Sustainable Materials for Design


Carlos Saez

Duration // Schedule

June 28 - July 9 2021 (40 hours)
5 p.m. - 9.15 p.m.




Basic / Intermediate


840 €


Dates may be modified and courses may be canceled depending on the evolution of the pandemic.

In the domain of design and industrial practices, materials are gaining ever more relevance as important drivers for product development and innovation, more specifically in promoting a more sustainable future and empower circular economies.

A circular economy begins when the life of a product does it so. Both the design phase and the production processes have an impact on the supply, the use of resources and the generation of waste throughout the life of a product. This circular design approach can make products more durable or easier to repair, upgrade or remanufacture. It can help people who recycle to disassemble products to recover valuable materials and components. In general, this focus can help saving precious resources. The circular design implies service design, product design and also material design. Most materials have an infinite life cycle. They can be reused, reshaped and redesigned with a new purpose. By taking advantage of the unexplored potential of the materials, we can implement social, economic, environmental and political changes through an intersectoral approach.

So, what if we use creativity to provide better circular economy solutions through the ideation of new materials?

This "Design of Circular Materials" is a program of Summer School that addresses the training and exposure of new materials designers towards a better circular economy and its positive impact on the industry or the creation of an alternative creative industry. More specifically, the objective of this course is to work on the development of materials driven by waste with a focus on the product, fashion and interior design, through the acquisition of the theoretical foundations of materials, the development of the experimentation and development of practical materials and the development of a communication package for its dissemination.

  • To acknowledge current context in the world of both foundational and state-of -the-art materials 
  • To understand materials characteristics from both a scientific and creative perspective 
  • To address Specialist Materials Designers skills gaps. 
  • To be able to experiment and acquire knowledge in materials processing 
  • To able to recognize a material, a material state, it finish, its potential manufacturing process and possible applications in terms of functional and aesthetic qualities 
  • To adopt a comprehensive view regarding sustainability and efficiencies, in materials applications while preserving and meeting innovation driven value-added approach when developing novelty in a design project 
  • To use adequate terminology and glossary for materials and materials for circular design and to be able to communicate in a visual and engaging form a materials design project

This course of Summer School is carried out at Elisava clasrooms and laboratories, together with Materials capsules visits to the Material Narratives exposition (within Elisava) and to DIY Materials Processing Labs.

The programme consists in 3 blocks: 

Materials for design Foundations: Understanding the historical overview and current state-of-the-art in the world of materials, including materials for circular economies. 

  • Materials foundations: Overview of materials families and their characteristics. Circular materials foundations: glossary of materials for circular design, case studies, sourcing and materials processing.
  • Materials Capsules sessions at Material Narratives, with access to physical samples exploration, wherein materials may be tested, touched, weighed analyzed and witnessed from a physical point of view. 

Hands-on project development: Materials Experimentation in the Laboratory: hands-on development of waste-driven materials Sustainability and industrial impact of materials for circular design.

Communication of the project: Surface design lab: art direction and colour & trim finishings of your project Development of sector market positioning and application Development of visual communication of the Circular materials design project.

Carlos Saez
Carlos has a masters in materials science and engineering (UPM-Madrid) and a bachelor in mechanical engineering (Unizar) as main background. He has 12 years experience working on  the development of new  applications for advanced structural materials, such as composites, high toughness ceramics and polymers across several companies (DuPont, Velcro, Berry Global) and Institutions (Fraunhofer, Elisava). He joined EURECAT in 2018 as senior researcher in the Polymeric Materials Unit, where he is currently developing applied research in three main R+D lines: In-Mold-Electronics, Nanotexturing of polymeric surfaces via injection moulding and production and transformation processes with Biopolymers. Since 2014  he is teaching Advanced Materials as associated professor of the industrial design and engineering school Elisava in Barcelona. He has been selected as a member of the board of experts on EU material-related projects, and since 2013 he is an active contributor of the Biomimicry Iberia Association.

Laura Clèries
Laura Clèries is professor at Elisava School of Design and Engineering and Head of Elisava Research. With both creative and scientific backgrounds, she obtained her BA in Physical Chemistry and her PhD in Materials Science from the University of Barcelona and then pursued degree studies in Industrial Design. Laura has worked internationally as designer in main design companies (Zara Home) and design studios and as researcher for main forecasting publications and think tanks (Pantone Colour Planner, WGSN). As materials innovation consultant, she has worked for EURECAT electronic textiles division, for the architects of Jean Paul Gaultier’s headquarters, and she has curated exhibitions related to materials innovation and forecasting (Materfad - textile area- and ‘Materiality’). Her present research work focuses on futures research methodologies, as well as in materials innovation.

Pere Llorach
During the 2016-2017 academic year, Pere Llorach completed his Doctorate in Environmental Science and Technology at the UAB after 4 years of research aimed at improving the efficiency of the systems of urban agriculture production through the study of the application of new materials and technologies in indoor greenhouses. Pere Llorach has participated in several national projects, has published numerous scientific articles, 5 of which in first level magazines, and has made 5 scientific contributions in renowned congresses in the field of sustainability, agriculture, green cities and life cycle approach. He is currently Head of Sustainability & Gender Equality Agent in Elisava, where he also teaches as a researcher and professor of the Degree in Industrial Design Engineering.

Elisava students have a special discount of 25% of the price in the following programmes: ‘Creación y Renderizado de Objetos y Espacios’ and ‘Las Herramientas del Diseñador Gráfico: Crea, Retoca y Presenta con Suite Adobe’.

The students of the summer course ‘Sustainable Materials for Design’ who decide to take the ‘Master’s Degree in Design through New Materials’ will have a discount corresponding to the amount of the summer course in the master’s price.

Discounts before 15 April *

Participation in a course: 100% of the course price is paid.
Participation in two courses: 100% of the first course is paid and the second course has a 15% discount.
Participation in three or more courses: 100% of the first course is paid, the second course has a 15% discount and the third and subsequent courses have a 20% discount.

Discounts for Alumni Bold *

Participation in a course: 15% Alumni Bold discount
Participation in two courses: 15% Alumni Bold discount on the first course and 20% discount on the second course.
Participation in three or more courses: 15% Alumni Bold discount in the first course, 20% discount in the second and third courses and 25% discount in the following courses.

* All discounts will correspond to the amount of the course with the lowest value.

From April 16, only the standard 15% discount will apply for Alumni Bold.

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