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Elisava Barcelona School of Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Spain Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

We promote education, knowledge, research and innovation in the fields of design and industrial design engineering, preparing students to meet international professional challenges and promoting the relationship of our community with the business world, its institutions and society.

International Role

At Elisava, we have established agreements with over 80 centres in Europe, the United States and Latin America, and we participate in several exchange, cooperation and research programmes with foreign academic institutions. Experience enables us to confirm that there is a two-fold benefit: it encourages the circulation of knowledge, and it improves the disciplines taught at the school.

Elisava’s international outlook is based on various associations and programmes. We form part of the Cumulus Network, which groups together over 100 renowned institutions worldwide to promote international cooperation. We have joined ELIA, the globally connected European network that provides a dynamic platform for professional exchange and development in higher arts education. With over 260 members in 48 countries, it represents over 300.000 students in all arts disciplines. We are also a member of the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE). We collaborate with the Government of Catalunya and the City Council and a network of international student exchange programmes.

We also participate in the Lifelong Learning Programme / Erasmus, promoted by the European Union to make Europe more accessible to students, and vice versa. Besides participating in LLP and Erasmus, we have signed our own bilateral agreements which allows us to increase its offering beyond the European framework.

We're Desis Network Member (www.desisnetwork.org) and partners of Open Design Festival Capetown, Victoria and Albert Museum Digital Design Weekend, Government of Catalunya, Municipality of Barcelona, Barcelona Activa, Fablabs, Maker Districts, CCCB Centre Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona, Neighobour Councils, Students Associations, European Networks of Living Labs.

National Role

Elisava was the first Design School founded in Spain in 1961 by a group of professionals and cultural intellectuals (theorists, architects and designers) committed to social and cultural change. It is a School for questioning preconceived ideas, for enhancing all capabilities, for exploring new paths, for connecting with professionals and designing alternatives. We want to build a better world and we can help to transform it with design and engineering. 

We promote collaborations with spanish and catalan companies, institutions, NGOs, studios… such as Fútbol Club Barcelona, elBullifoundation, SEAT, Kave Home, Ajuntament de Barcelona, Fundació Arrels, MACBA, Lékué, Obra Social La Caixa, Roca, Primavera Sound, Santa & Cole, Telefónica, among others, to carry out real projects that generate impact at a local and global level.

In short, we are a plural space nourished by a constantly changing multi-cultural society where we wonder about the world around us, where innovation is critical and absolutely necessary. We train future designers and engineers who will work to improve the human habitat.

Main Focus

At Elisava we understand design and engineering as instruments to change the world through creativity, innovation and critical thinking. For almost 60 years we have been committed to an open, flexible and multidisciplinary line of education and research oriented towards the professional world. We have trained more than 17,000 students from 70 countries to help them address and overcome professional challenges, while bearing in mind social, environmental and gender-related aspects.

The School is a hub of connections that promotes and reinforces relationships with companies, institutions, NGOs, studios, designers, engineers and architects. We defend that knowledge must generate impact at a local and global level and transform into advancement and development. We collaborate with partners like Fútbol Club Barcelona, elBullifoundation, Adidas, Vitra, Doctors Without Borders, SEAT, Danone and MUJI, among others, to carry out real projects.

We believe in doing and experimentating as integrating elements of knowledge and drivers of change. For this reason, our educational model is based on work through projects, promoting teamwork and transdisciplinarity to obtain the best results.

At Elisava we believe that university studies should be a personal, vital and transcendent experience. Thus, promoted and empowered by content, people, tools and environments, the student will learn to generate ideas and overcome challenges that shape new paradigms and realities. We encourage the development of their skills so that they become the professional they want to be.

Bachelor Level Programs

+ Undergraduate Degree in Design and Innovation (4 years, 240 ECTS)

Graphic design
Product design
Space design
Interactive Experiences design 

+ Undergraduate Degree in Industrial Design Engineering (4 years, 240 ECTS)

Design and Materials
Development and Simulation
Management and Data

Master Level Programs

+ Master's Degree in Design and Communication (Official Master's Degree, 60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Branding (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Set Design for Theatre, Film and TV (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Packaging Design (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Creative Direction and Communication (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Design and Art Direction (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Retail Space: Retail Design (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Interior Design (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Interior Design of Hotels, Bars and Restaurants (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Furniture Design (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Product Design and Development (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Research for Design and Innovation (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Data and Design (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Industrial Design Engineering (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Illustration and Comics (60 ECTS)

+ Master’s Degree in Visual Design (60 ECTS)

+ Master’s Degree in Editorial Design (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Photography and Design (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Design and Audiovisual Creativity (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in 3D Automotive and Product Digital Modelling (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Design and Management of User Experience and Digital Services (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Ephemeral Architecture and Temporary Spaces (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Design through New Materials (60 ECTS)

+ Master's Degree in Design for Emergent Futures (60 ECTS, Elisava + IAAC)

+ Master's Degree in Advanced Design Management, Strategy and Entrepreneurship (60 ECTS)

+ Mention in Research – Postgraduate Degree in Management and Communication of an Applied Design Project (60 ECTS, Elisava + ISEC Lisboa)

+ Postgraduate in Packaging Design and Strategy (30 ECTS) 

+ Postgraduate in Graphic and Structural Packaging Design (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Design and Communication Strategies (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Creative Direction and Advertising (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Art Direction (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Interior Space Design. Private Perimeters (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Interior Space Design. Work Spaces (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Retail Design. Design and Space: Shopping (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Retail Design. Design and Concept: Branding (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Design of Bars and Restaurants (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Interior Design for Hotels and New Hostelling (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Product Concept (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Product Development (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Furniture Design for Communities, Contract and Urban (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Furniture design for the Habitat (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Web Project Management and UX Design (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Design of Network Applications and Interactive Services (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Coolhunting. Design and Global Trends (30 ECTS)

+ Postgraduate in Innovation and Design Thinking (30 ECTS)

Research Activity and Main Areas

Elisava Research is the R&D department of Elisava – Barcelona School of Design and Engineering. Our work aims to help build an innovative, ethical, sustainable and healthy society via research through design and engineering. We are constantly asking ourselves the question: What role do design and engineering have in responding to present and future challenges? Our mission is to generate an impact in and transfer knowledge to academic, industrial and cultural contexts, and to society as a whole. As a research group, we are an innovation driver whose vision is to shake the foundations of established academic, humanistic, industrial, cultural and societal mindsets, using design and engineering as our tools. Our research and professional community strongly believe that, given the paradigm shifts of the 21st century, designers and engineers must become problem solvers, humanists, strategists and agents of change. Elisava Research is a vibrant group of academic researchers in the fields of design and engineering and a solid ecosystem of international partners and collaborators who are all working to achieve excellence in research through design. Elisava Research has managed to gain recognition for this type of research as a valid research discipline, having been officially designated as an Emerging Research Group by national research agencies. 

At Elisava Research we see design and engineering not only as a field of research in its own right, but also as being intrinsically in dialogue with other branches of knowledge. Specifically, Elisava Research forges transdisciplinary connections between design/engineering and other fields to make an impact in the following ways:
+ Design/Engineering + Human: Towards improving the quality of life and well-being of individuals.
+ Design/Engineering + Information: Towards innovative and meaningful ways of communicating.
+ Design/Engineering + Materials: Towards environmental and cultural responsibility through materials development and new production processes.
+ Design/Engineering + Technology: Towards meaningful applications of technology and extended intelligence.
+ Design/Engineering + Society: Towards social and systemic innovation and critical thinking that supports emerging cultural megatrends.

In terms of methodologies, Elisava Research practices both research in design and research for design, but mainly strives to produce knowledge by means of research through design and design-driven futures research methodologies. The Academic Research is organised into three Labs or Knowledge transfer centers: Creative Think&Do Tank (Resilience through Creativity); Materials and Well-Being (Well-Being for humans and the planet); and Phygtital Transformations (Technology for the people). 

We strongly believe in the power of knowledge transfer and knowledge exchange. We do resesearch by being actively engaged in European-funded projects and through company innnovation projects. From Creative Europe to Horizon 2020 programs, we have an European and internactional ecosystem of accademic and non-academic collaborators.

In terms of publications, we specifically edit and publish Temes de Disseny, an indexated and open-access Design Research Journal that has the purpose to strengthen design as a research discipline that merits attaining the same value as any other discipline to become an area and a field of knowledge. A special emphasis has been placed in including research through design due to its great potential as an integrating agent amongst disciplines. Each annual edition focuses on a specific topic, chosen by the Editors-in-chief and the Editorial Board —formed by a selection of local and international experts with different approaches to design research— and directed by a Guest Editor. In terms of strategic actions, we are co-host o several Design rseearch congresses and implemnet transfer to society thorugh exhibitions and events.

Doctorate Level Programs

Elisava has direct access to two doctoral programmes (DA in Design and Communication; DA in Experimental Science & Technology) and holds two international doctorate studies programmes (with TUEindhoven, Lisboa ISEC). Elisava Research also forges interdisciplinary connections with other Doctoral programmes from other national Universities. The lenghth of Doctoral studies spans from 3 years (full time) to 5 years (part time).

Subject Areas for Exchange Students

+ Undergraduate Degree in Design and Innovation (4 years, 240 ECTS)

Graphic design
Product design
Space design
Interactive Experiences design 

+ Undergraduate Degree in Industrial Design Engineering (4 years, 240 ECTS)

Product design
Product management
Product development

Application Deadlines

+ 1st term: June, 15th
+ 2nd term: October, 15th
+ 3rd term: December, 15th

Teaching Languages

Spanish, Catalan, English.

Semester Dates

+ 1st term: October-December
+ 2nd term: January-March
+ 3rd term: April-June

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

1000€ – 1200€


Bachelor: 17.000
Master: 17.000
Doctorate: 33

Exchange Students

Incoming: 51
Outgoing: 50
Others: 30

Teaching Staff

Professors: 126
Other permanent teachers: 49
Part-time Teachers: 821

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