Master's Degree in Design for Resilience

How can design improve people's lives, from a resilience-based approach? The Master’s Degree in Design for Resilience trains professional agents of change who believe that a better world is possible through design. 

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How can design improve people's lives, from a resilience-based approach? The Master’s Degree in Design for Resilience trains professional agents of change who believe that a better world is possible through design. 


Master’s Degree in Design for 
Awarded by UVic-UCC. 


Amaia Celaya
Carmen Malvar

ECTS Credits





Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
From 5 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.


September to July 


(+€450 registration fee) 
Financing and grants

Access and admission requirements

Official university Degree or equivalent in Design, Engineering, Architecture or Art. 
More information

How can design transform our environment for the better, from an environmental awareness and activism? How can it contribute to a fairer and more ethical society, based on global knowledge and at the same time supporting grassroots initiatives? 

The discipline of design must have knowledge about its ethical and political implications (environmental, sociocultural and economic), in addition to the code of ethics associated with each practice. The analysis of the international scene, with its different agendas, and of the real needs that the world currently experiences and that affect the designer work, is absolutely necessary. 

The Master’s Degree in Design for Resilience enables the student to assume and consolidate tasks of responsibility in the development and implementation of strategies, products, services or new business activities. These tasks integrate different approaches and scales, from the product/service in the city/region, or from the climate action, which also allow to improve the economic situation of a community. 

This program is proposed from a "learning by doing" approach to train agents of change in design for resilience. From the beginning of the course, the student will be responsible for creating, developing and operating a real project, with real products or services for transformation. 

The Master focuses on creating conditions so that agents of change can be trained as impact entrepreneurs and as vectors of transformation in the 21st century society. The course is aimed at people with a proactive attitude, open to the world and to the transformation, committed to the environment and willing to dare to create environmentally sustainable, socially fair and economically viable transformative projects. We need ambitious agents of change who believe that a better world is possible through design. 

  • To identify and understand the main concepts on resilience, to develop designs with maximum impact on the matter. 
  • To know the main contexts and approaches in which resilience is developed. 
  • To develop specific capacities for a resilient design, which allows relevant and high-impact solutions for positive transformation. 
  • To develop specific adaptive and agile management skills, understanding the need for iterative review and successive adjustments, from collaborative and empathic leadership techniques. 
  • To incorporate the contents learned into real situations on various scales. 
  • To successfully implement new initiatives that solve relevant problems and needs from a focus on resilience. 
  • To understand the transformative capacity of design, incorporating uncertainty and risk in the analysis. 
  • To understand the contexts (geographical, spatial, functional, organizational and/or governance) in which a project is developed. 
  • To apply critical thinking to imagine a better world thanks to the work of the designer community as agents of change. 
  • To formulate designs for resilience, turning problems into opportunities. 
  • To know different methods, techniques and tools in the field of adaptive and agile design management. 
  • Being able to work in a team, understanding motivations and roles, and developing innovative initiatives in uncertain environments. 
  • To manage and lead multidisciplinary work teams based on the principles of empathy and collaboration. 
  • To be able to develop and apply skills for autonomy and entrepreneurship, from an orientation towards transformative actions. 

Amaia Celaya  
Architect with experience in design, urban planning and international humanitarian action. Expert in models of resilience and in risk management, as well as in issues of sustainability and climate action. Before joining as an expert at the United Nations (UN-Habitat), she worked in the private sector for 16 years leading her own architecture and urban planning studio. She has also worked in the Emergency Response Unit of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO). Expert/evaluator for the Horizonte 2020, CORDIS, UIA (Urban Innovative Actions) programs of the European Commission in the field of resilience, safe societies and nature-based solutions since 2015. She is also an expert in the Technical Committee ISO / TC 292 - Security and resilience. 

Carmen Malvar
Holds a B.S in Interiors from Maestro Mateo School of Art and Crafts, Spain and a B.S in Architecture with honours from Pratt Institute School of Architecture. She is principal of Atelier Malvar+ Tusch .Llc. in New York, where she specializes as a designer and brand/commerce consultant.

She has been head architect for the international brand Zara (Inditex), conceptualising new prototype shops to be implemented worldwide with a team of experts. She also has overseen international brand expansion and construction management for brands like Camper (shoe Company), Mango (clothing Company), Tous (Jewelery Company) and Desigual in the last past years. She has designed and supervised implementation of international shops for more than thirty locations worldwide. Carmen works regularly as consultant with the Trade Commission of Spain in New York among others institutions, where her aim is to implement and develop strategies for brands where the design production is encouraged to enable local suppliers to be part of the local and global process without losing identity. Carmen is working on the research department at Elisava to create a structure that allows all developed research to be applied in a centre activity for the European retailers, as well as one step forward on sustainable approach.

She brings her findings to Fashion Institute of Technology in New York as well, where she also collaborates on the Brand Management Certificate Program, among other institutions. Carmen Malvar is a former Adjunct Professor at Interior Design Department at Pratt Institute, and former research fellow at the Centre for Sustainable Studies at the Design Entrepreneurship Certificate Program under the Direction of Deborah Johnson. She is also Director of the Master’s Degree in Retail Space at Elisava and UNESCO Chair of Sustainability (UPC). She lectures and implements seminars on Design, Commerce Trends and New Retail formats between New York, Spain and Latin America.

Daniel Lewis 
Consultant and advisor at the UN and at other academic organizations in the UK, Turkey, Burma, Australia and Canada. He has managed the global portfolio of Disaster and Conflict Work for UN Habitat from 2002 to 2017. 

Curro Claret 
Industrial designer. Its design can be considered as social, since it is a tool to generate processes of inclusion, collaboration and co-design with groups of people in fragility situations. 

Jordi Cortés 
Sociologist and political scientist, specialized in International Relations and Cooperation. Head of Direct Cooperation Projects of the Ajuntament de Barcelona. 

Andreu Gatuellas 
Psychologist, team coach, cognitive neuroscience researcher, emotional intelligence specialist, trainer and lecturer. 

Miquel Carrillo 
Chemical engineer, member of Engineering Without Borders, the Catalan Council for Cooperation and the Peace Promotion Council, as well as a member of the board of the NGDO State Coordinator. He has worked in international cooperation for more than 25 years. 

Jordi Morató 
Doctor in microbiology with 20 years of experience in research, education and management of sustainable human development projects related to resources, circular economy and participatory community development. 

Nicola Tollin 
Professor with special responsibilities in Urban Resilience at the University of Southern Denmark. Executive Director of RESURBE, International Program on Urban Resilience. 

Team n'UNDO
n'UNDO is a group of architects that re-architecture, intervening in the territory and in the city from No Construction, Minimization, Reuse and Dismantling. 

Greta Tresserra 
Architect and urban planner, specialized in sustainable development and international cooperation. Extensive experience in the use of materials with a low ecological footprint, such as bamboo. 12 years of international career, in Germany, Kenya or Colombia. 

Ricardo Guasch Ceballos  
Researcher and member of the team responsible for Elisava's "Decoding Well-Being" line of research. His areas of knowledge are interior design, user-focused design, housing, workspace and hospitality. 

Cristina González Gracianteparalunceta 
Psychologist with extensive experience in the humanitarian sector (UNICEF) and in human resources management. Intelligence culture and leadership skills specialist. 

Miguel Urquia 
Emergency Shelter Coordinator at UNHCR from Geneva (Switzerland), supporting clusters at the national level in Syria, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other countries. 

Nikolay Nikolaiev 
Analyst and strategist, he currently works in the Department of Architecture of the Republic of Sakha (Russia). His specialization is the governance of scientific cities, space exploration and international development. 

Miquel Corral 
Since 2009 he has collaborated in the Department of Information Systems Architecture of the Municipal Institute of Informatics of Barcelona, and since 2013 developing graphical profiles of resilience from data modelling with UN Habitat. 

LOBELIA by IsardSat team 
Experts in Earth observation data and climate projections to assess vulnerabilities, risks and opportunities associated with different climate scenarios for particular cases and regions of interest.  

Mónica Sans Duran 
Leading the Awasuka Program since 2015, dedicated to improving the habitat in rural Nepal. Interested in music as a channel for the dissemination of healthy habits in rural communities 

Sébastien Thomas 
Head of the Resilience and Livelihoods Unit - Oxfam Intermón and Co-Director of the Oxfam Resilience Knowledge Center at Oxfam Intermón. 

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