What is made?

MaDe (Material Designers) is a competition, event series and platform devoted to realising the positive impact material designers can have across all creative sectors.

MaDe is a project, co-funded by Creative Europe Programme of The European Union, which aims at boosting talents towards circular economies across Europe.

Material Designers are agents of change. They can design, redesign, reform, reuse and redefine materials giving them an entirely new purpose. Increasing the potential of materials they can go on to research, advise, educate and communicate what materials are and can be in the immediate, near and far future, implementing positive social, economical, political and environmental change across all sectors towards a responsibly designed future.

Aims of MaDe

MaDe is a program that aims at providing a platform which recognises the infinite potential materials and their designers have across all creative sectors aiming at creating a circular economy.

MaDe’s competition, series of workshops, exhibitions and awards will showcase and demonstrate the positive impact that material designers can have across industry which will kickstart the futures of those hoping to affect the European material landscape by offering the three chosen winners with paid industry placements.

MaDe Competition

The MaDe competition is open for entries. We welcome applications from a cross-section of aspiring and established multidisciplinary material designers across Europe to apply.

There are three partners involved Elisava, Ma-tt-er and Polimi. All three organisations and practices will be guiding MaDe throughout the duration of the competition, event series and platform which will run from 2019 - 2020.

MaDe Brief

Are you a researcher, design professional, graduate or student working within material design? Does your work drive positive change within society?

Each material design application should challenge, question and reframe our pre-existing knowledge surrounding the material world and help us redefine the role of a material designer which encourages responsible social, technological and ecological perspectives on material use and applications for today and tomorrow.

We’re looking for material designers that are developing their chosen materials within closed-loop systems, rethinking material applications, repurposing material surpluses and extending the potential of traditional material processes.

MaDe offers the opportunity for material designers to be recognised for their contribution to creating a positive social, economical, environmental and political impact and be recognised for it across all creative sectors.

If you're living in Italy, UK or Spain please apply to the MaDe workshops in the relevant cities.


How to enter MaDe

Stage 1: Open Call

The competition will begin with an open call which you can apply to directly on the MaDe website. Submit your entry to become part of a Creative Europe funded project that aims to boost the talent of material designers across Europe. The aim is to provide a platform giving recognition to the infinite potential materials and their designers have across all creative sectors encouraging a circular economy.

Stage 2: Workshops

If you’re lucky enough to make the selection process all 120 participants will then have the opportunity to take part in a unique five day series of material development workshop across Barcelona, London and Milan. Twenty participants will be chosen for each workshop from each city and each partner Elisava, Ma-tt-er and Polimi will run two, one week-long workshops from April to November 2019.

For each workshop, the project will pay the flights and hosting of 10 foreign participants from the European zone.

During the workshops participants will be guided by experts in the field of materials science, sustainability, materials design, communication and/or business model to develop their own materials and explore their potential in products and industry.

Each workshop will be structured as follows:
Day 1. Materials first exploration: material sensor
Day 2. Tinkering: trying different material recipes
Day 3. Refining recipes and samples
Day 4. Demonstration of material potential
Day 5. Material narrative and presentation

MaDe covers the flights and hosting of 10 foreign, but European, participants per workshop.
The project will cover flights, hosting and substance costs of the 3 finalist required to do the professional stage; as well as, flights and hosting to assist to the awards ceremony in Barcelona, where the winner will be proclaimed

Stage 3: Platform

All 120 chosen participants will be featured on the MaDe online platform which will feature each of persons profile, materials and talents. The MaDe platform acts as a gateway into industry, encouraging talent spotting which aims to kickstart material design careers across a number of creative sectors.

Stage 4: Exhibitions

Proceeding the workshops and platform profiles there will be a further shortlist made of eighteen finalists. These lucky material designers will have the unique opportunity to develop their materials further to have them exhibited in some of the most world renowned design weeks and design festivals; Milan Design Week, Barcelona Design Week and London Design Festival in the year 2020,

Stage 5: Awards

The highly esteemed judging panel and the three partners will make a final selection of three winners. An awards ceremony will take place at the end of 2020 in Barcelona, where the three final winners will be awarded a bespoke trophy. All 120 participants will be able to attend the awards ceremony.

Stage 6: Industry Experience

Three of the eighteen shortlisted participants will be awarded the opportunity to undertake a three month material design paid placement within industry to kickstart their careers as agents of change; MaDe (Material Designers).

1st Entries Open
  • Milan 1st March 2019, 08:00 CET
  • London 18th March 2019, 08:00 GMT
  • Barcelona 15th April 2019, 08:00 CET
1st Entries Close
  • Milan 24th March 2019, 23.59 CET
  • London 21st April 2019, 23.59 GMT
  • Barcelona 19th May 2019, 23.59 CET
2nd Entries Open
  • London 8th July 2019, 08:00 GMT
  • Barcelona 12th August 2019, 08:00 CET
  • Milan 16th September 2019, 08:00 CET
2nd Entries Close
  • London 8th August 2019, 23.59 GMT
  • Barcelona 8th September 2019, 23.59 CET
  • Milan 29th November 2019, 23.59 CET
1st Workshop Dates
  • 1st – 5th April, Milan, Politecnico di Milano
  • 20th – 24th May, London, Ma-tt-er Studio
  • 11th – 15th June, Barcelona, Elisava School of Design
2nd Workshop Dates
  • 16th – 20th September, London, Ma-tt-er Studio
  • 7th – 11th October, Barcelona, Elisava School of Design
  • 13th – 17th January 2020 , Milan, Politecnico di Milano
Shortlist Announced
  • TBA
Exhibition Dates
  • Milan Design Week April 2020
  • Barcelona Design Week June 2020
  • London Design Festival September 2020
Winners Announced
  • TBA
Awards Ceremony
  • November 2020
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