Intensive Programme in Design Policies for Resilience

This programme trains professionals from different disciplines in the triangulation of design, policy and resilience, providing the necessary tools in design projects for social transformation and that impact from the local to the global (and vice versa), aligning with the current International Agenda.

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This programme trains professionals from different disciplines in the triangulation of design, policy and resilience, providing the necessary tools in design projects for social transformation and that impact from the local to the global (and vice versa), aligning with the current International Agenda.


Intensive Programme in Design Policies for Resilience, degree awarded by Elisava.

Start date

February 17, 2020 


Carmen Malvar, Amaya Celaya and Jordi Morató.


Intensive programme. Blended format with both content base with online monitoring and on-site intensive sessions 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

The contemporary world is going through the stage of greatest social and ecological change in history and that is why design must be positioned globally to achieve its task of serving society. A holistic vision that considers the specific ethical and political implications of each practice and the lines of action linked to the international scenario is absolutely necessary.

Any strategy of creation must start from the real problems that people and the environment go through, so the designer is positioned as a critical, analytical agent: an action engine of the global environment. The challenge is huge; generating from the academic field the demanding and exciting task of trying to decipher keys for efficient and effective execution of the design practice. Resilience is presented as a strategy of adaptation and transformation to this changing world.

This Intensive Programme enable students 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 methodology proposes a "learning by doing" approach, with the aim of forming agents of change in design for resilience. Participants will be responsible for creating, developing and operating real projects, with products and/or services for transformation based on a social design. The Programme focuses on creating conditions for agents of change to be trained as impact entrepreneurs and transformation vectors.

The course is aimed at people who come from all kind of disciplines with a proactive attitude, open to the world and to transformation, committed to the environment and willing to dare to create with the co-design and co-production of transformative projects that are environmentally sustainable, socially fair and economically viable. Idealistic and ambitious change agents.

"Think of the real needs,
propose from knowledge
and get it through passion"

Amaya Celaya

Design professionals (in the interior, urban, industrial, graphic, digital, audiovisual, software, textile, fashion, publishing, advertising branches), 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.

To train students 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, the product/service, to the city/region, from the study of cases.

To develop their capacities and training agents of change and transformation in the design for resilience, from the integral design in an international collaborative team of a real project.

To create design professionals with capacity for the creation and development of innovative and economically viable products and/or services which are, at the same time, environmentally sustainable and socially fair.

The programme combines online and on-site, individual and collaborative methodology. The students will develop an intensive phase in Barcelona (8 weeks), participating in the Resilience Urban Programme of the Ecology, Urbanism and Mobility Area of Barcelona’s City Council, where they will work on their projects led by transdisciplinary teachers. The project will be the backbone of the programme and it must be presented at the end of the period, during the Summit Final.

Methodology of learning includes coaching, on-line and face-to-face talks, laboratories and fieldtrips.

ONLINE (1 month)

The objective of this first module is the critical understanding of design as a tool for activism, transformation and change from the local to the international level and at different scales, with a people-centered approach. Theoretical concepts will be addressed to create the action framework in which the design project of public interest will be developed. In this first phase, the project proposals will be presented and the transdisciplinary teams will be created.

  •  Individual work

Fundamental contents
Recorded videos
Directed work

  • Team work

Main coaching
Networking start
Team selection

STAY IN ELISAVA (Barcelona, ​​Spain) (2 months)

The second stage of the course will be held in Barcelona. With a “problem-based learning” way of working, focused on a social design, we work in groups to learn from real cases. In this two-month phase, students will participate in activities such as the Resilience Urban Programme of the Ecology, Urbanism and Mobility Area of Barcelona’s City Council.


After the stay in Barcelona, each student returns to their place of origin, and the work is done 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 online developed laboratories (people, business, resilience, technology).

  • 100% Team work

4 labs: People; Business; Resilience; Technology
Transdisciplinary work
Main coaching + Support coaching


The proposals developed by each team are presented in a Final Summit, with a duration of one week. During this Summit a workshop is held, where each group presents the projects, which are evaluated by a multidisciplinary international panel. 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.

Debera 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 programme, 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 Programme 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 programme of the European Commission on resilience, safe societies and sustainability since 2015.

Jordi Morató

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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