Spotlight on the MDEF graduate creatives of 2020

The projects Organic Matters, Gardenfit and Pangea are delving into emergent futures

  • Sep 4, 2020
  • 3 MIN READ

2020 has been a hard year so far, so we’re here to lighten up your news feed with some inspirational projects from this year’s Master in Design for Emergent Futures class of 2020 graduates. Despite graduating (online) the students have gone above and beyond with their projects to establish themselves as impactful creatives in the design and maker world. Below lists a selection of some of the students’ projects this year, and how they are continuing their projects.

Organic Matters – Laura Freixas

Laura, during her Master’s study, focused on connecting local producers, material designers and industry to identify regenerative and compostable strategies for circular systems with her Organic Matters platform. Laura is continuing her focus on materials, running the ‘De la Molecula al Objeto’ workshops with Cristina Noguer, hosted at the TMDC Makerspace and Workshop in Barcelona, Spain. The workshop created an air diffuser with natural Pine tree by-products, whilst exploring and questioning the importance of material knowledge, sensitivity and discoverability.

Gardenfit – Magda Mojsiejuk

Why did we ever pay for the gym? The 2019 Coronavirus crisis has given rise to whole new home fitness regimes, in which the garden is appearing at the top of the weightlifting charts. Magda, during her Masters, identified an opportunity in the closure of gyms and workout spaces. Through combining the garden and fitness, Magda developed ‘Gardenfit’. Gardenfit not only works on your physical fitness – in which, gardening is extremely good for – but also your mental health. This project doesn’t just work on personal shape, it reintroduces local food back into our periphery, supporting more sustainable, local and resilient systems with a visual language that many consumers easily understand. Magda will display her project in September at the 2020 Vienna Design Week.

Jan Wysock, 2020
Stefan Sajdak, 2020

Pangea Co Design – Tommaso Salini & Hala Amer

How can Fab Labs and maker spaces create inclusive societies? Tommaso and classmate Hala Amer during the Master in Design for Emergent Futures programme worked on developing the methodology and tools for ‘Refugee Tech’ with their online/offline Pangea Co Design platform. Working with Open Cultural Centre (OCC) in Barcelona, the pair hosted two workshops at Fab Lab Barcelona – ‘Magic Machines’ and ‘Reuse and Recreate Clothes’. These workshops aimed to technologically upskill and connect migrants, using Fab Labs and maker spaces as the focal point for connection. During the COVID-19 period, the workshops were shifted online, offering distributed workshops and work sessions from home. Tommaso has developed the open-source ‘Pangea Co-creation Kitlab’ which holds everything you need to host two different upskilling workshops, whether you are at home or in a Fab Lab. During the quarantine, Tommaso, Hala and the OCC successfully applied and took part in the European Solidarity Corps Open Call with the proposal to continue the Pangea Co Design project. The European Solidarity Corps is a funding programme of the European Union that creates opportunities for young people to volunteer, work, train and run their own solidarity projects that benefit communities around Europe.

The three projects illustrated above are just a selection of the design strategies, products and platforms created by the 2020 class of the Master in Design for Emergent Futures. The projects reflect the diversity of approaches taken from within the master, combining taught skills with personal passion and an overall outlook on sustainability. This has produced projects which stand to inspire, upskill, connect, and strengthen our connection with our environments, each other and ourselves. The master will continue, as ever, to challenge the students in the upcoming years, questioning the multiple scales of human habitat, our knowledge of ourselves, our environment, and continue to diverge into the unexpected, surprising and exciting emergent futures to come.

Cover image – ‘Gardenfit’ (Stefan Sajda, Warsaw 2020).

About the author