The Design for Emergent Futures Approach

The Master in Design for Emergent Futures is both a theoretical and practical Master. It evolves the practice of design beyond objects, aesthetics, form finding and pure speculation through a unique hands-on-learning approach. Our method uses practical design processes to investigate complex systemic problems and proposes city-scale interventions to approach large-scale challenges.

MDEF Course Tracks

The four tracks of the MDEF program provide students with the strategic vision and tools to work at multiple scales in the real world. The theoretical and practical content in the program recognises and explores the possibilities of disruptive technologies: digital fabrication, blockchain, synthetic biology, Artificial Intelligence among others.


Students learn a modular set of maker skills and tools and how these can be used in the design process to translate their ideas into prototypes and prototypes into products. Skills include coding, digital fabrication, hardware design, synthetic biology, and computational thinking.


Students are exposed to a set of technologies and sociocultural phenomena that have the capacity to disrupt our present understanding of society, industry and the economy.


Students are supported through individual and group reflection sessions to develop their own identity and skill set, knowledge and attitude as designers.


Students create design responses to explore their curiosities through innovation. They are encouraged to be creative and follow a culture of making where prototyping acts as a generator of knowledge and experimentation is crucial for problem solving.

Making Emergent Futures

The MDEF Thesis Project offers a unique approach to develop student projects, contributing to their scalability, exploring distribution and sustainability strategies through innovative methods.