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Master in Design through New Materials

Basic data


Master in Design through New Materials, degree awarded by Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and ELISAVA Barcelona School of Design and Engineering.


From September to June // Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 5 p.m. to 9.15 p.m.

ECTS Credits





BA degree in design, engineering, architecture, arts or related fields.


Year 2019-2020: 11,000 € (plus 400 € registration fee).

Documents + Selection

Academic and professional CV + Portfolio/Projects + Motivation letter. Selection: Based on background, professional motivation and personal commitment criteria.


The Master is carried out at ELISAVA and Materfad (Barcelona Design Hub) facilities.

Field trip

One field trip to a European city is carried out during the Master. The stay involves a 5-day intensive workshop in a Materials Centre or Design Studio from our network. Travel and location expenses are not included in the enrollment fees.


Materfad-ELISAVA. Main Course leader: Laura Clèries (


Could materials define the way our future is built? Understanding new materials in order to create new opportunities.

We are surrounded by materials. Materials are now at the core of innovation, generating impact not only in industry, but on society and even cultural values. Materials are no longer defined at the end of the design process, but are part of the early design development. Moreover, consumers pay more attention to the materials they surround themselves with, they are far more literate and interested in materials innovation than before. Materials-driven innovation allows for new industries being developed, more sustainable solutions found, and more creative design processes put into place.

In this context, the Master in Design through New Materials aims to generate a new breed of ‘materials design specialists’ in transdisciplinary fields, providing a working knowledge and active mastery of new materials as agents in innovation. It joins rigorous and applied university knowledge in design through materials (ELISAVA) with industrial materials innovation (Materfad, materials innovation hub and library), and it is held in Barcelona, home of social and technological innovation.

With an international spirit, the programme includes one overseas workshop at a selected European materials centre or design studio, up-to-date insights from relevant international materials-driven design experts, and a network of leading materials-related innovation hubs and industries.

The contents and methodology of the course allow to experience both theory of materials and hands-on workshops; to envision innovation from research to industry, from speculative to applied projects, and to adopt a scientific, creative and multidisciplinary attitude on the field.

The professional orientation of the master allows textile designers, product designers, engineers, architects or interior designers to produce a Final Master Project - on an entrepreneurial basis or for an industrial partner - that results in a new material, a new product collection, or a new architectural project with focus on materials, sustainability, innovation, creativity and near-future inspired solutions.

“…in the near future, there will be a growing need
for designers who can work in and across different
types of materials. For example, we see bamboo
architects as being an up-and-coming design field,
as the Western world embraces the possibilities of
a weightbearing material that can grow three feet
in 24 hours and can be bent, laminated, joined, and
stripped, as Asia has”.

“…the intelligent mixing of fabrics (for comfort)
and plastics and metals (for structure and
function) would have significant benefits for
health care and sports products”. 

Master's Degree in Design through New Materials

Master in Design through New Materials. In conversation with...


This Master's course aims:

  • To generate a new breed of ‘materials design specialist’ professionals in transdisciplinary fields.
  • To train professionals on new creative ways of making and communicating.
  • To prepare professionals for the new opportunities arising from the consolidation of materials and related technologies as innovation boosters.
  • To train professionals in the development of projects with social, environmental and technological concerns.


At the end of the course, the student will:

  • be able to analyse future socio-cultural scenarios and contextualise new materials in a global context.
  • be able to select and apply materials, technologies and manufacturing processes in design and the specific nature of the development processes.
  • acquire the skills for the ideation of applications of new materials.
  • be able to evaluate sustainability aspects and environmental impact of materials for industry application.
  • be able to experiment with new materials and related technologies in order to produce new material applications, new material developments, or new material languages.
  • be able to generate families of colour and trim as well as materials languages applied to brand and market placement.
  • be able to generate a sound narrative and strategy in order to successfully position a material within the market or sector.
  • be able to recognize the potential of new business models associated to the materials and related technologies being generated.

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