Fast Forward Roca Lisboa Gallery

Report & Main Conclusions


Fast Forward event at Roca Lisboa Gallery is the result of the collaboration between WITS Institute and Roca, the world leader in the definition of bathroom spaces.

The first edition of Fast Forward took place at Roca Barcelona Gallery -December 16th, 2012, BIM as (r)evolution in the development of Spanish Building- with the participation of 8 professionals representing the areas of Architecture, Building, Engineering, Computing and Real Estate Development. The main goal of the event was and still is to bring together the different actors of the construction sector (architects, technicians, public administration, builders, engineers, contractors, professors, developers…) to discuss its current situation, and try to find solutions and answers to the uncertainties  caused by the worldwide financial crisis.

The event has come a bigger event , and the following editions received a higher number of attendees: 8 sessions have been organized, with the active participation of 183 people, representing all the stakeholders that participate in an entire building life cycle. Professional such as Ramón García Bragado (lawyer and expert responsible of the contracting of all Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games buildings and work) or Alan Mossman, an adviser on Lean transformation and Last Planner in design and construction, being one of the most prestigious socio-technical systems consultant in construction (The Change Business) attended the event together with  General Managers, CEOs, public Institutions, Directors, etc.

The first edition in Lisbon took place in December 2013 with the title “Fast Forward – E agora, que futuro?”, and on the 4th floor of Roca Lisboa Gallery gathered architects, representatives of public enterprises, teachers and journalists. IADE Creative University developed a workshop  for the event, and  participants worked together, divided in two working groups, in order to share the main findings of the two groups at the end of the session.

Here under , you can find the main conclusions of the two working groups (data is collected under one list to make it more comprehensive). Also the final conclusions of both groups. some solutions to the current problems of the construction sector.

The event ended with a general agreement that it would be interesting to hold a second edition, this time more focused on the practical application of some of the ideas developed in the first edition (the ones that are described below).

Roca Lisboa Gallery, a cultural space in the heart of Lisbon

Roca Galleries are part of Roca’s international strategy and a concept that expresses present-day realities and future challenges. Design, innovation, sustainability and well-being are Roca values expressed in the Galleries, which also convey the desire of the leading bathroom brand to maintain an ongoing dialogue with society and most particularly with professionals who share an interest and enthusiasm in shaping the future of bathroom spaces.

The various Roca Galleries are a vehicle, offering a meeting place and area for open dialogue among interior decorators, designers and architects worldwide.

First opened in June 2011, the Roca Lisbon Gallery is the result of a cooperative effort with the Ferruz Decoradors interior design studio. The Roca Lisbon Gallery is a functional and flexible area where the Roca product showroom shares its space naturally with presentations, professional meetings and events of interest that further enrich the sociocultural offering of Lisbon.

Located in a 1909 historic building at the head of the Gran Avenida da Liberdade, at Praça dos Restauradores number 46, the site is host to various debates, discussions and meetings on a variety of themes such as architecture, design, environment and sustainability.

Design thinking process using the co-creative way of innovation leaded by IADE’s Ideas (R)evolution research Group identified these key facts and tags around the general problems of Building Sector in Portugal:


After reviewing all provided ideas, main conclusions were:

Planet:  Construction sector should promote a better management of resources, reducing waste and reusing waste taking into account the sustainability. Should take into account a new organization for the environment, thinking global and not local.

The construction influences the planet and there is a need to reuse the materials to avoid waste, and it is essential that large construction companies and institutions can promote the use of more environmentally friendly materials. There is also a need to adapt to the new demands of the construction sector, reusing and adapting building the environment, and not the opposite, promoting good practices of consumption, as well as a bag of materials for rehabilitation of areas including logical sustainability and self-efficiency. In the same vein there is also the need to reuse what already exists, and to rethink the space.

People: There is a change in focus, where people present themselves as key decision makers and where the community plays an increasingly important role. A change for people, revealing their welfare, their participation, their behaviors, adapting the offer to the same. Support participation in the same sector in developing ideas for the area with a focus on community and well-being.

Construction should be seen as a promoter of collective / public spaces, promoting interaction with people and the welfare of these people. The economy is centered on people in direct contact with the population, and must have utility functions. Political power must be sensitized to improve policies lease, and to create a critical mass in the construction sector which can detect the needs of the market.

Economy: There is a focus on the multitude of construction, and business solutions, pointing to a widening of the offer of a crisis fomented by economic sector and by a change in needs. There is an increased importance of the sector need to innovate, and to broaden the sector to new markets, creating new products. Is there a need for certification, transfer and for greater accountability on the overbuilding that led to the crisis?

In the economy is necessary to reduce project costs, or change the logic of local commerce and rehabilitation. The new trends are emerging that aim to reduce costs and introduce innovation in the construction sector (construction for digital). There is also a line of thought that says that we need to rethink education in order to make the building more synergistic with other areas to optimize their role, and exploring new economies.

Culture: Construction sector should influence the creation of public spaces, with influence in heritage and rehabilitation. Construction should have an important role in the sector, being as close as possible to all the problems, investing in training, and always with an open mind. It is important to reconstruct the logic of construction, based on new ethics rules, without being a taboo and a source of lobbying and influence in communities.

In a second stage, the panel was directed to the future desired situation, Where we should be?

Stopped in trade, Industrialization, Concept or business model, Old academic education, Communication, Education in rehabilitation and not focused on new construction, Lack of confidence.

In a third stage, participant groups were called to approach new alternative conclusions:

Where we should be: There is an emerging view in the construction sector that calls for greater importance and participation of the people, and ask for the need to sensitize these people, bringing them closer, and creating action communities. There is to develop commitments to the future. In parallel there was a consensus about the importance of internationalization and global thinking.

The construction sector can be and should boost social causes, for example with the homeless, where the role of the construction sector should be more active. There is also a reference to the politics that must be more aware of this problem. It is also important to develop new marketing and communication actions, in order to revitalize the sector. Innovation and marketing are the key elements to get to the point where we should be right now.


Opportunities for future: Internationalization, entrepreneurship and innovation as future opportunities. There was also a greater tendency towards diversification of services (rehabilitation, rentals), where new marketing and communication tools present themselves as future opportunities. There is also a tendency to create a new model for the construction area, through the creation of new business models, creating synergies between the various agents. Once again, internationalization was mentioned as an opportunity for the future.

The future opportunitiesin this sector are all related with industrialization, cooperating with the various players in the sector, promoting new logics in the community. Internationalization is also presented as an important tool for creating new opportunities in the future element. It was also considered the need to create collaborative projects between companies and people, making the sector more interdisciplinary. The future must be characterized by rehabilitation projects, and the creation of public spaces that always take into account the use of new materials, and concern for environmental issues.

Main goals:  In this area, referenced to the need for a change of the business model, replacing all the existing behaviors and enabling greater business sustainability.

Quality to people’s service

The main goal must be a strong focus on quality not quantity, always trying to serve the community. You need to enter in the construction sector as important factors: efficiency, collaboration, reducing inequalities, focusing on research.

 Limits to Growth: Need for reorientation of new management paradigms. The legislation was cited as a barrier to growth as well as unmet needs funding. The paradigm shift has also been reported the sale to hire, and more dysfunctional bureaucracy of projects that led to overbuilding scale.

The stagnation of industry and obsolete business model, were considered the major causes for the growth restriction in the sector. You must invest in adequate training, and training young people for more specific areas such as rehabilitation, and not the construction of new infrastructure.


Main conclusions:

New business model: It is crucial to identify new business models and achieve business facilities and funding. It is important to ensuring the sector and the community. As a solution to the crisis, it is crucial to resize the business, and focus the business on new scales and new areas of activity. There is also a greater tendency to perceive the risk as required, as well as new logics of production.

Internationalization:  Internationalization was associated with the need for the existence of investment capabilities and human resources to achieve its implementation. There is a need to change the mind-set to focusing on the actual implementation of projects, focusing on differentiating factors in order to succeed in

foreign markets. There is also a growing trend towards the creation of partners to support the development of projects, and facilitate entry into new markets.

Interdisciplinary: Interdisciplinary was identified as a way to understand the partner and the customer, and a connection between the sector and the community, in order to be able to speak directly to the customer.

Evolution and behavior of the system: Alert to the need for facilitating bureaucratic processes, and also the need to reinvent the work processes. There is also important to make the projects less dependent on funding, reducing risks and being more pragmatic. Need to create a fair system.

Change of the mentality: We need to change our mindset in the various aspects of the construction industry by encouraging new forms of consumption and adapt the sector  to the new circumstances  of contemporary society. 

Community: We have to create a community in extreme proximity to local economies, informed about the real needs of consumers. We have to take more responsibility in the preservation of public space.

Changes in the political paradigm: It is important to create charges against overbuilding. Be more focused on public service, and develop collaborative projects that put in dialogue all the agents in the construction sector.

Teaching Innovation: Education for innovation: It is urgent to recycle old ideas and search for new approaches and build bridges to the future. We need to direct the education for entrepreneurship, innovation and new complementary areas.

Heritage resources: It is important to preserve existing resources through reuse, rehabilitation and promotion of sustainability practices. The sector has become increasingly self-sufficient, reducing the production of waste. It is urgent to reduce energy consumption.

Main conclusions of Roca´s  Workshop: The role of the Construction Sector

The construction sector and its role in Environmental issues. The construction sectormust play an important role in preserving the planet. It is important to promote the management of resources in a sector defined by political decisions  (1) improving energy efficiency; (2) reuse of materials and choice of greener materials; (2) sector specially tuned to environmental factors taking into account the preservation of the environment; (4) greater role managing public spaces, redefine actual spaces, develop and tailor products adapted to this scenario and (5) rethink its impact on a local perspective.

The construction sector and its role in Society. The construction sector should promote(1) activity focused on the need for people; (2) focused on the welfare of people;(3) change of mindset for a greater participation of the civil society, adjust the supply to the new trends; (4) encourage participation, exchange of ideas in the community (5) need to promote policies favorable to the industry (rent), promote personal and social well-being.

The construction sector and its role in Economy. The economy should answer to the new challenges: (1) it is important to reduce and optimize the financial resources and the existing materials, innovating processes; (2) promote local trade, traditional trade and renovation; (3) important to innovate, to seek out  for new business, new approaches, new scales, new markets and creating new jobs, solving the problems of the community (4) include the participation of other areas of activity and the civil society and (5) promote the need for certification and transparency,  fighting the bad practices.

The construction sector and its role in Culture. The construction sector has to play a key role in cultural issues, for example (1) the construction sector has to be an important example for the preservation of heritage and culture, rehabilitation and promotion of public spaces and (2) the importance of developing a more ethical and a more transparent approach for the whole sector.

Innovation drivers in the sector

The workshop’s innovation drivers are summarized in the following areas:

  • Creating communities: it is increasingly important in the construction area has a role in the construction and development of communities around them as a way to not only grow your business but also strengthen its presence in civil society through a proximity approach, corresponding to the products according to the real needs of their end customers, but also to improve their action in the environmental areas, contributing to a better environment and a constant well-welfare of society. The creation of communities is also an important aspect, as far as it provides the exchange of ideas and discovery new insights with ability to create new business models, smaller, with a focus on people’s participation and suited to the market.
  • Social action: The role of construction must contain some aspect of their social action in order to improve both the general and individual welfare. Regardless of the social action or social intervention in the construction area, is an important element when talking about new tools of communication and marketing, being important to promote companies that develop these activities. The construction area should also have application in the heritage fields and its preservation is essential to building society.
  • Innovation: Innovation takes on an important role in this area as far as that the introduction of social, environmental and monetary factors, leads to a need to seek new ways of doing, to take advantage, to reuse, new forms of management and especially new materials that make it possible the optimization of efficiency in this sector. The investigation and connection with universities present themselves as essential elements to improve image as well as a unique line to obtaining R & D and investigation into new applications, materials, business models, communications, design and architecture, pushing forward the sector renaissance in a different way.
  • Internationalization: The internationalization, more than solely for export, is an essential element for the survival of the industry enabling to obtain feedback from building new contexts, simultaneously demonstrating ability to apply the same in the countries of origin. It’s necessary the facilitation of the bureaucratic procedures, market research and facilitating the internationalization of enterprises as important factor the corporate sustainability of existing companies, as well as the emergence of new companies with high degrees of innovation.
  • Education: The education and the connection between the sector and the universities, research centers and incubation were discussed as essential for the sector, as far as the construction is becoming a process involving several facilities where them, if they are integrated, may have a competitive advantage. The education in emerging specific areas to the development of social and environmental approaches is needed, in particular for the integration and opening of companies to areas which are not part of it.
  • Reformulation of business: One of the main conclusions of the workshop is that is necessary a reformulation of the business model of the construction area, particularly through the facilitation of financing in an approach between the construction and the community and a new common action dimension, megalomaniacs products to create an offer more configurable and adjusted to the consumers needs. However, it is important to keep the large dimension offer. Is also necessary create a close connection between the construction and the different areas: social action, rehabilitation, environment preservation defining a new direction as well a bigger synergy with other activities areas in the creation of a more pondered offer and in accordance with the real and strategic objectives of the locality, city and country. It’s also important a bigger strength and lower risk aversion, as well as the equitable distribution of the associated benefits with transparency and pragmatism in the ratings, certifications and financing.



Roca Lisboa Gallery
Fernando Malvarez
Artur Silva

Roca Galleries
Nathalie Naval

WITS Institute
Marc Binefa
Ignasi Pérez Arnal

IADE Ideas (R)evolution
Américo da Conceição Mateus
Susana Leonor

Ulled Asociados
Joao Nunes
Mafalda Soares