Current team

Scientific director: Javier Peña (PhD)
Project coordinator: Raffaella Perrone (PhD)
Senior researchers: Danae Esparza (PhD), Marta González (PhD), Anna Maria del Corral (PhD)
Research assistants: Alba Pinzolas, Beatriz Martínez, Blanca Guasch, Jessica Fernández, Rocío García
Research associates: María José Araya
Research support: Arnau Llobet
Graphic communication support: Àngela Amorós, Eduard Vidiella.

Javier Peña (PhD)

  • PhD in Chemical Science
  • General Director at ELISAVA
  • Scientific Director at ELISAVA
  • Scientific Director at Materfad

Javier received his Doctorate in Chemical Science from the Barcelona Polytechnic University (2000). He is currently Scientific Director at ELISAVA, Barcelona School of Design and Engineering, and Director of Studies for the Industrial Design Engineering Degree. He has been Scientific Director at Materfad Materials Centre Barcelona since 2008. His research has focused on new functional materials and their selection during the design process. He has directed doctorate theses and has published various research articles in international journals with an impact factor.


He has been the primary researcher in a range of competitive projects with national and European public funding and has been a materials and technology consultant for different privately funded projects.


He is the author and editor of books on the subject of materials, one of his key texts is:

Selección de materiales en el proceso de diseño (Selecting Materials in the Design Process), Barcelona: CPG, 2008.


Javier Peña commissioned the exhibitions: “Mater in Progress. Nuevos Materiales – Nueva Industria” (New Materials – New Industry) (Barcelona 2008, Zaragoza and Madrid 2009), “Multimatheria” (Barcelona 2010), “El Futuro en Construcción” (The future in Construction) (Barcelona 2012), “Materialism European Tour” (London, Copenhagen, Prague, and Barcelona 2013) and “Smart Flexibility” (Barcelona 2014, Melbourne 2015).

Danae Esparza (PhD)

  • PhD in Design and Public Space

Danae graduated with a BA Degree in Design at ELISAVA specialising in Industrial Design in 2004. Between 2004 and 2007 she worked at LEGO® Concept Lab Barcelona, developing new play experiences and studying ethnographics in the family environment. In 2007 she moved to London to study a Master in Design Critical Practice at Goldsmith’s University, London, where she undertook a series of projects for public spaces.


In 2008 she received a grant from La Caixa so she could continue to study the urban environment with a Master of Urban Design at the Universidad de Barcelona. The Catalonia Regional Government granted Danae a scholarship in 2010 to develop the project “Designing the Ground: The Role of Pavement in Creating the City’s Image,” as part of the doctorate programme Public Space and Urban Regeneration: Art, Theory and Heritage Conservation at the University of Barcelona. She graduated as a Doctor in 2014 with an excellent Cum Laude.


She is also a researcher at the CR Polis Consolidated Research Centre for citizen participation projects for designing public space carried out in the Baró de Viver, Bon Pastor and Les Corts neighbourhoods. Currently she is a teacher at ELISAVA.

Marta González (PhD)

  • PhD in Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering
  • Coordinator of the Materials and Sustainability area for the Degree in Engineering of Industrial Design

Marta qualified as a Technical Engineer in Industrial Design at ELISAVA, Barcelona School of Design and Engineering (2003) and Materials Engineering at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (2006).


In 2006 Marta joined the research group Biomaterials, Biomechanics, and Tissue Engineering (BIBITE) at the Catalonia Polytechnic University (UPC), where she developed her doctorate thesis on shape memory alloys for biomedical applications. She received her doctorate in Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering in 2011 (with Cum Laude). She has published her research results in a range of international magazines with an impact factor, and has participated in many conferences in Spain and abroad.


Marta has been teaching at ELISAVA since 2006 and has been responsible for the Materials and Sustainability area for the Degree in Engineering in Industrial Design since 2010. Currently she is also working as a consultant at Materfad, Materials Centre for Fostering Art and Design (FAD), Barcelona.

Anna Mª del Corral (PhD)

  • PhD in Computer Science
  • Coordinator of Product Development area for the Degree in Engineering of Industrial Design

Anna María has a Doctorate in Computer Science (1997) from the Catalonia Polytechnic University and in Engineering in Industrial Design from ELISAVA (2003).


Her most significant research project has been developed over 13 years in the Department of Architecture and Computers at the Catalonia Polytechnic University. Among other subjects, she has worked on innovative hardware solutions for accessing memory in vector processors, research which has been included in many renowned international publications.


As an industrial design engineer she worked for six years at a multinational perfume company developing primary packaging for prestigious brands, celebrities, and toiletries.


Anna María is currently a teacher and coordinator in the area of product development for the Degree in Engineering in Industrial Design (GEDI), Elisava.


She has also been a tutor for several Innovation Labs on Packaging in Elisava for final year degree projects for conceiving and developing inclusive products.

Alba Pinzolas

Alba holds a  BA Degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the Catalonia Open University (2014). Between 2014 and 2015 she studied a Master in Design and Communication (MUDIC) at ELISAVA. Alba’s final project “Smiles” was granted First Class Honours.


She has worked as the Creative Director at Esdeveniments i Turisme Catalunya Central to develop online and offline corporate communication.

Beatriz Martínez-Villagrasa

Beatriz studied BA Degree in Fine Arts at the Madrid Complutense University (2010-2014). During her degree she spent a year in Bologna (Italy) on a scholarship, where she focused on printmaking techniques, photography, and bronze casting.

In 2011 she coordinated and participated in her first collective exhibition “Arranques” Naranjo33, after which various exibitions have taken place around Spain, the United Kingdom, and Italy. Between 2014 and 2015 she studied a Master in Design and Communication (MUDiC) at ELISAVA. At this time she was also a graphics design intern at Bosch and Serret for two months and at Luki Huber Studio for four months.

Blanca Guasch

Graduated in Industrial Design Engineering at ELISAVA  in 2013  and specialised in Product Engineering. She was awarded the Ei! Prize to the best academic record of the graduating class 2013, which opened her the door to study the Master’s Degree in Design and Communication (MUDIC) at ELISAVA during 2014, specialising in Art Direction.
She started her professional career at Benedito Design as a product designer. After finishing her Master’s Degree studies, she launched into the world of graphic design and corporate identity, working as head of the Department of Design at DIFERENTIS between 2015 and 2016.

Jessica Fernández

Jessica holds a BA Degree in Engineering in Industrial Design, ELISAVA (2010) and a Postgraduate Degree in Engineering in Industrial Design from the Valencia Polytechnic University (2010).


She has specialised in design strategy for innovation, and advanced technology applied to engineering and Lateral & Design Thinking. She is currently researching her doctorate thesis on new design paradigms, considering current changes in the technological age.


She is currently the coordinator of the project area of Engineering in Industrial Design at ELISAVA and is also part of the teaching team for the Degree in Engineering in Industrial Design and the Master in Research for Design and innovation (MiDi).

Rocío García Ramos

Rocío holds an Architecture degree and a Master’s Degree in Product Design. She was one of the founding partners of Spanish Design Thinking (, the first platform about this methodology which aims at promoting innovation in the Spanish-speaking community.


After a professional career in the public and private sector, she is currently working as a strategic design consultant and developing educational Design Thinking projects in different universities in Spain and South America.


She was chosen “Emerging Talent” by the El País newspaper. In 2013, Intel selected her as one of the 20 most influential young innovators worldwide. She has a long list of awards in the world of design and innovation in competitions launched by organizations such as Autodesk, Intel, James Dyson Foundation, and NASA Singularity University.

María José Araya

Maria graduated as an architect from the University of Santiago de Chile in 2006. The following year she received her Diploma in Ergonomics from the Department of Industrial Engineering at the same university. In 2012 she received her Master’s in Design for Developing Industrial Products at the Milan Polytechnic University.


In 2006 along with her professional development as an architect and partner at the studio Factos, Arquitectura y Diseño, she started to work as a teacher for the Industrial Design Degree at the Universidad Diego Portales (Chile) and at the School of Architecture at the University of Santiago de Chile.


Currently she works as an academic and researcher for the Industrial Design Degree at the Faculty of Technology and Architecture at the University of Santiago de Chile. In 2015 she began her research collaboration with Elisava, Barcelona School of Design and Engineering.


Her primary areas of interest for research are ergonomics and its relationship with a range of activities and environments, universal accessibility, and the biology of observation in design processes.


She also participates in different entrepreneurship and innovation projects, as part of the University of Santiago de Chile’s committee, launching and leading innovative projects with the manufacturing industry at a regional level.

Arnau Llobet

Arnau holds an Industrial Design Engineering Degree from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), and the Master’s Degree in Product Design from ELISAVA. He has worked as a freelance designer and in a creative design agency.

Àngela Amorós

Àngela is a fourth-year student in the Degree in Technical Engineering of Industrial Design at ELISAVA.

She is very interested in studying abroad and learning different languages. In January 2015 she decided to study at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway for six months. During her stay she had the opportunity to work in packaging for the artisan beer company AUSTMANN. Afterwards she travelled to the United States for two months to perfect her English. She has worked on personal illustration and graphic design projects for schools.

Eduard Vidiella

Eduard is a third-year student in the Degree in Graphic Design at ELISAVA.

He is interested in graphic design, specifically in editorial design since it involves other specialities such as typography, photography and illustration. He usually participates in design projects, but especially enjoys working on his own personal projects.