Skip to content


This short course is a curatorial and organizational approach to creating the MDEF Students Festival. It will also include pre-planning the proceedings of the festival. Conceived as a pedagogical process that aims to use the approach of curatorial practices/projects and those institutions with whom the students would like to collaborate for the festival. Students will be invited to examine various structures of collectives, venues, events or festivals throughout the process. The focus of the course is to be an apparatus that produces a toolbox for curating the MDEF festival.


Learning Objectives

  • Explore different event formats, approaches, and audiences
  • Define the general theme, sub-themes of the festival and a Festival Title
  • Explore & Map places, communities
  • Work together to identify the working groups & events
  • Find connections between the different working groups and their events
  • Define the formats, audiences & collaborators of each event
  • Discuss the overall agenda and approaches to communication and outreach

Methodological Strategies

  • Lectures
  • Discussion of cases
  • Practical exercises


  • Different approaches to curatorial practice
  • Applying design justice to festival proposals
  • Preparing a proposal basic tool kit
  • How do you carry out “curatorial” research?
  • Sample topics to train “curatorial” research skills/habits
  • Skills: how to think through brainstorming.
  • Building a project with a recognizable character or identity
  • Conceptual proposition
  • Format
  • Relationship with contexts (maping collectives/projects/venues)
  • Audience and mediation
  • From the proposal to the actual project
  • Feedback (Seeking / Whose feedback / When and what for / As an embedded methodology)
  • Defining the scope, the limits, and the endpoint of the project.


Coherent structure of collective event. Students are requested to submit all the material requested by the faculty + their reflections about the seminar on the MDEF website within a maximum of 1 week after the students’ submission deadline.

Grading Method

Percentage Description
20% Personal work presentation
30% Exercise(s) development
50% Collaborative work

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)


Additional Resources


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).

Bani Brusadin

Bani Brusadin

Curator, educator and researcher

Bani Brusadin is a curator, educator and researcher interested in the possible feedback loops between art, digital cultures, planetary-scale technologies and their politics. He currently collaborates with Medialab Matadero (Madrid) and Fundación Foto Colectania (Barcelona). He was one of the guest curators for the 2023 edition of the renowned Berlin-based festival of art and digital cultures transmediale. In the past he founded and co-curated The Influencers, a festival about experimental art, design and activist practices in the networked society, co-produced by the CCCB Barcelona (2004 - 2019). He holds a PhD in Advanced Artistic Practices (University of Barcelona) and teaches in BA and master degree programs at Elisava, the University of Barcelona, and Esdi. He is the author of the essay The Fog of Systems, published by Aksioma Institute for Contemporary Art Ljubljana (2021).

Manuela Reyes

Manuela Reyes

Art Director

Manuela Reyes is a Colombian designer. Her work as an art director includes creating visual identities, photography, data visualisation, web, and spatial design for Fab Lab Barcelona and Fab City projects. Her interest is to portray complex and dense information in captivating graphical and physical form. Manuela owns a BA in Product and Service design focused on sustainability from IED Milano and a Master’s in Art Direction and Communication Strategy from Elisava.

Jana Tothill Calvo

Jana Tothill Calvo

Design Researcher

As a designer and researcher with a strong focus on sustainable practices and innovative design methodologies, Jana is committed to questioning and challenging the field of design. By continuously striving for movement and positive change, she puts sustainability, innovation, and care at the forefront of her work — which is always underpinned by post-humanist and feminist materialist thought. In her design practice, Jana’s work is community-driven and collaborative, working with other designers and artists to create thought-provoking installations and experiences.