Intensive Programme in Design Policies for Resilience


Degree awarded by ELISAVA, Barcelona School of Design and Engineering

Start date

September 16, 2019


Carmen Malvar, Amaya Celaya and Jordi Morato.


Intensive programme. Blended format with both content base with online monitoring and intensive sessions in person twice per module.


€ 14,600 (plus € 400 for pre-registration).


The course offers limited scholarships for qualified candidates.


The contents of the programme will be taught in English, while the follow-up and coaching sessions will be done in English or Spanish, depending on the working groups.

Design for Transformation

Design, as a discipline, in addition to the deontological code associated with each practice, requires knowledge about the specific ethical and political implications of professional performance in the contemporary social scenario. The knowledge and analysis of strategic policies of the international scenario that affect the work of the designer is absolutely necessary. The relationship with the creation strategy, the use of material resources, the means of production or the generation of services must have, so that the design fulfils its service work, a direct articulation with the current problems that people and the environment go through. The challenge is huge. Generating from the academic field the demanding and exciting task of trying to decipher keys for an efficient execution of the design practice.

This Intensive Program enables you to assume or consolidate tasks of maximum responsibility in the field of product development, services, new business activities and implementation of strategies, all based on a design for resilience, integrating all scales of the product/service , to the city/region. The Intensification Program is proposed from a "learning by doing" approach, to train agents of change in design for resilience. From the beginning of the course, each student will be responsible for creating, developing and operating a real project, with real products or services for the transformation. The Program focuses on creating conditions so that agents of change can be trained as impact entrepreneurs and transformation vectors.

The course is aimed at people with a proactive attitude, open to the world and to transformation, committed to the environment and willing to dare to create transformative projects that are environmentally sustainable, fair and economically viable. Idealistic and ambitious change agents. Design professionals (interior, urban, industrial, graphic, digital, audio-visual, software, textile, fashion, publishing, advertising), architects and urban planning professionals, economists, managers or entrepreneurs, students/professionals of innovation and technological engineering, professionals of the environment, sociology or anthropology, among others.

  • Training in the field of product development, services and new business activities, along with implementation of strategies, based on a design for resilience, integrating all scales, of the product/service, to the city/region, starting from study of cases.
  • Developing the capacities to train agents of change and transformation in the design for resilience, from the integral design in an international collaborative team of a real project.
  • Developing design professionals with the capacity to create and develop innovative and economically viable products and/or services, which at the same time are environmentally sustainable and socially fair.

The program combines online and on-sight, individual and collaborative methodology. The students will develop an intensive phase in Barcelona (2 months), participating in activities such as Smart City Expo and Barcelona Resilience Week. Teams will be set up so that each team can carry out a real design project for the transformation. The project will be the backbone of the program and must be submitted at the end of the period (6 months).

The learning methodology includes coaching, on-line and face-to-face talks, laboratories and travel.


Phase 1. Online (1 month)

From the first day of the course, the international collaborative teams are distributed to carry out the real design project for the transformation. The project will be the backbone of the program and must be submitted at the end of the 6-month period, at the Final Summit.

  • 50% Individual Work: fundamental contents, recorded videos and directed works.
  • 50% Teamwork: main coacking, start of networking, team selection.


Phase 2. Stay at Elisava (Barcelona, ​​Spain) (2 months)

A face-to-face phase in intensive Barcelona of 2 months will be developed, participating in activities such as Smart City Expo and Barcelona Resilience Week.


Phase 3. Coaching + Labs (3 months)

After the stay in BCN, each student returns to their place of origin, and works as an international team, using collaborative work tools. During this stage, 100% of the hours of dedication are to the project as a team, but through participation in 4 laboratories (people, business, resilience, technology) developed online.

  • 100% Teamwork: 4 labs (30h / lab): people, business, resilience, technology. Participation in group, minimum 75h. Main coaching + Support coaching.


Phase 4. Summit Final (1 week)

The proposals developed by each team are presented in a Final Summit, which lasts one week. During this Summit a workshop is held, where each group presents the projects, which are evaluated by a multidisciplinary international jury. Once all the projects have been presented and evaluated, a 2-day session is held to jointly prepare the resilient design proposal guide. The final Summit can be developed in different cities, depending on the projects and the participants. In this sense, Elisava has pre-agreements with 9 institutions from 8 countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Must Johnson

Founder of the Centre for Sustainable Design Strategies (CSDS); Founder of the Pratt Design Incubator. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York.

María del Carmen Castillo Cisneros

Research Professor in Social Anthropology of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (Centro INAH-Oaxaca)

John Bruce

Director of Strategic Design & Management BBA program, Parsons School of Design, NY. Fellow at the Graduate Institute for Design Ethnography and Social Thought. New School, NY.

Nicola Tollin

Professor with special responsibility in Urban Resilience at the University of Southern Denmark, and executive director of RESURBE, International Program on Urban Resilience.

Angela Maria Moreno

Professor of Anthropology at Univ. De Córdoba (Colombia), Director of the Intangible Cultural Heritage line of the UNESCO Sustainability Chair of the UPC.

Andri Werner Stahel

Doctorate in Social Sciences, collaborator of the UNESCO Chair of Sustainability.

Carlos A. Arias

PhD in civil engineering. Univ. Aarhus. Specialist in the design of solutions based on nature for the management of water resources.

Miguel Urquía

Emergency shelter coordinator at UNHCR (The UN refugee agency) from Geneva (Switzerland), supporting clusters nationwide in Syria, Yemen, DR Congo and others.

Rosa Surinach

Coordinator of partnerships and dissemination at UN-Habitat. Leading global projects for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda from Resilience.

Cristina González Gracianteparaluceta

Psychologist with extensive experience in the humanitarian sector (UNICEF) and in human resources management. Specialist in leadership skills and intelligence culture.

Carmen Malvar

Carmen is a doctoral student at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, United Kingdom, with a degree in Sciences from the School of Art and Crafts Master Mateo, Spain, and a degree in Architecture with honours from the Pratt Institute School of Architecture. She is the Director of Atelier Malvar + Tusch in New York, where she specialises as a brand/trademark designer and consultant and founder of CADA ( Visiting professor and researcher at the Center for Sustainable Design, Pratt Institute, EE. UU., And professor in the Brand Management Certificate at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.

Amaya Celaya

Amaya is an architect with experience in urban design and planning, as well as international humanitarian action. Expert in resilience models and risk management, in topics of sustainability and climate action. Prior to joining UN-Habitat, she worked in the private sector for 16 years leading his own architecture studio. She has also worked in the Emergency Response Unit of the General Directorate of Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) of the European Commission. Expert/evaluator for the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission on resilience, safe societies and sustainability since 2015.

Jordi Morato

PhD in Biology with 20 years of experience in research, education and management of sustainable human development projects related to resources (water, soil, biodiversity) and circular economy and participatory community development at the local and regional level. Coordinator of the UNESCO Chair of Sustainability at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia since 2008 and one of the founding members of RECNET ( He has participated in more than 80 internationally funded research, knowledge generation and transfer projects (1996-2018).

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