Meet Natalia Membreño, a Marketing Manager based in Spain at IED Instituto Europeo De Design. With a wealth of expertise in design training, she holds a keen understanding of its immense significance, particularly for the dynamic and tech-savvy Generation Z. In this blog article, she explores how each generation has distinct challenges and values, and how Gen Z stands out with their resilience, innovative ideas, and commitment to sustainability and diversity. As Natalia emphasizes, with Gen Z set to constitute a significant portion of the future labor force, it is crucial to align their values with a labor market seeking creative and analytical professionals. Join us as we uncover the transformative power of design education, the diverse degree options available in Spain, and the many reasons why Madrid serves as an ideal destination for aspiring designers.

Each generation has challenges, needs, objectives and expectations that differ from those of its predecessors. Despite growing up in a context full of questions about the future, Gen Z is resilient, brings innovative ideas and new perspectives, and is committed to values such as sustainability, diversity, and inclusion.  

Bearing in mind that its members will constitute 27 percent of the labor force in 2025, it is important that their training connects its universe of values with a labor market in need of creative and analytical profiles capable of working in multidisciplinary teams and combining knowledge and technical skills with soft skills (Future of Jobs Report 2023, page 38).  

Design education acts, in this sense, as the perfect link between these two realities. In essence, this discipline uses creativity in its different areas to solve problems in a wide variety of fields: products, spaces, services, ideas or strategies.

Why bet on a degree in design?  

  1. It allows you to turn a personal passion into a professional career. Whether you choose fashion, product or interior design, visual arts or communication, the job opportunities within each field are enormous.
  1. Through learning processes, methodologies and specific tools, it allows you to channel creativity towards innovation. Today, design professionals transcend the scope of creative industries and are increasingly present in organizations of all kinds that need to innovate in a highly competitive and volatile context.
  1. It offers a path that combines individual expression with the development of solutions that improve people’s lives: the objects or services we use daily, the way we communicate, the spaces we inhabit, etc. True design is aligned with values such as sustainability, social justice or the humanized use of technology.
  1. It combines the acquisition of technical knowledge with increasingly demanded soft skills: creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, social skills, etc. 

What types of design degrees are there?

In Spain, there are different types and disciplines. Among them, the Bachelor’s Degree in Higher Artistic Design Studies, with a duration of four years, includes different pathways. All of them tend to adopt an eminently practical approach, update their content to the rhythm of social and technological transformations, focus on sustainability and social commitment, connect tradition and avant-garde and are in direct contact with professional reality.

Some of the most common: 

  1. Product design: It covers all the phases of the creative process: conceptualization, development, materialization, and communication of products linked to mobility, health, technology, furniture and decoration, textile design, contemporary crafts… In addition to aesthetic and functional aspects, this training integrates values such as sustainability or diversity. In this sense, the IED Madrid proposal, with programs in Spanish and English, addresses physical and virtual products, as well as experiences and services of a social, strategic and technological nature.
  1. Interior design: The new realities motivate a training that goes far beyond “dressing” the space. Programs like the one we offer at our school in Madrid, in Spanish and English, are committed to create experiences and services from an aesthetic, functional, emotional and sustainable point of view. The learning emphasizes aspects such as lighting, technology or materials and prepares to work in a variety of fields: interiors of homes, hotels, gastronomic areas, ephemeral or retail spaces; 3D visualization; lighting; project management…  
  1. Fashion design: It includes the conceptual, methodological and technical tools necessary for the complete creation of projects, from the concept to the final garment. As a mirror of social evolution itself, fashion must know how to interpret sociocultural codes. That is why a good academic program should enhance the student’s personal style, while guiding them towards a new, more sustainable, transparent and diverse dimension of this industry. 
  1. Graphic design: In a world where the ways of relating to each other are evolving rapidly, new forms of creative visual communication are needed. This training must include a solid technical and humanistic knowledge to create stories that move and impact. Along with this common base, some programs such as the IED Madrid one offer the possibility of choosing between training paths: Branding, Advertising, Virtual or Digital. 

Why choose Spain and Madrid? 

  1. Spain is known worldwide for its excellent quality of life, and its capital is no exception. The city offers a unique combination of tradition and avant-garde, cultural and historical heritage, and a wide range of leisure activities. 
  1. Madrid is multicultural and diverse, welcoming people from all over the world. Those who choose it to carry out their studies are immersed in an international environment where they can live an enriching experience and acquire a global perspective. 
  1. Its privileged location in Europe and its good communications facilitate access to other cities in the country and the continent. 
  1. Madrid has become one of Europe’s business and innovation poles, hosting a large number of companies and start-ups, which allows direct contact with the reality of the market, as well as building a solid professional network. 

Natalia Membreño
Natalia is an enthusiast of strategic marketing for brands and products, has worked in fields related to digital marketing, sales, and business strategy in various sectors, with a professional approach to the development of creative strategies and results-driven thinking. Currently, she serves as Marketing Manager for Spain for the IED.