’ program “it’s encouraging to see the conversations in tech have begun to move beyond innovation and novelty, largely thanks to activists and public pressure. As the industry is slowly coming to terms with the social and environmental costs of its products and practices, questions around ethics, values, and responsibility have come more into focus”.

ALEXANDER SHOLZ. Media, Multimedia and Video Games.
1ISABELITA VIRTUAL. Advertising, Art Direction & Graphic Design.

Elise By Olsen, curator of ‘Fashion, Film, Photo & Music’ at Blend Talks, takes the words of Roland Barthes to put it straight: “Without discourse, there is no total Fashion”. In her approach, Elise goes beyond the relationship that, as a society, we have with fashion by approaching the ecosystems of culture that “contribute to the very meaning of the fashion system”. The idea of liquidity is the core of her expertise, understanding the fashion industry as a small part of an interconnected world. As Mariana Pestana, curator of ‘Architecture, Design & Crafts’ says, design owns critical, social and fictional dimensions.

At Blend Talks, she seeks to “unearth emerging aesthetics informed by ecosystemic thinking and radical inclusivity in a context where philosophical currents such as new materialism coexist alongside the multiverses of the digital realm”. Her contribution to the programme will likely expand her ongoing investigation into empathy as an essential framework to situate design in a more-than-human paradigm.

Blend BCN, the Barcelona-based creative industries festival, will be a unique space to showcase and merge different disciplines, exploring their potential together with their respective industries. The term ‘blend’ at its most primitive and simplest meaning: mixing all creative industries in a joyful way, melting together and bringing up a completely new paradigm.