Elisava Masters Beyond

Master in Design for Emergent Futures

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Master Emergent Futures Elisava

Humanity is building the future today; we have to participate in the planning. If we don’t, others will: emergent futures are waiting for us, for designers and creators with a committed perspective for a better ecosystem.

At this master, we turn ideas into prototypes, platforms, actions, and interventions to transform society’s current (and coming) state. After analysing the existing global state of affairs and societal challenges, we will produce platforms, products and deployments to respond to the concerns we know will remain in the upcoming years. Our method proposes small-scale interventions to approach large-scale challenges; we will face complex challenges to tackle them from multiple points.

 

Direction
Oscar Tomico
Tomas Diez
ECTS credits
There are two master modalities. You can do one year (75 ECTS credits) or you can do two years to expand the experience (120 ECTS credits).
Duration
October – June
Schedule
Full time
Awarded by
Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and Elisava

The Master in Design for Emergent Futures is backed up by Elisava, Barcelona School of Design and Engineering, an institution with 60 years of experience sharing knowledge to design and transform the world. The school develops projects to generate and transfer knowledge, address present and future challenges and foster change.

Elisava is a space to become a professional with the skills needed to design products, services, and environments to create a more environmentally responsible, inclusive, and community-focused society.

The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) is a centre for research, education, production and outreach, with the mission of envisioning the future habitat of our society and building it in the present.

Oscar Tomico
Director

Oscar Tomico holds an MSc degree in Industrial Engineering from Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Spain) and a PhD from the same institution, awarded in 2007 with Cum Laude. During his research into Innovation Processes in Product Design, he investigated subjective experience-gathering techniques based on constructivist psychology. He is currently Head the Undergraduate Degree in Industrial Design Engineering at Elisava.

Tomas Diez
Director

Tomas Diez is specialised in digital fabrication and its implications for the future of cities. He is the director of Fab Lab Barcelona at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), the Fab Academy global coordinator and the European project manager of the Fab Foundation.

Master Emergent Futures Elisava

Mariana Quintero 
Media Arts, Digital Literacy & Cognitive Diversity 

Mariana is a multimedia developer, interaction designer & researcher. She works and develops her practice at the intersection where digital fabrication technologies, digital literacy and information and computation ethics & aesthetics meet, contributing to projects that investigate the rise of the third digital revolution. For the last three years, she has been based in Barcelona contributing to research projects at IAAC and developing digital literacy curricula. 

Master Emergent Futures Elisava

José Luis de Vicente
Curator (Sónar+D) 

José Luis is a curator and researcher working on digital culture, innovation and new media art. Besides his role at Sónar+D, he is a curator at FutureEverything Festival, Manchester. He runs the Visualizar program on Data Culture at Medialab Prado, Madrid, and he is founder of ZZZINC, a cultural consultancy based in Barcelona. He has curated multiple conferences, symposiums and exhibitions such as the Big Bang Data (Barcelona CCCB 2014 / Fundación Telefónica Madrid 2015). 

Master Emergent Futures Elisava

Daniel Charny
From Now On and Fixperts (Kingston University) 

Daniel is a curator and creative director working as a professor of design at Kingston School of Art. He is a member of The Design Museum Curatorial Committee, an honorary senior research fellow at the V&A Museum. As an expert advisor he contributes and takes part in EU research projects including the Horizon2020 CAPS MAKE-IT, Creative Europe Fund DDMP and the Fabcity Global initiative. 

Master Emergent Futures Elisava

Andrés Colmenares
Founder (IAM)  

Andrés is a trend researcher and strategist focused on exploring the evolution of internet cultures and the influence of digital technologies in the futures of citizens and the planet. Thorough his studio IAM, he engages into creative partnerships with cultural institutions, universities and media companies as Tate, University of Arts London or the BBC. On the public side, Andres writes opinion articles for publications as CRACK Magazine or LS:N Global. He has been selected to participate in hackathons and design sprints internationally. 

Master Emergent Futures Elisava

Nuria Conde Pueyo
Synthetic and Computational Biology (Universitat Pompeu Fabra – PRBB) 

Nuria is a post-doctoral researcher at Complex Systems Laboratory at Universitat Pompeu Fabra – PRBB. She holds a major in Biology and Engineering Informatics and performed her research thesis about Biocomputation. Nuria teaches biology for architects, artists and designers and is a founder member of the DIYBioBcn, the first biohacking group of Spain. 

Master Emergent Futures Elisava

Kristina Andersen 
Design Research (Eindhoven University of Technology) 

Kristina is assistant professor at the Future Everyday cluster of the Department of Industrial Design. She was based at STEIM for 14 years and lead the Instruments and Interfaces Master’s Degree programme at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. She is a longstanding advisor of the Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, and currently acts as expert reviewer for H2020, ICT and FET for both application and project reviews.  

Master Emergent Futures Elisava

Anastasia Pistofidou 
Director (Fabricademy) 

Anastasia is a researcher, practitioner and educator on digital fabrication, textiles, wearable technologies and bio-fabrication. She is the co-founder of fabtextiles.org, a research laboratory on textiles, soft architectures and innovative materials at IAAC. She has a Master in Digital Tectonics from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and an Undergraduate Degree in Architecture from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. 

Master Emergent Futures Elisava

Ron Wakkary
Founder (Everyday Design Studio)  

Ron is the director of the Interaction Design Research Centre at Simon Fraser University of Canada. He holds a BFA in Visual Arts from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and a MFA in visual Arts from the State University of New York, USA. Interested in design-oriented human-computer interaction, tangible computing and the philosophies of technologies through design, Ron is currently a member of the Tangible Embedded/Embodied Interaction (TEI) and Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) steering committees. He is also full professor in the Future Everyday cluster at the School of Interactive Arts and Technology. 

Master Emergent Futures Elisava

Neil Gershenfeld
Director of MIT – Center for Bits and Atoms 

Neil is the founder of a global network of over two thousand fab labs in 125 countries, chairs the Fab Foundation, and leads the Fab Academy. Technology from his lab at MIT has been seen and used in settings including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the White House and the World Economic Forum. He has been named one of Scientific American’s 50 leaders in science and technology, as one of 40 Modern-Day Leonardos by the Museum of Science and Industry. He is the author of numerous technical publications, patents, and books including Designing Reality, When Things Start To Think, The Nature of Mathematical Modeling, and The Physics of Information Technology. 

Kate Armstrong
CM (Fab Lab)  

Kate is a communications expert and a freelance consultant that has worked internationally on the creative field. As a design and business undergraduate, she articulates the community and communications of the Fab City Global Initiative. Studying a Master of Arts and Society at Utrecht University, she developed her research interest in the causality between the creative industries and climate change. Currently, she cooperates with campaigns concerned with community engagement and audience development for social amelioration.  

Guillem Camprodon
Researcher (IAAC and Fab Lab) 

Guillem is an interaction designer working on the intersection between the Internet of Things and Digital Fabrication. Graduated as a Product Designer, he is a regular advisor for many projects as a tangible interaction expert and currently teaches workshops on open-source electronics and programming for Architects and Designers. He is also one of the core members of the Smart Citizen project, a global open-source environmental monitoring platform.  

 

Master Emergent Futures Elisava
Hybrid Play Project, Morgane Shaban

With exponential growth in recent years and an ever-growing presence in our lives, digital technologies to prototype and manufacture almost anything give creators the capacity to bring their ideas to life faster than ever before. Fab Labs offer a wide range of creative possibilities to designers from every field to learn, test and iterate their ideas. Through a tailored collaboration with the global Fab Academy programme, you will learn how to navigate a Fab Lab to understand the theory and the practice. 

A place to make (almost) anything – the Fab Lab

Master Emergent Futures Elisava
Hybrid Play Project, Morgane Shaban
Master Emergent Futures Elisava
Hybrid Play Project, Morgane Shaban
Master Emergent Futures Elisava
AQUÍ Project, Clement Rames

Responsibility, accountability, transparency, empathy and positionality have become hugely relevant in re-orienting design processes towards regeneration and sustainability. Research through design and First-Person Perspective are our methodological approaches to conduct your process to design for emergent futures. These are fundamental values for essential regeneration.

Editorial by Andrew Morrison and Laura Clèries (Eds.). Temes de Disseny #36. Design Futures Now: Literacies and Making

Exploring weak signals to design and prototype emergent future by Oscar Tomico, Tomas Diez and Mariana Quintero. Temes de Disseny #36. Design Futures Now: Literacies and Making

Master Emergent Futures Elisava
AQUÍ Project, Clement Rames
Master Emergent Futures Elisava
Movilidad Justa - AQUÍ Projects, Jose Francisco Flores, Clement Rames

Turning possible visions for the future into real alternative presents that can impact the lives of many others means designing engaged, from the very start, in a situated manner with your body, skills, motivations, time, resources, and ultimately, your life. We will put aside the third-person perspective —analysing situations, case studies and users from the comfort of desktop research — and the second-person view with focus groups, interviews, observing with the distance of antiseptic research. We’re here to experience and be part of communities that work responsibly.

Designing Emergent Futures

Master Emergent Futures Elisava
Phygital Awakenings and Resilience through Regeneration projects, Josefina Nano, Jasmine Boerner-Holman

The last couple of centuries has brought an indisputable growth of awareness of the interconnection and interdependence every system and relationship on the planet is subject to. This new perspective on who we are and how we affect the world we live in permeates almost every step we take as professionals, civilians, and, most importantly, as humans.

The result of this massive extension of interplanetary awareness is that, as professionals and organisations, we no longer design in the vacuum of abstraction of what would solve or fulfil the necessities of a market hungry. Still, we now plan amid networks of relations at every scale, from the micro to macro, in which every decision we make creates a whole range of vectors of impact.

With the awareness of this extraordinary responsibility, how can we begin designing for the new? For regenerating, what others have damaged? For allowing for better futures to occur?

Master Emergent Futures Elisava
Phygital Awakenings and Resilience through Regeneration projects, Josefina Nano, Jasmine Boerner-Holman
Organic Matters, Laura Freixas

With the exponential advances in the field of Synthetic Biology and the alarming concerns regarding the current climate crisis, professionals have increasingly motivated to contribute their skill and expertise to projects seeking to mitigate and regenerate damaged systems that are in urgent need of reimagining. You will do that too.

You will identify microorganisms, take samples and prepare cultivation media, observe microscopic organisms, and obtain and amplify DNA to analyse it. We will talk about sterility, metabolism, genome, synthetic biology, biochemistry, and microbiology to make creative decisions and construct logical frameworks for study and production in the fields of biology and agrotechnology.

Designing Realities, Cesar Rodriguez

With the exponential advances in the field of Synthetic Biology and the alarming concerns regarding the current climate crisis, professionals have increasingly motivated to contribute their skill and expertise to projects seeking to mitigate and regenerate damaged systems that are in urgent need of reimagining. You will do that too.

You will identify microorganisms, take samples and prepare cultivation media, observe microscopic organisms, and obtain and amplify DNA to analyse it. We will talk about sterility, metabolism, genome, synthetic biology, biochemistry, and microbiology to make creative decisions and construct logical frameworks for study and production in the fields of biology and agrotechnology.

Master Emergent Futures Elisava
Autonomous Tree, Krzysztof Wronski

Very soon, they say, AI will take over the world. But is it? What do we consider ‘intelligence’, and what does ‘artificial’ mean? We will go beyond the myth of a wide range of theories, computational technologies and scientific approximations that have been put together under the umbrella of the ‘AI’ moniker to question and understand what it means to build infrastructure that extends our human and non-human cognitive capacities.

We will explore the fundamental idea of intelligence further than the human brain and the autonomization of objects, the collective dimension of intelligent behaviour and the challenges they pose in shaping today’s world. In the same way, we will disclose the mysterious world of cryptocurrencies, NFTs and the newborn environment of distributed ledgers.

Master Emergent Futures Elisava
Designing Realities, Cesar Rodriguez

We have devised a methodological approach to futures’ thinking; we travel the road to prototyping possible tomorrows as alternative presents in the existing systems we are designing. That means going far beyond the creative ability to devise a likely future scenario, expressing it through a design and exhibiting it in the comfort of an academic exhibition or a museum; we want to understand what it is to co-design with people, resources and technologies.

Emergent Futures Collective
Design Futures Scouting

Master Emergent Futures Elisava
Designing Realities, Cesar Rodriguez
Master Emergent Futures Elisava
Regenerative Design, Nicolas Viollier

Design has now an urgent call to attend. A call that goes beyond sustainability and ‘greening’ businesses that transcend the notions we have gained in terms of circularity to repair what others have broken. Soils in need of rebuilding to be able to bring forth new life again, ecosystems that have grown silent with the demise of its diverse inhabitants, cultures that have homogenised via the deluge of hungry markets, landscapes that have been left barren, and individuals or communities that can no longer bear the pressure of the inequalities are realities we have to mend.

We will design with responsibility in the integral sense of the word, striving for the awareness of the importance we have as enablers of processes that can serve the values of destruction or regeneration, whichever we choose to contribute to.

Master Emergent Futures Elisava
Remix El Barrio Project, several students, neighbours from the Poblenou District and researchers at Fab Lab Barcelona

In our hyperconnected world, a community might seem more variable and liquid than it has ever been before, surpassing by far the local or regional bonds that used to define what a community was supposed to be. 

Nevertheless, with critical efforts coming from various social and cultural movements, the strive for a balance between being part of hyper-local communities connected to hyperglobal resonances forms the core of this master’s curriculum, and more broadly, to the Fab City and Maker movements.

This module will strive to understand the impact you can have on a hyperlocal scale with small interventions that enable the prototyping of alternative presents. We will explore and practice the virality such interventions can have in the flux of global communication networks and the capacity of distributed implementations.

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