Driven by curiosity-based and practice-led exploration, the Master Industrial Design is a platform for imagining how design can make technology more relevant to our lives. Through prototyping and debating tangible expressions of things to come, the course enables designers to play a meaningful role in shaping technological futures.
“What if humans are a phase in the history of technology?”
– Bogna Konior on Stanisław Lem
Designers are often taught to frame every issue, no matter how complex, as a problem to be solved. In the Industrial Design Master, we believe that designing for complex realities requires more inclusive approaches geared towards transdisciplinary exchange and collaborations. The two-year programme builds upon a hybrid understanding of design in which its tangible and expressive potential aligns with imaginative and critical perspectives. By expanding the concept of industrial design, the course brings together prototypes with thought experiments and innovations with speculations in exploring potential technological applications and their implications. Against a backdrop of rapidly shifting ecological, societal and technical relations, students are empowered to go beyond convenience-driven and user-centred design to envision and enable opportunities for more meaningful forms of interaction.
The Master Industrial Design provides an education for designers that enables them to play significant and meaningful roles in the development of technological futures. The two-year programme offers a platform where designers can engage with scientific research and emerging technologies to explore real-life impacts and implications for everyday life. The course aims to cultivate practice-based approaches, where students develop their design and research skills through interdisciplinary projects that are experimental, speculative or innovation-led.
During the first year, the focus is placed on improving your ability to engage in research and personal reflection, expanding your design and communication repertoire and building research knowledge in relation to your field of interest. In a series of set individual and collaborative projects, you will explore different design approaches, contexts and roles in relation to speculative and innovation-led practices. All of the projects, methods and learnings in the first year are instrumental for building towards your own MA project and producing a body of work that reflects the professional context you wish to practice in.
At the start of the second year, you are expected to initiate your own thesis project and to define whether it is aimed at design for innovation or design for speculation. Throughout the third and fourth semesters, you will become progressively independent. The final semester is entirely devoted to the implementation of your design project, completion of the written thesis and presentation of the work in an exhibition context. The course offerings will evolve each year to reflect the students’ practices and the changing nature of the design profession in response to the world around us.
A quarter of the course time is reserved for the cross-disciplinary Minor programme. This programme sharpens writing skills and teaches research methods, design theory and methodology, digital research techniques, presentation skills and entrepreneurship. Students can also choose between a range of courses focused on future careers: applied entrepreneurial (design as artefact), critical and speculative (design as statement) or communicative and reflective (design as reflection).
Head of Master programme Lukas Franciszkiewicz