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Studying design for resilience: How can we create a better future?

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A slippery solpe, ©ESA


Starting this September, Elisava will be offering a new master's degree, the Master in Design for Resilience. This master's degree aims to train students who believe that a better world is possible through design.

How can design improve people's lives, from a resilience-based approach? How can design transform our environment for the better, from environmental awareness and activism? How can it contribute to a more just and ethical society, from global knowledge and at the same time supporting grassroots initiatives? These are some of the questions that you will be able to answer by taking this master's degree.

To find out a little more about the Master in Design for Resilience, we have interviewed 7 of its professors to find out how they see the future and how the world can be changed through design.
 

Jordi Cortés, Head of Direct Cooperation Projects (Ajuntament de Barcelona)

How to design the future? 
The future begins now and needs to be designed to ensure that no one is left behind. 

How to build the future? How can we create a better world? 
Design a better world needs analytical and technical skills, without forgetting the need for empathy. 

How can we impact to design a better world? 
Design and designers have a key impact in improving the future world.  
 

Daniel Lewis, Consultant and Advisor (United Nations – UN)

The future is... 
Understanding there is rarely a clean slate in terms of urban systems and starting points are already built. 

How to design the future?  
Imagine a space that is fully integrated: functionally, physically, organizationally and geographically. Now imagine it’s dynamic evolution from this moment to achieving goals that are set based on a vision of environmental, social and economic resilience. This is the baseline for design.  By achieving goals that are set on a vision of environmental, social and economic resilience. 

How to build the future?  
Along the pathways to creating resilient human settlements, multiple elements must be introduced, improved, or removed to meet the goals and achieve the vision. Over time, system weaknesses are ‘planned out’ of the future space, and incremental systemwide strengths (resilience levers) are enhanced, or ‘built in’.  

How can we create a better world? 
For designers, the palette upon which the vision of a future space must include a design for ‘process’; mapping out the dynamic changes required over time to build resilient space.  

How can we impact to design a better world? 
Understanding that ‘design’ is not within the sole purview of ‘designers’. Knowledge exists throughout the human experience and a vision of future space inhabited by humans is only enriched with their direct influence. 


Curro Claret, Industrial and Social Designer 

The future is...
Multi - inter - identity, to a new multi - inter - social - economic - environment in balance with the planet, understanding and stimulating a greater interconnectivity of elements and circumstances. 

How can we design the future? How to build the future?
Clarifying priorities that lead us to more respectful ways of life. 

How can we create a better world? 
More than answering needs it may be first reducing them in order to reconnect with the earth. 

How can we impact to design a better world? 
Incorporating the isolated, rejected and disadvantaged. We must include the isolated, rejected and disadvantaged people to design a better world.  
 

Martina Nadal, Domestic Data Streamers 

The future is... 
The future is a common challenge we should all focus on. Data values and data literacy will be crucial for a fairer future. 

How can we design the future? How to build the future?
We should design a more equal and sustainable future. Let’s connect people and information to trigger change. Let’s spark better stories. 

How can we create a better world?   
We need creative minds to think beyond what’s possible today. Let’s put communication expertise in service of the social & environmental challenges. Let’s make visible those stories that are in silence. 

How can we impact to design a better world? 
You can’t improve what you don’t measure, impact measurement must be at the centre. Through better and more human data we will be able to explain better stories. Human data, better stories. 
 

The analog museum of digital inequality, Domestic Data Streamers


n'UNDO, Architects collective 

The future is...  
The future is what we need to build for our cities and environment. It is not the cities of the future, but a future for our cities. Beyond economic growth, the aim is to thrive. 

How can we design the future? How to build the future?
We can build the future by UNDOING, NOT DOING and REDOING. The only future is real SUSTAINABILITY (environmental, social, cultural and economical) within the limits of nature. 

How can we create a better world?   
A better future can be created or constructed by NOT DOING, as an active and proactive NO. To preserve, protect, care for. Proving the sustainability and profitability of not intervening; by UNDOING, to Reduce, Minimize, Eliminate, Dismantle, Demolish. Effectively responding to excess, and by REDOING, Reusing, Regenerating, Reverting, Recovering, Rehabilitating, Revitalising, Relocating, Restoring, adding value to pre-existences. 

How can we impact to design a better world?   
Saying NO. An active and proactive NO. To preserve, protect, care for. Avoiding the unnecessary. Recovering what we need to promote a sustainable built environment. Valuing our heritage. Reducing what is left over. Avoiding further waste generation. Dismantling to recover the common space. Working with time, flexibility and uncertainty, as new architectonic materials. 


Clara Costa, LOBELIA by IsardSat Team 

How can we design the future? How to build the future?
Understanding the state of our planet in terms of climate allows us to identify and calibrate our actions to be able to shape our future. 

How can we create a better world?   
Having the right and easy-to-understand information is key to address the climate emergency. There is an urgent need to transform the knowledge that science brings us into understandable information for anyone. This accurate information helps governments, private companies, and citizens take the right decisions, and the right decisions will bring us a better future. 

How can we impact to design a better world?   
The co-work of scientists and designers may be key to make scientific knowledge visible and usable. Design and science definitely should join forces. 


Cristina González Gracianteparalunceta, Psicóloga at EXTERALIA (formerly at UNICEF)

The future is...   
For people! Beautiful, healthy, cosy, comfortable, environmentally friendly, sustainable, safe and positive, full of possibilities.  

How can we design the future? How to build the future? How to design the future?   
With rational, knowledge, art and heart. Transforming threats and necessities into wellbeing, benefits and possibilities  

How can we create a better world?   
Listening! Putting people and nature at the heart of our strategies and designs.  

How can we impact to design a better world?   
Listening, understanding, learning, dreaming, designing, anticipating, sharing, discussing, improving, creating, raising awareness, mobilizing, advocating, leading…  BELIEVING!

Workshop Ucraine, n’Undo

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