Design through new materials is about innovation, sustainability, well-being and creativity. A transdisciplinary and ground-breaking working field meant to develop solutions to reduce waste, improve durability, and find the best medium for future objects.
We will delve into material-driven innovation and how it can be the starting point for new industries, more sustainable solutions and more creative design processes.
From research to industry; from brand aesthetics to business models; from sourcing and craft to industry processes… new materials help create new circular economies of scope and scale, and we are going to be a part of this process.
- Laura Clèries
- ECTS credits
- 60 ECTS (400 hours)
- September – July
- Three afternoons/week
The Master in Design through New Materials 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.
Director (Elisava Research)
Laura is a material scientist, designer and consultant. She has both creative and scientific backgrounds: she obtained her BA in Physical Chemistry and her PhD in Materials Science from the University of Barcelona, and pursued degree studies in Industrial Design. She has worked internationally as designer in main design companies (Zara Home) and design studios, and as researcher for main forecasting publications and think tanks (Pantone Colour Planner, WGSN). As materials innovation consultant, she has worked for Eurecat electronic textiles division, for the architects of Jean Paul Gaultier’s headquarters.
Pere is an industrial design engineer and PhD of Environmental Sciences by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (2017). Throughout his career as a researcher, he has participated in several european and national projects regarding the fields of sustainable design and circular economy, such as MaDe (Material Designers). Pere is also the director of the Master in Sustainable Design at Shifta by Elisava.
Director (Girbau Lab)
Clara collaborates as a member of the Urban Innovation Platform for the Barcelona City Council, BitHabitat and Hemp the Climate. She started her career working for IKEA and some other brands. She is an advocate for sustainable design, a field she encompasses as a professor of the Master in Design through New Materials.
Founder (DOES Work) and Editor (VISIONS BY)
Saúl is a product and fashion designer with focus on materials culture. He combines his work at DOES Work with his research activity at TU Eindhoven and Elisava Research. He is also curating for Understanding Design, an association whose objective is to enhance the culture of contemporary and avant-garde design in Barcelona. Saúl is founder and editor-in-chief at VISIONS BY, a materials culture magazine.
Raul is a freelance creative technologist. He works in the exploration of new imagery and its impact on the construction of society and contemporary culture. Freelancing as Pratipo Instruments, Raul coordinates the project llaro.org, focused on experimentation and production around digital fabrication technologies. He also runs laderiva.net.
Cristina is a multidisciplinary independent creative, founder of the IdeationLab. She holds an MFA in Interior Design from Parsons, New York; a B.Sc. in Industrial Design Engineering (B.Sc.) and a B.Sc. in Product Development. After working at the Ideation department of Puig, a multinational luxury goods company, she founded the IdeationLab, an in-house fablab that helps to envision the future of the perfumery industry. She’s passionate about creating business models based on values, empathy, truth and abundance putting research and innovation at the service of the earth, plants and all living beings.
Founder (Luis Eslava Studio)
Luis focuses his research and development in the creative process, the materiality of the objects, and in the bridge of craftsmanship with industrial processes. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in London, he worked for Camper and lived in Japan before coming to Spain, where he now combines his professional practice with academia as Elisava’s Head of Product Design as well as tutor on some of the Masters’ programmes.
Sara Gonzalez de Ubieta
Research and Development (nanimarquina)
Sara is an architect and footwear artisan. She started her career as creative director and design researcher at Studio De Ubieta, where she experimented with the possibilities of non-conventional materials for footwear. She is currently a researcher and developer of carpets for nanimarquina, a job she combines with her lecturer activity at Elisava. Her projects base the techniques and the creation on the agency of the materials as living subject and on the relation between object and crafting.
Invited speakers to Material Talks:
Researcher (KASK- School of Arts, University College Ghent)
María is responsible for Laboratorium, the experimental lab for art/design and biotechnology at KASK. The main research project developed at Laboratorium is “the color biolab”. She has a scientific background with a degree in Food Technology from the University of León, and a PhD from the University of Barcelona. After her PhD, she joined the Waag Society in Amsterdam as a laboratory technician where she helped artists and designers to develop their projects in the fields of bioart and biodesign.
Visiting researcher (MIT)
Christophe is an industrial designer based in Switzerland. He graduated at ECAL (Lausanne) and he has worked with several leading companies such as Nestlé, Alessi, USM, Steelcase and Google. He collaborates with the MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology and experiments together with MIT’s Self Assembly Lab. He was awarded with the Swiss Federal Design Award and the Design of the year, London Museum Award.
Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros
Studio Klarenbeek & Dros
As material designers, they collaborate on research and development of projects that aim at new social, circular and site-specific designs and products. Their customers vary from the Dutch Ministries, the Province of Utrecht, LUMA, ZTLO, Droog, Moooi and the City of Zaandam. In addition to their studio projects, they teach at the Dutch Design Academy Eindhoven and Eric does works at the Master of Architecture in Tilburg. In 2011 he founded the ArTechLab in Artez Enschede.
Founder (Ma-tt-er Studio)
Seetal is a translator of materials and works with the aim to humanize them. She directs Ma-tt-er, a relational practice studio focused on building and bridging kinships between ourselves, materials, the immaterial and virtual. Author of “Why Materials Matter” and Textiles Tutor at the Royal College of Art, she was made an Honorary Fellow at Hereford College of the Arts and received her Fellowship at the RSA in 2018.
We are trash. Waste is the new raw material in times of scarcity and diminishing resources. Organic and non-organic remnants from post-production are reprocessed through a few simple steps, and industrial processes are designed to reduce the generation of residues.
Monomaterial options or composite materials with biodegradable binders are some of the final projects that have been developed in the Master in past editions, with criteria like the global availability of the materials and production efficiency as the essential qualities for their development.
→ From the ashes by Benedikt Peirotén
This new glass discovers infinite supply chains by using waste which has no value so far: Ashes from wood-fired pizzerias and clam shells from seafood restaurants. These renewable raw materials are available in large quantities in many cities and have so far been thrown away. Two out of three ingredients are recycled waste. Edition 2020-21. Green Product Award and European Product Award.
#ZeroWaste #EdibleMatters #Discarded #Monomaterial #PlasticFree #WasteManagement
The analysis of materials has to go beyond the mechanical properties and explore qualitative and well-being properties of materials; the name “Engineered Naturals” – natural materials with manufactured engineering processes– has come to signify a potential sustainable, innovative and healthy way to care for humans and the planet.
Elisava Research Lab Materials & Well-Being is the platform from where you will explore materials with a comprehensive approach.
#EngineeredNaturals #CareMaterials #DesigningTheEphemeral #Purity #Detox #Plantaholic
→ Folm, Teresa Baena
Folm is born with the mission of replacing single use flexible packaging petroleum-based materials by renewable-based ones. The project creates new realities which involve matter’s never ending life cycle by eliminating the concept of consumption in favour of safely borrowing and giving back the Earth’s resources. In the context of circular care, nurturing our body becomes a new experience when we enable the Folm material to embrace it’s unending life. Edition 2018-19.
→ Materializing purity, Tara Maalouf
Materializing purity derived from a deep will to redeem the harm of the architectural sector has had on the eco-system in terms of carbonization and eco-damage. The product consists in a combination of materials that could fight toxicity as we try to explore a virgin field by questioning: How can make naturally smart materials accessible? Edition 2019-20.
Imagine guiding nature into growing a new generation of materials. Imitating biological and chemical processes such as crystal growth, a recent sustainable innovation –informed by a positive symbiotic partnership– is now possible.
Bacterial cellulose and bacteria-produced inks, mycelium, algae, bamboo or grassroots are some of the biological and vegetable assets that designers can explore to provide more collaborative human-nature solutions.
#GrownMaterials #InVitro #BacterioPrints #Symbiosis #CrystalDomains #BodyResources
→ ALTER by Iria Fernández
There are many possible futures, but all sustainable ones start from observing nature, reflecting on our behaviour and accepting change as a positive quality. ALTER is an ongoing investigation into the materiality of color and its impact on the environment, questioning how color is understood by society and our expectations from it. By using new renewable resources such as bacteria, algae and other living organisms, the project creates awareness around color sustainability by building a new scenario where we design both from and with biology. Edition 2019-20.
→ ENTITIES by Gemma López
A project that address the concepts of identity, body, and material in oneself. For this, it is proposed to explore an alternative to the expression and definition of our own identity from a universal language such as color. It has been decided to use the bacteria that we find in our body as a raw material since these are present in any human being. Edition 2020-21.
Materials are never used to 100% of their capabilities. What if we can push them beyond their limits towards activating new properties or amplifying them? Combining classical materials with biomaterials or with other smart components can do it.
Shape memory alloys, polymers, smart inks, ’techno-couture’, data-driven materials… are part of this so-called Crafts 2.0. Traditional artisans reinvent themselves with new delicate techniques and materials, helping shorten the manufacturing stages and preventing waste of materials and energy in the process.
#Crafts2.0 #Active #Alive #DataDriveMaterials #PersonalizationThroughData #TechnoCouture #LayeredComplexity
→ Phygital Behaviors: An exploration of Data-Driven Materials by Laura Gusart
This project is a first approach to Data Driven Surfaces and Materials and its goal is to open a research field on this for future development. Changing surfaces that can help democratize the common space are designed in this project through composites that react to electric current coming from data inputs online. Edition 2020-21.
Tactility, texture or new active skins promote haptic experiences. Physical interactions with materials, sensory communication and synesthesia of products and accessories: in a world where digital has taken over part of our daily lives, there is a desire for tactile experiences as a way of keeping our humanity alive.
→ Perfume Twist by Dina A.Baki
Sustainable different types of perfumes to create a deeper connection with the fragrance and its application. The first perfume is a gel that melts completely onto the skin generating 0 waste. It comes in an alu-alu blister which can take any form or color and have different scents in each one. The second one is a scented jewelry, which is plant based, that works as an extension to the human body. Each piece has its unique shape and form and can come in different colors.
#EmbodiedMaterials #HolisticPoetry #SensoryIndulgence #Skinology #SensualHaptics
Understanding that material waste can be a source to develop new materials and new socioeconomic pre-industrial and craft ecosystems and that they can also relate to people’s cultural heritage and crafts is at the core of this subject.
We need creativity combined with technical knowledge, such as Life Cycle Analysis and impact evaluation, to bring about global innovation with a local approach.
#CircularMaterials #CircularSystems #CommunityImpact #EthicalPerspectives #IntegratedHeritage #EnhacedCrafts
→ Post Luxury by Marni Bowman
Post Luxury turns opulence upside down using discarded oyster shells and crystals, redefining value through a material that creates a cultural connection to the community at its source. Edition 2019-20. Elisava Professional Edition Awards 2021 – Gold.
→ Reincarnation by Akna Marquez
Upcycling bricks and ceramic tiles from Barcelona to create new construction materials for a circular economy anchored in local identity. Edition 2019-20.
Materials can and must be explored beyond their physical form: even light and sound can be considered materials and materials design. The result is no boundaries digital creativity that allows for the exploration of new tactilities, textural and colour languages, and speculative future designs unimaginable for traditional industrial processes.
#DigitalMaterials #NoBoundariesCreativity #DigitalTactility #MaterialLanguages #MaterialCultures #MaterialityOfColour #CMF
→ Digi-mimicry. The prelude of an exodus by Artur de Menezes
It explores the rebellious nature of digital spaces as a highly editable universe and the point in which it becomes a distinction between the physical and digital worlds. Edition 2020-21.
→ Computer Generated Inspiration, by Ezequiel Pini (Temes de Disseny #36 Design Futures Now: Literacies and Making)
Pictorial that addresses the new use of Computer Generated Imagery as a tool for contextualising and inspiring futures. Using research through design experimental methodology, these techniques allow us to create utopic spaces by embracing accidental outcomes, displaying an as yet unexplored path lacking the limitations of the real world.
Material Designers is a platform and consultancy aimed at researchers, teachers, students, companies and startups, based on experimentation, design and engineering to innovate through materials. The platform uses an applied approach to investigate how the materials in our environment can be understood transversally, from a social, cultural, sustainable and technological perspective.
Magazines & Reports:
→ Alesina, Inna. Exploring materials: creative design for everyday objects. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2010
→ Antonelli, Paola. The Neri Oxman material ecology catalogue. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2020
→ Bengisu, Murat. Materials that move: smart materials, intelligent design. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2018
→ Chapman, Jonathan. Designers, visionaries and other stories: a collection of sustainable design essays. London: Earthscan, 2007
→ Charter, Martin. Designing for the circular economy. New York: Routledge, 2019
→ Drazin, Adam, ed. The Social life of materials: studies in materials and society. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015
→ Harper, Kristine H. Aesthetic sustainability: product design and sustainable usage. New York: Routledge, 2018
→ Imprimer le monde. Paris: Éditions du Centre Pompidou, 2017
→ Karana, Elvin. Materials experience: fundamentals of materials and design. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2014
→ Lefteri, Chris. Glass. Mies: RotoVision, 2002
→ Materiology: the creative industry’s guide to materials and technologies. Basel: Birkhäuser, 2008
→ Myers, William. Bio design: nature, science, creativity. London: Thames and Hudson, 2018
→ Peters, Sascha. Materials in progress: innovations for designers and architects. Basel: Birkhäuser, 2019
→ Reis, Dalcacio. Product design in the sustainable era. Köln: Taschen, 2010
→ Schwartz, Mel, ed. Smart materials. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2009
→ Studio Aikieu. Material alchemy. Amsterdam: BIS Publishers, 2014
→ Weetman, Catherine. A circular economy handbook for business and supply chains: repair, remake, redesign, rethink. New York: Kogan Page, 2016