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All rights reserved. 2018

Harbour.Space University
Tech Heart


The native language of our mind isn’t reason or logic, but poetry. For our mind, rhythm and metaphors are more basic than deduction or syllogism. Our brain’s signature isn’t its capacity to process information but its power to create meanings and imagine the world through them. These meanings emerge out of the interaction between our bodies and the environment. Brain-body-environment takes part in an ecosystem in which thoughts are born, grow up, mate, breed and perish.

This ecological vision of our mind that arises from the different Cognitive Sciences allows us to understand some of the resources we use to think, to interpret the world and to create in it. 

In this course we explore some of the advances in the Cognitive Sciences to propose different strategies that can help us navigate our mental spaces more fluidly and effectively, fostering a productive imagination in the service of creative thinking. We will learn to apply consciously some of the mechanisms we use subconsciously in our creative processes.


DATE: 30 July – 17 Aug, 2018

DURATION:  3 Weeks

LECTURES: 3 Hours per day


LOCATION: Barcelona, Harbour.Space Campus



Systematic design (and its sibling, product design) is currently ascendant and many designers now make their living removing friction of any kind from digital experiences. That makes sense if the goal is to get a user to take an action (usually a transaction of some kind) as quickly as possible, but it has serious implications for brand storytelling.

Why? Because good storytelling requires friction. There has to be something to push against to generate emotion, or a jagged edge that catches a user on their way to what would otherwise be another frictionless (and unmemorable) transaction. Brands are built on moments of friction and their continued survival depends on building them into digital experiences. 

Are these two ways of conceiving experiences at odds with each other, or is it possible that sometimes “doing the wrong thing” is the right move for both the brand and the company’s bottom line? In this course, we’ll examine this question, learn how to design with emotion in mind and workshop projects that meet the twin goals of capturing hearts and wallets.

The first goal of this course is to gain a deeper and broader understanding of how we think. A view that places the body-environment interaction at the core of all cognitive processes.

This view affords us a more tangible appreciation of the workings of our mind and sets the stage for the second goal: to provide participants with a set of tools for navigating their mental spaces with greater fluency and control, and thus creating more opportunities for generating new connections and novel ideas.

In this first course the goals are:

• Learn what are concepts in order to make better use of them

• Understand how our body creates meaning and how these meanings shape how we think

• Move from a static world of objects to a dynamic world of interactions. A world that provides more opportunities for creativity

• Grasp the power of metaphors in creative thinking

DATE: 01 Oct - 05 Oct, 2018


LECTURES: 3 Hours per day


LOCATION: Barcelona, Harbour.Space Campus



Session 2

Our conceptual world emerges out of the interaction between body and environment.  It is in this interaction that we create meaning.

Session 3

Whatever we perceive or imagine is embedded in a web of relationships. Ours isn't a static world of objects but a dynamic world of interactions. With different interactions, we bring about new worlds.


Session 1

Concepts shape what we perceive and think. Understanding how we depend on them can help us use concepts without being dominated by them.

Session 4

Through metaphors, we're able to go from the very literal experiences to the most abstract concepts. Metaphors allow us to experience and think about the world in fluid and novel ways.

Pancho Tolchinsky delivers workshops and participates in projects to help people discover the beauty and power of the human mind.

Pancho graduated in Mathematics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and earned a PhD in Artificial Intelligence at the Polytechnical University of Catalonia. At the university, he worked on a few projects involving Commonsense Reasoning and Human-Computer Interaction. Pancho later worked at the Yahoo! Research Lab, developing crazy prototypes for data exploration. Previously, he worked as a teacher/software-developer/researcher in a Master in Architecture at Metapolis (now IaaC) in Barcelona, and helped developing software for the architects of the Sagrada Familia. 

More recently Pancho worked as a consultant in communication strategy for the Alzheimer Foundation in Catalonia and frequently collaborates with the Branding and Design Studio Mucho bringing together Cognitive Science and Design. In addition, he works as a photographer in commercial and personal projects.

In this diverse career, Pancho continuously stumbles upon the fact that we're educated based on an outdated intuition regarding how we think. An intuition that doesn't promote imagination and creativity. This is what has motivated Pancho to become a missionary of Cognitive Science.


- Cognitive Science

Artificial Intelligence

- Human-Computer Interaction

- Software Development

- Research

- Communications

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