Master in Design Management


Program Description

The Master in Design Management combines the sensitivity and methodology of design with the market’s added value creation and management strategies so as to streamline an organization’s innovation processes.

In today’s world, design is a pivotal strategic tool when it comes to innovation and change (involving organizations, society, technology, business…) owing to its potential to offer co-creative solutions that simultaneously meet the needs of the brand, the market, and the company by studying users and their needs. It is, therefore, important for designers, on the one hand, to understand the business reality if they are to play an active part in the enterprise and in their surroundings. On the other hand, company managers stand to gain from understanding the potential of design in the process of creating added value.

This course encourages its professionals to apply specific, agile and innovative methodologies to develop real projects for real companies, thus fostering a culture of innovation and experimentation. As well as talks, conferences, and workshops, the course includes two trips to cities around Europe such as Amsterdam or Geneva, ending with a final personal research project.


This intensive program aims to provide students with the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge and tools and experience to become Design Management professionals.

  • Enable Design, Marketing, Engineering, and Business Management professionals to overcome disciplinary boundaries in order to grow into key drivers of organizational success.
  • Develop into leaders capable of combining creativity, managerial skills and entrepreneurial mindsets within the constraints of Business realities.
  • Assist Designers and non-Designers in understanding how design management can contribute to the creation of sustainable value within the Business environment.
  • Help Designers become Design Managers, Design Managers become Design Leaders and Design Leaders become innovation leaders of the future.
  • Provide students with Design and Business Management tools that will enable them to become powerful key contributors in the Value Creation Chain, within the corporate environment or as independent professionals.
  • Develop proficiency in using the tools provided. Students will be able to identify appropriate use of these tools to balance academic and practical knowledge, efficiency in communication and ability to evaluate necessary trade-offs when faced with real business challenges.
  • Expand the student’s roles and capabilities in working with innovation teams.
  • Encourage critical thinking to allow students to be active citizens of our global society


At IED Barcelona Design Management is taught by a faculty body of practitioners from Design & Business, through the immersion and practice of different innovation and strategic methodologies, analysis of case studies and the execution of a real-industry project commissioned either by multinational companies competing in the global economy, or local companies competing in the international markets. This approach facilitates the training in decision making, placing the students in a real context for innovation and experimentation.

Following the learning-by-doing methodology, students are constantly developing relevant projects in teams. The learnings and competencies achieved will be applied at the transversal real-industry project alongside the program. The Design Management Master students are hosted in a dedicated classroom, a space that it's transformed into an innovative design studio where students experiment with new tools and knowledge, with the guidance of the faculty. Small groups of students in the class facilitate the application of this hands-on methodology.

Design managers most likely won’t need to design in detail themselves, but they must be able to communicate very clearly their concepts, either to the business staff or to the design team in order to achieve the desired results. Therefore the students are taught a very diverse set of tools, to train their skills to a level where they can communicate well and lose the fear to discuss at sketch level or through a video.

With the aim of creating synergies between futures professionals, some transversal activities are held for exchanging knowledge with students of different programs. This is also part of IED philosophy.

Personal Research Project

The Personal Research Project is the single most important piece of written work that students undertake during their RSP Research Study Program. PRP is the culmination Master and should demonstrate that the student has acquired skills, knowledge and analytical capabilities.

The project is an original piece of research involving primary data collection which aim is to undertake an individual work that meets the requirements outlined in these guidelines in order to achieve a passing grade.

The objectives of the thesis process are the following:

  • To identify a feasible project in the student’s area of study.
  • To establish clearly defined objectives and/or questions to be investigated.
  • To design and implement an appropriate (design research/process) methodology.
  • To understand the adding value proposition (concept).
  • To create a business development plan based on the previous concept.
  • To create feasible and concrete design proposals.
  • To demonstrate analytical skills and produce valid findings.
  • To apply theory to practical reality.
  • To draw appropriate conclusions and recommendations where necessary.
  • To produce a well organized and well-written final document and an effective oral presentation of the thesis.

After finishing classes and presenting the two real industries projects, students have the opportunity to implement and prove all the knowledge acquired and skills developed in a three months internship.

In the same period, students are working on their PRP so that they can choose to focus their investigation on a personal project or to connect it with the internship.

Student profile

The master recognizes and welcomes students from a range of backgrounds in design, management and theoretical fields.

Designers of all disciplines (Graphic Design, Product Design, and Interior Design), architects, professionals from Business and Management areas, Marketing and Communication are welcome to join the program.

IED Barcelona structures the program in a flexible way to attract students with different specialties and from various backgrounds. This creates a multidisciplinary environment for the students during the course, for the development of a complete vision through design management.

Admission requirements

To enter the validation process, all candidates should submit the following documentation:

  • 2 years of professional experience after the completion of university studies;
  • Motivation Letter in English and
  • A CV in English specifying languages level and
  • computer skills and
  • Intermediate level of English, corresponding to a paper TOEFL 550 or IELTS 6,5.

In case you don’t have any qualification, it will be necessary to assess your level through an in-person or Skype interview

Job Opportunities

Students who take this course add value to their professional experience in both business companies, design studios, and strategy firms, practicing design management in positions such as design department managers, brand managers, design directors, innovation directors, service designers, and design strategists. Also work as managers and executives responsible for making decisions about how design is used in the organization, in companies, design and innovation agencies, but also in education and government agencies.

Design managers deal with managing teams that might include industrial design, graphic design, service design, environment design, brand identity, fashion design, interface design, interior design, experience design, architecture, and engineering.

Field Trips

To give students a wider understanding of market state-of-the-art, 2 field trips are scheduled in the course curriculum. With the guidance of professors and coordination, students explore different markets and professional contexts in Europe.

Each Field Trip will take students for 3 to 5 days to European cities to exchange knowledge in different environments. After those days devoted to academic activities, students have the opportunity to discover the city on their own.


Olivier Mache

Graduated in Architecture at the National University of Architecture of Grenoble and Master in Industrial Design in IED Milano, he has a strong experience in managing design strategies. He defends an approach to design based on brand identity and the user needs to feed the company’s innovation strategies.

Actually he is Head of Design and User Experience for Hewlett Packard’s large format printing and 3D printing Global Business Unit. He begins his career with architectural projects for the banking sector, then with product design in consultancies in a variety of sectors: sport (for Salomon, Mavic, Julbo and Decathlon), building (for Airwell, Ideal-standard, Technal winning the Silver Equerre Prize at Batimat 1994) and packaging (for Yacco, Pampryl winning the prize of the packaging of the year in 1995).

In 1996 Olivier is appointed as head of industrial design for the professional PC division for HP, and later in 2002, he runs a design unit for HP European marketing to understand market trends, customer expectations and uncover product innovation opportunities for digital cameras and consumer printers categories. In 2006 he becomes the Manager of the Brand Design b’Twin brand of Oxylane (Decathlon). His team innovates everyday on brand identity, ease of use and gets an IF Award and Red Dot Award.

In 2010 Hewlett Packard recalled Olivier Mache to take over the direction of the design and user experience to the world market of large format printers and 3D printer. He leads since 2010 a team of 50 designers in Barcelona and Shanghai.

Last updated Jan 2020

About the School

The IED Barcelona is a workshop for conducting analysis and research applied to material culture, a focus it is destined to develop increasingly in the future.

The IED Barcelona is a workshop for conducting analysis and research applied to material culture, a focus it is destined to develop increasingly in the future. Read less