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Bootcamp - Landing Week

Published: October 3, 2023

Too Long Didn’t Read

My first week in the design program was a whirlwind of experiences. We met the faculty and fellow students with diverse backgrounds, shared personal items in an exercise promoting vulnerability, attended inspiring lectures on innovative design projects, and learned about documenting design and creating a portfolio website. Together, we built a mini fablab in our classroom, fostering collaboration and creativity. The program focuses on exploring complex concepts related to emerging futures, making it an exciting journey of learning and self-discovery.

03/10/23 - First day and intro lecture:

On our first day of proper class (after the faff of registration), we were welcomed by Guillem and Tomas (two of the programme directors) and introduced to all the faculty members who will be supporting us throughout the course. They what we would be focusing on this semester and in the beginning the amount of work ahead of us seemed overwhelming and for a moment I thought “shit, have I bitten off more than I can chew here?” however, we were reminded that we are not designing alone and that we have the support of our peers, we are all in the same boat and our diverse backgrounds, ranging from politics, environmental conservation, business, and design is precisely what will see us through the programme, as everyone has a wealth of expertise and experience to offer that will always lend a new perspective or angle.

We also met Laura, the third director of the program, who has a PhD in Philosophy. Although some of her concepts went over my head, I am excited to learn more. We took part in an exercise where we brought an item that held personal meaning to us and placed it in the context of epistemic knowledge theories. This exercise aimed to encourage vulnerability and sharing among the group. I shared my backpack, which symbolizes adventure, knowledge, and reminds me of my partner, who gave it to me.

Throughout the lecture, I found myself trying to plan my interventions and visualize the work to be done, but I realized that it was distracting me from being present in the moment. The faculty members are supportive and enthusiastic about helping us grow as creatives. The program seems to be constantly evolving and pushing the boundaries of design education.

objects of meaning lecture objects of meaning exercise
Objects of meaing lecture and exercise

04/10/23 - Faculty Research areas and Poblenou Tour

The day started with lectures from Guillem and Tomas, who shared their projects, research focus, and the impact they are making. The range of projects was inspiring, from sustainable hydrogen production to noise reduction smart citizen kits. The Fablab and Fabcity projects stood out for their innovative approach to rapid prototyping and design for the majority. After the lectures, we had a tour of Poblenou led by Chiara, one of our faculty members. We visited various projects and foundations in the area, including Biciclot, Bioma, Transfolabs, and Gallery.

05/10/2023 - Documenting Design intro, building with Gitlab and Classroom rearranging with mini fablab

The day began with a class on documenting design taught by Pablo Zuolaga, a former MDEF alumni. Pablo emphasized the importance of keeping a comprehensive log of our projects and creative work. He shared examples of how documenting his process opened new opportunities for him. Pablo highlighted the use of pictures and videos to make documentation engaging and provided insights on storytelling through project documentation. We were encouraged to keep a log of our daily activities as a way to track our thoughts, feelings, and processes.

Later, Josep Marti taught us how to create a personal portfolio website using Github and Gitbash. Although I struggled with the setup, I found the idea of coding my own website exciting and empowering (though as of the time of this writing I have only just got my head round how to code this bloody site properly —thanks to ChatGPT). Afterwards, we spent time rearranging the classroom to better suit our needs then headed down to Fablab on the ground floor and as a group (definitely looked like too many cooks in the kitchen, though if you looked close enough you’d actually see a well oiled machine of naive joy at work) we built a series of workbenches to create a mini fablab in the classroom. It was a collaborative effort that allowed us to see how we would work together and forge a stronger bond amongst our small cohort 😃.

fablab building fablab building 2 building fablab 4 building fablab 5
building a mini fablab for the classroom

06/10/23 - Exploring Elisava Design School Campus and Faculty member Laura’s Research background

We visited the Elisava campus and received an introduction to the facilities. It was impressive to see the high-tech resources available to us. Laura Benitez, the third director of our program and a doctor in philosophy, gave a lecture on her research background. She covered topics such as biohacking, trans and post humanism, and transfeminism. While some concepts were difficult to grasp, I look forward to delving deeper into her research. It seems that her lectures will focus on introspection and exploring our fight, purpose, and creative development in relation to emerging futures.

elisava print room

Intro lecture to the Elisava graphics room

If you’ve found this article interesting in any way, or think there is anything else I should add, please leave a comment down below! 👇 Feedback is always appreciated! 😃