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Master in Design for Future Products

The current social, economic and environmental circumstances demand a profound reflection on the products we use, how we use them and why. Our Master in Design for Future Products proposes a re-evaluation on raw materials, processes and technologies, logistics or the purpose of what’s designed. We claim physicality, designing objects for tangible sensibilities in a digitalising reality.

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The era of binary choices is over. We need a more comprehensive range of ideas, products and options because we live in a society of alternatives. Product design does precisely that in its many facets: it provides possibilities to better adjust to the current social, economic, and environmental status demands. This master interrogates the role of our profession and urges you to use products as a medium to identify, denounce, criticize, demolish or propose. We will work with you to transform your practice beyond by helping you challenge the cultural, social, economic, technological and material Establishment. New realities are new challenges, and therefore, new opportunities for designing the physical products of the future.

The current social, economic and environmental circumstances demand a profound reflection on the products we use, how we use them and why. A profound re-evaluation on raw materials, process­es and technologies, logistics or even their purpose is now, more than ever, necessary. New technologies are virtualising the reality we live in. By claiming the phisicallity of products, this course encourages the design of tangible objects for physical existences in reaction to the virtualisation of reality.

The Master in Design for Future Products proposes a novel way to look at the product concept. Questioning the profession itself and en­couraging you to challenge the established processes, we aim to have you develop your project methodology to help you improve the idea of “product” and help you start building a professional profile coherent with the challenges of the new realities.

Access and Admission Requirements: Design graduates and professionals with experience. It is not essential to have a bachelor’s degree to take this master’s degree; we value professional experience as much as college education.


We go beyond products

We will question, map and explore products through three different perspectives:

  • Critical: Speculative design, art and design, anthropology, sociology.
  • Manufacturing: Crafts and industry, new technologies, design through manufacture.
  • Environmental: Context, sustainability, materials.

And through them, we will foster:

  • Developing a critical spirit and dealing with design problems in their social context.
  • Learning about new specific tools required by each field of work.
  • Creating an identifiable work methodology.
  • Incorporating perspectives from other disciplines (graphic, product, industrial, engineering…) into said work methodology.
  • Working in a team with international professionals from different fields.

How we do it

We will work with you to transform your practice beyond by questioning, provoking and challenging the cultural, social, economic, technological or material establishment. The academic year will be established in three sections:

Get lost: One-week long, disruptive workshops (most of them are taken place in TMDC) to get lost, resent and demolish our established design foundations, develop diverse experiences and perspectives, and help you question your design practice.

Find: Intensive tutorial sessions where the students define a briefing for their final project and formalise it for a WIP show in mid-February. After determining their work fields, we will encourage design hubs to exhibit their thoughts and ideas and help to define the brief to face the last part of the Master Beyond Products.

Define: Defining personal projects towards a Final Show presentation, participating in weekly mentoring sessions and weekly tool capsules. Specific project-specific and communicative tools will be given to each student to develop their methodology.

The final projects will reflect everything students will have unlearned and relearned and the steps they have followed to approach the product concept in their particular way. The itinerary proposes:

  • Questioning pre-established knowledge to be able to approach groundbreaking design paradigms.
  • When developing innovative products, knowing and understanding the current socio-economic and cultural context.
  • Understanding product design as an attitude, a transformative tool impacting the current or future context.
  • Researching in areas of personal interest to define the basis of a personal project.
  • Studying and understanding different methodologies and systems from other disciplines and fields that can be involved in one transversal design process.
  • Learning to design and develop projects in fictitious or future scenarios, to develop a critical and analytical methodology.
  • Managing and efficiently capturing the results of the creative process and translating them into a solid objectification and conceptualisation.

Master Beyond Products programme

1 Object and context

In order to develop innovative projects, we will question pre-established knowledge and approach design breaking paradigms and understanding the current context: From the impact of technology, IA and the virtualisation of reality to the socioeconomical and political impact of the Climate Change, the scarcity of material resources and the social impats of this reality.

Understanding contemporary challenges and the possible alternatives to contextualise the purpose of your projects to have an impact. Workshops and confer­ences to get lost, “unlearn”, and question the established design foundations.

2 Object and action

We will approach product design as an attitude, a transformative tool, and we will analyze and try to foresee its impact (or what we would like it to be) in the current or future context. Workshops and conferences to get lost, “unlearn” and question the established bases of design.

3 Search and research

We will begin by investigating your areas of personal interest to define your project. This unit is structured through intensive tutorial sessions in which you will define a briefing and formalize it in a WIP project in mid-February. At this stage, interaction is crucial.

4 Creative tools methodologies

We want to help you develop a design methodology of your creation, a unique knowledge network for each project, through the study and understanding of the different methods and systems of other disciplines and fields, art, science, engineering…

5 Final Master Thesis

You will show your critical and analytical capacity of what happens or can happen around us. You must be able to translate them into a solid and coherent formalization —both in objectification and in conceptualization—, developing, decoding and communicating a cohesive project within the areas of product design using the tools provided throughout the master’s degree.

If you want to know more about the Master Beyond Products download the brochure here or check the master’s website:

Do you want to know more about the Masters’ School?

Each academic year, students with very diverse professional and cultural profiles of more than 80 nationalities from all over the world attend their master’s or postgraduate training at Elisava. We want to promote connections and networks among students beyond the context of each master’s degree to promote the exchange of knowledge through very diverse projects: we organize interdisciplinary workshops and conferences; transdisciplinary projects with students from several master’s degrees; collaborations with companies, institutions and NGOs…

Interdisciplinary workshops Collaborations with companies, institutions and NGOs Elisava Masters’ Talks and lectures Elisava Alumni

Masters’ Scholarships

Do you want to study the Master Beyond Products at Elisava? In this section you will be able to check all the information on the annual call for scholarships, which recognize, reward and disseminate the talent and excellence of future master’s students.

Elisava Masters’ Scholarships