INTRODUCTION

The Master in Design for Emergent Futures (MDEF) is organised by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and ELISAVA Barcelona School of Design and Engineering, in collaboration with the Fab Academy and the Academy of Almost Anything.

The Master is a nine-month experience (currently, the second year is being developed) for students who want to expand their focus interests and acquire the skills to turn protests into prototypes, ideas into actions, and who are engaged in the mission of transforming the current status of affairs in society. The programme is structured in four critical steps: Exploration, Instrumentation, Reflection and Application. Through these four steps, the master aims to provide strategic vision and tools for designers, sociologists, economists and computer scientists, to become agents of change in multiple professional environments. The programme focus is in the design of interventions in the form of products, platforms and deployments that aim to produce new emergent futures, by previously analysing the current challenges in society and industry.

Students will be encouraged to work at multiple scales (from bits to geography) in order to design and test interventions in the real world. The theoretical and practical content in this programme proposes an exploratory journey to comprehend and critique the role of disruptive technologies –digital fabrication, the blockchain, synthetic biology, Artificial Intelligence, among others– in the transformation of the established order. At the same time, during the MDEF students will develop a hybrid profile that mixes various sets of skills (technical and human) that will be applied in the implementation of projects.

Graduates of this masters will have a wide and informed vision of the impact of technology in businesses, education, society and culture, and will be prototyping and testing some of these technologies in the studios (research, design and development). During the master, a series of potential collaborations with industry, government and other professional sectors will be encouraged in order to develop more impactful projects. IAAC and Fab Lab Barcelona have collaborated with the following organisations: Nike, IKEA, Airbus, Festool, Ajuntament de Barcelona, UN-Habitat and others. ELISAVA has collaborated with companies like Agbar, Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard, DUPONT, SUEZ, SEAT, Yamaha, among others.

MDEF IN BRIEF
Edition 2nd edition
Degree Master in Design for Emergent Futures
Directors Tomás Díez, Oscar Tomico
Credits 75 ECTS
Duration 9 months from October 2019 to June 2020 – Full Time
Language English
Tuition Fees Non-EU: 16.000 €
EU: 12.800 €
Admission Bachelor or higher degree in Industrial Design, Product Design, Urban Design, Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Computer Science, Engineering (Mechanical, Chemical, Product, Material), Sociology, Anthropology, Economy, and other related professions.

ACADEMIC STRUCTURE

The Master in Design for Emergent Futures (MDEF) is organised in three terms (Oct-Dec, Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun), each including Design Studios, a Research Trip, complementary Seminars and related events.

The Design Studios are the main part of the programme: they focus on real-world experimentation and socio-technical development. During the year, students will be developing technical, aesthetic and conceptual skills by working on real-life scenarios. Seminar sessions are designed to delve into specific domains of knowledge and are delivered by relevant experts, including both practitioners and scholars. Throughout the academic year, international experts in the field of design and emergent technologies will be contributing to the programme as guest lecturers.

In this master, we will not teach students a methodology, neither a set of golden rules to be applied in given assignments. Instead, we introduce the MDEF as a journey and exploration on how projects can be manifestos to introduce new outputs.

We would like to support students in developing their identity and vision and encourage them to develop their unique set of skills, knowledge and attitude in order to navigate the uncertainty while designing possible futures. The Master in Design for Emergent Futures is a journey in time and multiple dimensions, which when intersected open a new point of view, understanding and translating ideas into projects. These dimensions are:

Exploration: We will expose the students to a set of technologies that have the capacity to disrupt our present understanding of society, industry and the economy.

Reflection: We will support the students in developing their identity and a set of skills, knowledge and attitude as designers of possible futures.

Instrumentation: We will provide a set of skills and tools that will help to translate ideas into prototypes, and prototypes into products, which can be tested and iterated throughout the design process.

Application: We will encourage students to create a culture of making, where prototyping acts as a generator of knowledge, and interventions become message carriers of a future that is about to arrive.

The Master in Design for Emergent Futures is connected with the Exploring Emergent Futures platform at the Royal College of Art, London, which has been developed by James Tooze and Tomas Diez from 2015. And is now led by James and Elizabeth Corbin.

MDEF – First Year

The programme is structured as it follows:

September – December: Introductory courses and philosophical/ theoretical background.

APPLICATION – Research studio. Establishing an area of interest, analysis and research. Definition of topic and direction of the final project.

REFLECTION – Design identities and methods. A day in the life of hybrid designers from Barcelona. Building knowledge, skills and attitude as a designer

INSTRUMENTATION – Introduction to digital fabrication. Distributed manufacturing and Industry 4.0

EXPLORATION – Data and information in the digital age. Communications, computation, change theory

January – March: Design for Emergent Futures Studio 2: Making possible future speculations.

APPLICATION – Design Studio: Project-oriented. Understand, develop and propose. Applied research and instrumentations.

REFLECTION – Design approaches: Emergent Design trends, create your design identity and vision.

INSTRUMENTATION – Fab Academy (how to make almost anything): principles and practices, project management, computer-aided design, computer-controlled cutting, electronics production, 3D scanning and printing, electronics design, computer-controlled machining, embedded programming, mechanical design, output devices, machine design.

EXPLORATION – Emergent technologies: How Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Digital Fabrication, Robotics are changing everything?

March: Midterm review

April – June: Design for Emergent Futures Studio 3: Making possible future speculations.

APPLICATION – Design Studio: Project-oriented. Interventions in reality. Applied research

REFLECTION – Materialising possible speculations: Roles of prototyping, from demos to research products.

INSTRUMENTATION – Fab Academy (how to make almost anything): moulding and casting, input devices, composites, networking and communications, interface and application programming, applications and implications, invention, intellectual property, and income.

EXPLORATION – Future business models: Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, open source business models, cryptocurrencies and cryptomarkets.

  • June: Project development and Final Presentation

MDEF – Second Year

The program is organized in four plus one (4+1) phases:

Research, development and implementation of projects during one year. Projects are aimed to have multiple exits, they could be considered as an incubation (business), research (education) or development (social) process to increase the impact of interventions in the real world.

*To Be Announced.

STUDENT PROFILE

The MDEF programme is recommended for designers, sociologists, computer scientists, economists, anthropologists, technology entrepreneurs and changemakers who are looking for a hybrid career path to conceive and produce impactful ideas to transform the world. This Master has a high component of hands-on learning and project-based learning where students will be requested to transform big ideas into design strategies, prototypes and interventions to be tested in the real world, focused on Barcelona but connected globally with other cities.

Candidates for the Master in Design for Emergent Futures are professionals coming from Industrial Design, Product Design, Urban Design, Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Computer Science, Engineering (Mechanical, Chemical, Product, Material), Sociology, Anthropology, Economy, and other related professions.

Upon successful completion of the master, the students will join the IAAC and ELISAVA Alumni Communities. IAAC Alumni Community is an active and dynamic network of visionary professionals spread around the world, promoting principles and applications of digital fabrication, design and architecture, exploring new academic and research initiatives, leading award-winning practices or working for internationally acclaimed firms and institutions.

ELISAVA alumni have the mission of promoting the constant personal and professional development of ELISAVA former students. For this reason, it is built as a participative space open to diversity, and orientated to motivate leadership, cooperation, and entrepreneurship through strategic values such as design, technology, with the purpose of giving answers to the needs of nowadays society.

SCHOLARSHIPS

Last year, Space10 experimental design studio, the IKEA’s new innovation lab in Copenhagen, launched a scholarship programme for the Master in Design for Emergent Futures. Veronica Tran, the winner of the scholarship competition that gathered more than 70 applicants, was granted with a full scholarship for studying the Master.

For the academic year 2019-20, we are making new scholarship partnerships. More information will come soon.

FACULTY

Directors:

  • Tomas Diez, Director – Design Studio leader – urban design and digital fabrication
  • Oscar Tomico, Co-director – Design Studio leader – design engineering and integrated products

Faculty:

  • Guillem Camprodon, Computer science, tools and platforms
  • Victor Barberán, Computer science, tools and platforms
  • Ingi Freyr Guðjónsson, Product design and digital fabrication
  • Anastasia Pistofidou, Materials and embedded technologies
  • Jonathan Minchin, Synthetic biology, sustainability
  • Nuria Conde Pueyo, Synthetic biology, sustainability
  • Ramon Sangüesa, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Xavier Tutó, Generative design and digital fabrication
  • Elisabet Roselló Román, Strategic innovation
  • Santi Fuentemilla, tutor in Fab Academy
  • Xavier Dominguez, tutor in Fab Academy
  • Massimo Menichinelli, Open source design and P2P platforms
  • Mara Balestrini, New business models, user engagement, HCI

Special Faculty & Advisors:

  • Neil Gershenfeld, Director of the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT (Fab Academy programme)
  • Mette Bak Andersen, Material Design Lab at IKEA
  • Indy Johar, Founder of Dark Matter Labs
  • Primavera de Filippi, CRNS – France
  • James Tooze, Royal College of Arts and Design
  • Liz Corbin, Institute of Making, UCL
  • Heather Corcoran, Kickstarter
  • Usman Haque, Umbrellium
  • Jose Luis de Vicente, Sonar +D
  • Ron Wakkary, Angella Mackey, Kristina Andersen, Eindhoven University of Technology

Team:

  • Chiara Dall’Olio. MDEF Coordinator
  • Luciana Asinari. FabLab Barcelona Coordinator
  • Marcel Tkocz. Financial strategy
  • Kate Armstrong. Communication strategy
Tomas Diez

Fab Lab Barcelona Director / Fab City Global Instigator / MDEF Director / Board of Trustees Member

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Oscar Tomico

MDEF Co-Director

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Guillem Camprodon

Smart Citizen Project Manager / MAA Faculty / Expert in Physical Computing

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Víctor Barberán

Hardware & Software Developer / MDEF Faculty

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Ingi Freyr Guðjónsson

Industrial Designer & Fabrication Expert / MDEF Faculty

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Anastasia Pistofidou

Fab Textiles Coordinator / Fabricademy Guru / MAA, MDEF Faculty

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Jonathan Minchin

ROMI Project Manager / Open Source Beehives Project Manager / MAA Senior Faculty / MAEB & MDEF Faculty

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Ramón Sangüesa

MDEF Faculty / Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

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Xavier Tutó

MDEF Faculty / Generative design and digital fabrication

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Santi Fuentemilla

Future Learning Unit Coordinator / Fab Academy Guru

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Massimo Menichinelli

Research Coordination and Support Manager / MDEF Faculty

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Mara Balestrini

Making Sense Project Leader / MDEF Faculty / MaCT Theory Guest Faculty

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Neil Gershenfeld

Physic, Director CBA MIT, Boston / MDEF Special Faculty

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Chiara Dall'Olio

MDEF Coordinator / Fab Academy Global Coordination Assistant

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Luciana Asinari

Fab Lab Barcelona Coordinator / Fab Academy Global Coordinator

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Marcel Tkocz

Fab Lab Barcelona Finances & EU Projects Oversight

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Communications Manager

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PARTNERS