March 30, 2021

Win a Scholarship for the Master in Design for Emergent Futures 2021-2022

Distributed Design Platform and Fab Lab Barcelona at IAAC are offering one scholarship for a Europe based designer for the Master in Design for Emergent Futures (MDEF) 4th Edition (October 2021 – June 2022).


MDEF is a 9 month theoretical and practical program that engages the expertise of Fab Lab Barcelona, the Institute for Advanced Architecture Catalonia (IAAC) and Elisava, Barcelona School of Design and Engineering. It evolves the practice of design beyond objects, aesthetics, form-finding and pure speculation through a unique hands-on learning approach.


Distributed Design is a European Platform co-Funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. It aims to support and connect creatives, designers, makers, and innovators to participate in the creation of a new model of production and consumption – Distributed Design envisions a world in which “bits travel globally, while atoms stay local.” The Platform is coordinated by Fab Lab Barcelona and comprises 17 member organisations from 13 countries in Europe including the Danish Design Centre, Innovation Centre Iceland and Polifactory, Politecnico di Milano. The platform delivers over 40 events yearly to audiences on and offline of over 1 million. Platform activities include residencies, Awards and Summer Schools, in 2021 this may also include programming such as Maker to Market Accelerator, which Scholarship winners will be invited to join.


The scholarship covers 50% of the total tuition costs of the MDEF program for one designer as well as the opportunity to participate in yearly activities of the Distributed Design Platform.


About the Course

MDEF is a multidisciplinary course which focuses on turning ideas into prototypes, platforms, actions and interventions to transform the current state of society. Students are encouraged to produce platforms, products and deployments that aim to respond to emergent futures. Our method is to propose small-scale interventions to approach large-scale challenges, in order to dissolve wicked problems, instead of solving them with single moonshot solutions. 

The Master has four stages: Exploration, Instrumentation, Reflection and Application. These four steps provide designers with the strategic vision and tools to work at multiple scales in the real world. The theoretical and practical content in the program recognises and explores the possibilities of disruptive technologies; digital fabrication, blockchain, synthetic biology, Artificial Intelligence and more. 

The international environment at IAAC welcomes students from 68 countries and over 200 disciplines, which provides all students on campus the opportunity to expand their professional and personal experiences. Students in the MDEF course engage in courses across IAAC, Fab Lab Barcelona, and ELISAVA facilities. 

? More information can be found here

How to apply for the Scholarship 

To apply please complete the form below by April 30 2021 – 23:59 (CET)*

Applications may be made in Spanish or English. Applicants should upload the following with their applications:

  • Curriculum Vitae in the form of PDF
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Portfolio in the form of a website, online profile or PDF showing your design work
  • A 1-page PDF letter of motivation explaining why you as a designer want to join the Master in Design for Emergent Futures


*If you have already applied to the MDEF program please indicate it when filling-in the form by clicking the checkbox.



Applicant Requirements

In order to participate, candidates must: 



Application timeline

April 7th: Applications open

April 30th: Applications close

? May 3rd – 5th: Review by internal jury

? May 6th – 10th: Winner acceptance

? Week of May 16th: Scholarship announcement

? October 2021: MDEF program starts



Selection Committee

The selections will be with input from MDEF program Directors, Tomas Diez and Oscar Tomico, and the Fab Lab Barcelona Distributed Design team. 


Selection Criteria

Ideal applicants should be able to display an ability to apply experimentation and design theory through invention, imagination, speculation, and demonstrate skill sets of prototyping, scenario building, and foresight.

A note about COVID-19

Fab Lab Barcelona, the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and ELISAVA are taking every measure possible to ensure student safety whilst allowing access to in-person learning. Classes and access to the lab is managed in respect to local regulations. Learn more about Fab Lab Barcelona’s hybrid learning programs in this blog post.


Scholarship Terms and Conditions


  • Submitted portfolio and statement of motivation must be original and may not infringe on the rights of a third party.
  • Distributed Design organisation its legal entities are not responsible for the authenticity of the information included by the designers in the open call form.
  • Distributed Design organisation and its legal entities are not responsible for claims of plagiarism.
  • In the event that the winner decides not to accept the scholarship, the jury may assign the scholarship to another candidate. 
  • The failure to complete  the course during the 2021-2022 academic year will entail the loss of the scholarship. Students with scholarships cannot defer their grant to subsequent academic years. In any case the scholarship will be paid in cash to the student. 
  • The scholarship can be made void if the jury determines that the candidate does not meet the established requirements. 
  • The scholarship recipient agrees to participate in Distributed Design Platform activities and related activities and campaigns upon request from the Distributed Design team.
  • Distributed Design organisation its legal entities reserve the right without any compensation to use submitted texts and visual materials for communication purposes; including, but not limited to, press material, brochures, websites and third-party marketing materials.
  • Failure to comply with any of the obligations described will result in the loss of the scholarship. 
  • By applying to this scholarship, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions and confirm your compliance and eligibility to enter the contest.

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