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Master in Design for Emergent Futures

Basic data


Master's Degree in Design for Emergent Futures, degree awarded by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and ELISAVA Barcelona School of Design and Engineering


Tomás Díez
Oscar Tomico

ECTS Credits



9 months, from October to June – Full Time




Year 2019-2020:
Non EU Students: 16,000 €
EU Students: 12,800 €


Master in Design for Emergent Futures (MDEF)


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 Ideas for Change.

The aim of this master is to provide the 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 on 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, 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 master 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 othersIdeas for Change has worked with city councils such as Bristol and Barcelona, grassroots organisations like Ouishare and KWMC, and corporate and cooperative clients ranging from Telefonica, ADEO Groupe, Accord, Seat, Air France and Everis, to Mondragon and Abacus. ELISAVA has collaborated with companies like Agbar, Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard, DUPONT, SUEZ, SEAT, Yamaha, among others.

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


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