Medellín is a city of innovation and transformation; from socially-inclusive urban renewal to developing IT clusters in fast-growing technology parks. A regional hub for start-ups and outsourcing, Colombia’s second largest city is also one of the creative enterprises, recognized around the world for its modular and integrated architecture and buildings that incorporate experimental design.

During three days (May 31 – June 2), The Design Fair in Medellín brings together representatives of the design sector with its focus on industrial products and packaging, lighting and effects, graphic design, web development, gaming and host of audiovisual projects. Taking place at the largest fairground in the city, Plaza Mayor, the fair this year is expecting some 18,000 visitors, among them buyers from 12 countries, including nations known for setting design trends: Germany, Italy, Spain, United States and Chile.

Eddy Karmona, director of The Design Fair, sees this year’s edition as “a unique opportunity to live an experience” with the activities on offer, and reaffirm design as an integral part of our lifestyles. “Germany, Italy, Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina, have important fairs focused on these types of design. We believe that with The Design Fair, Colombia can also become a creative epicenter.”

Among the novelties, this year is a pavilion dedicated to graphic design, App design, photography, illustration, and software development, among others. In an exhibition space that covers 9,000 squares meters, The Design Fair is as much of a B2B platform as it is academic with backing from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín Chamber of Commerce and official Colombia branding entity – ProColombia.

With networking sessions in the Orange Room (named after Orange Economy, term given to tertiary or “soft culture” industries), to attending conferences with keynote speakers Andreas Krob (B4K – Germany) and Jordi Ros (Elisava – Spain), The Design Fair’s agenda is a page-turner with 75 events, including workshops and creative laboratories.

Design today is a global affair driven by highly competitive names. While Milan, London and Paris have centuries of a head start with their design reputations, Medellín is on the move when it comes to cutting-edge and contemporary creativity, from making that everyday item of necessity to building harmonious spaces for all.