Lixin Peng, Class of 2020, came to Darden from Shanghai, China, where she worked as a finance professional in the entertainment industry.  Lixin recently returned from the Darden Worldwide Course to Barcelona with Professor Jeanne Liedtka. She shared learnings from her course in the form of a beautiful photo essay. Please enjoy!


La Sagrada Familia Interior: During the DWC, we spent a lot of time exploring Gaudi’s worlds and discussed the role that nature plays in his art. The treelike columns and other natural forms translate the inside of the Sagrada Familia into a majestic forest. I was truly inspired and learned that nature can be the best source of inspiration in design thinking.


Temple of Augustus: As we were exploring the key urban designs of Barcelona, I was impressed by these 2000-year-old Roman columns hidden in the Gothic Quarter. These columns were recycled and incorporated into the medieval buildings around them. It made me think that it is very important for business strategists to grow and protect business legacy.


Cal d’Ordal: This is the most unique residential building that I found in the Colonia Guell. It is both functional and innovative, as illustrated by the beautiful brick windows. In my opinion, the lesson here in organizational creativity is that a leader should discover each person’s particular strengths and help the individual use those strengths to their full advantage.


Butterfly Window: Sunlight pours into Gaudi’s Crypt in Colonia Guell from the colorful windows shaped like butterfly wings. This piece of art creates a pleasant and spiritual atmosphere, thanks to the magic use of color and light. It also reminded me of what we call an elegant solution – a design that is admired both for its functionality and for its beauty.


Street Art: Walking around Barcelona is like visiting an outdoors art gallery. During our explorations of the city, we discovered so many pieces of street art. This photo is just one example of artists expressing emotion through street art. Contrasting with historical architecture, I was inspired by the creative practices of street artists because they bring freshness to the city.