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Landing at the Masters in Design for Emergent Futures is for sure a challenging endeavor. Not only is it a new country and new city for most students, but also the beginning of a new life that will definitely influence the design profile and practice of everyone participating in MDEF, including the faculty and staff. Every edition of the program is different, there is no standard day, week, month or year for MDEF, given its constant evolution, and how it is influenced by the diversity of participants, as well as the constantly evolving reality around us.

Knowing the importance to understand where and with whom we will be sharing this learning space for the next year (or two for some of you), we have dedicated a week of the program to know about each other, faculty and students, also about IAAC, Elisava and Fab Lab Barcelona, and specially about the Poblenou neighborhood and the city of Barcelona as the main experimental playground of the program. We expect the landing week to situate students in context, and to help them to identify opportunities for collaboration to develop their research agenda during the year of the program.

Learning Objectives

The Landing Week of MDEF aims to offer students the opportunity to connect with the ecosystem around the program, including students, faculty, staff, spaces and organizations that make it possible to create an ever evolving learning space around it.

  • Connect with fellow students and learn about the diversity of culture and professional profiles of the class.
  • Understand and learn from the research interests of each one of the directors, Tomas Diez, Laura Benitez and Guillem Camprodon.
  • Learn about the opportunities offered by each of the campuses involved in the program, Elisava, IAAC and Fab Lab Barcelona.
  • Explore and connect with spaces and organizations in the Poblenou and the City of Barcelona, which students will potentially collaborate with.
  • Share the first ideas for students to align their purpose as designers and make the first steps to define their new designer profile.

Methodological Strategies

MDEF Landing Week will use basic methodologies to engage students in knowing better the program’s context and ecosystem, and be a personal and group experience of exploration through conversation and active listening.


15:00 - Opening of IAAC’s Academic Year at Pujades 102

10:30-11:30 - Welcome speech by MDEF’s Directors

11:30-12:00 - Introduction to the Master program by Tomas Diez and Guillem Camprodon

12:00-12:20 - Connection with faculty


12:30-14:00 - Students Intro - What's your purpose by Laura Benitez

11:00-12:30 - Directors' research agenda - Guillem Camprodon, Emergent Tech

12:30-12:45 - Break

13:00-14:15 - Directors’ research agenda - Tomas Diez, Meaningful Design

15:00-18:00 - Exploring the Poblenou ecosystem - Chiara Dall’Olio, Milena Juarez

Planned visits: 22@ introduction, Poblenou Urban District, TansfoLAB BCN, Biciclot, Bioma

10:00-11:30 - Communicating the MDEF journey - Pablo Zuloaga

12:00-14:00 - Building an online bitacora and portfolio, the MDEF digital garden - Santi Fuentemilla


9:30-10:00 - Welcome to Elisava MDEF campus

10:00-11:45 - Visit & training for the Prototype Workshop, Motion Capture room and Graphic Workshop

11:45-12:15 - Elisava facilities visit + break

12:15-13:30 - Directors research agenda - Laura Benitez


  • Landing website
  • Purpose statement

Grading Method

Grading criteria will be defined by faculty during the module.

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)


Additional Resources


Guillem Camprodon

Guillem Camprodon

MDEF Co-Director, Fab Lab Barcelona Executive Director

Guillem Camprodon is a designer and technologist working in the intersection between emergent technologies and grassroots communities. He is the executive director of Fab Lab Barcelona at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), a benchmark in the network of over 2000 Fab Labs and home of the Distributed Design Platform. He has a passion for teaching and is the co-director of the Master on Design For Emergent Futures (MDEF), a collaboration between IAAC and ELISAVA. Previously, he led Smart Citizen, a platform that opposes the traditional top-down Smart City model, empowering communities with tools to understand their environment. As a former research lead, he participated in many European-funded research and innovation projects, such as Making Sense, iSCAPE, GROW Observatory, Organicity, DECODE, ROMI and Reflow.

Tomas Diez

Tomas Diez

MDEF Co-Director, Fab City Foundation Executive Director

Tomas Diez Ladera, a Venezuelan Urbanist, Designer, and Technologist, is known for his expertise in digital fabrication and its impact on future cities and society. He is a founding partner and executive director of the Fab City Foundation, and he also serves on the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia’s board of trustees, where he holds positions as a senior researcher and tutor. He actively collaborates with the Fab Foundation to support the global Fab Lab Network and has played a significant role in launching initiatives such as the Fab Academy and Fab City.

Tomas co-founded and co-designed projects like the Smart Citizen initiative and the global Fab Lab Network platform, Additionally, he co-created higher degree programs, including the Master in Design for Emergent Futures (IAAC-Elisava) and the Master in Design for Distributed Innovation (Fab City-IAAC), both of which he co-directs. As a founding partner and President-Director of the Meaningful Design Group Bali, he aims to combine advanced technologies and design with alternative perspectives and cultures in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. He has received recognition as a young innovator of the year by the Catalan ICT Association and was nominated as one of Nesta's and The Guardian's top 10 Social Innovators in Europe.

Laura Benitez

Laura Benitez

MDEF Co-Director

Laura Benitez has a Ph.D. in Philosophy and is a researcher, and university lecturer. Her research connects philosophy, art(s), and technoscience. She is an associate professor at the Department of Philosophy at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She also teaches at Elisava. She has served as the coordinator of the Theory area in the Arts and Design Degree at Massana, where she has taught Critical and Cultural Studies. She has been a visiting researcher at the Ars Electronica Center and the Center for Studies and Documentation of MACBA. She has also collaborated with international institutions such as Interface Cultures Kunstuniversität Linz, Sónar Festival (Barcelona/Hong Kong), Royal Academy of Arts London, and the University of Puerto Rico. Between 2019 and 2021, she directed Biofriction, a European project (Creative Europe) on bioart and biohacking practices, led by Hangar in collaboration with the Bioart Society, Kersnikova, and Cultivamos Cultura. She is co-director of the Master on Design For Emergent Futures (MDEF).

Milena Calvo Juarez

Milena Calvo Juarez

Communities Expert

Milena Juarez (female) is a Brazilian environmental engineer with a master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies in Environmental, Economic and Social Sustainability and specialization in Urban and Industrial Ecology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. With a large experience in research, Milena has been actively involved in various interdisciplinary research projects in the field of circular economy, resilient cities, co-creation, and sustainable food. She currently coordinates the Barcelona pilot for CENTRINNO EU project at IAAC and works as an action researcher for the REFLOW and FOODSHIFT EU projects. As one of the responsible for community engagement at Fab Lab Barcelona, Milena supports the local activities at the Fab City Hub, a co-creation distributed space to design the future for urban self-sufficiency.

Josep Marti Elias

Josep Marti Elias

Fabrication Expert

Josep Martí is an Industrial Engineer from Barcelona. Josep started his career as a BI consultant but decided to change his professional path graduating from Fabacademy in 2019. Since then, he has taught digital fabrication, design and electronics in the Fablab, being part of the Future Learning Unit teaching in Fabacademy, Fabricademy and the Master in Design in Emergent futures. Recently, he started his path as a researcher in Erasmus+ projects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology Engineering and a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering, specialising in Automatic Control, both from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and the Fabacademy diploma. He has always been interested in the Maker culture and is always looking to learn and create new things.

Pablo Zuloaga Betancourt

Pablo Zuloaga Betancourt

Futures Designer, Creativity & Strategy Consultant / POWAR Founder

Experienced Creative Director with 15+ years in global agencies and brands across Latin America and Europe. Holds a Master's in Future Design, specializing in digital manufacturing and emerging tech. Over 6 years of teaching in diverse universities, focusing on communication, creativity, design, and storytelling.

Founder of POWAR, a Barcelona-based R+D Ed-Tech studio driving planet-centred STEAM education. Known for strategic vision, expertise in innovation, project management, and audiovisual production. Researching around the future of education.