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Master in Design for Emergent Futures (MDEF)

Master in Design for Emergent Futures - IAAC

Basic data


Master's Degre 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, Mara Balestrini

Duration // Schedule

9 months from October 2018 to June 2019 – Full Time






EU: 11.200 € / Non EU: 16.000 €


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.

Why to design emergent futures?

We live in a moment of rapid change where new economic, environmental and social paradigms are challenging the status quo of the 150 year-old industrial society. The biosphere, financial markets, family structures, business models in products, are being challenged in one of the most important transition periods of human history.

If the machine era aimed to shape the human habitat by creating interfaces with natural resources through science and technology, the ubiquitous nature of digital technologies will demand articulation and rapid synchronization of systems at different scales, both biological and synthetic. At the same time, the emergence of new tools and technologies are demanding us to create different outputs from the ones we already know, and to design possible futures for life in this planet.

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