Master of Fine Arts in Embedded Design


Program Description

Short Summary

The master’s programme in Embedded Design encourages you to critically reflect upon your role as an embedded designer and meet the growing demand for innovative and disruptive design. You will become a maker of change and will learn to develop companies, organizations, and institutions by using a strategic and artistic design practice. The programme prepares you to follow both conventional and unconventional design careers, able to work as a collaborative partner while actively taking a critical stance and disrupting the status quo.

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About the Programme

Companies and organizations in the private and public sectors are increasingly seeking competence and knowledge to meet the challenges of globalization, digitalization, and sustainability. In response to these global challenges, companies, organizations, and communities must rethink their value propositions and business models, which require not only innovations but also disruption of traditional thinking about organizational issues, the market, and consumer relations. The master’s programme in Embedded Design addresses the field of design that is particularly situated in complex and systemized contexts and prepares you to be a friendly collaborator while simultaneously taking a critical—and even disruptive—stance in your role within embedded design practice.

Sustainability focused

In this programme, you will gain the skills to use design in and around corporations, institutions, public organizations, and society, providing sustainable and long-lasting design solutions involving artifacts, services, social interventions, and organizational changes, among other possibilities. The design process is based on interdisciplinary collaboration, where design tools act as enablers to productively unpack and reframe challenges and understand and reformulate complex problems. You will develop a deeper understanding of how design can be used on the organizational level and for social renewal, learning how to approach your projects with a critical perspective and considerations of social, ecological, and economic sustainability issues.

A collaborative and interdisciplinary learning environment

Lectures, seminars, and workshops will be influenced by collaborations with other departments at the University. This interdisciplinary approach contributes to a dynamic learning environment where the studio is a hub for open dialogue and collaboration, with teamwork as a foundational aspect. Our aim is to develop the field of design and to critically reflect upon the role of a designer who is part of an organization as a disruptive outsider and critical consultant. In this way, you will learn how to balance working with teams and partners in a collaborative manner, while also disrupting the status quo, preparing you to successfully balance a disruptive artistic practice with collaborative design work within organizations, institutions, corporations, the public sector, and society. This balance is discussed throughout the programme and can shift as you form your individual career path. Exchange studies are possible in the third semester of the programme, providing the opportunity to study at several interesting universities around the world. Additionally, companies, organizations, and communities will be invited to enrich your education through collaborations, lectures, workshops, and real case projects.

Who Should Apply?

Are you interested in how global social issues like sustainability, circular economy, or digitalization can be influenced on a local level by design?

Do you have an interdisciplinary background and want to apply your various interests to create disruptive design work within an organizational context?

Do you picture a dynamic, ever-changing, and unconventional future career in design?

If you believe design can be a process of change and want to collaborate and disrupt the status quo by addressing global social and organizational challenges, then apply for the master’s programme in Embedded Design.

Programme Structure and Content

The programme intertwines theory with practice, where real projects provide a foundation for reflection on your future role as an embedded designer, and where theory underlines learning within the empirical setting. You will develop and deepen your role as a designer by problematizing and reflecting on your role with various critical perspectives. Norm critique and questions surrounding intersectionality will be a part of the teaching, and you will learn to disrupt discriminating power structures through design.

The first year progresses from foundational knowledge to the use of methods and tools, with a specific focus on deepening theoretical knowledge about sustainability. In the second year, you will work with organizations and clients in a long, explorational design project. Your final project will be focused and in-depth, where you will write a report that describes the starting point and context for the project and reflect on the process and results.

After Graduation

Graduates of the programme will receive the degree Master of Fine Arts in Design with specialization in Embedded Design.

You will be prepared to work in academic research as well as regular design consultancies. You will also gain the competence to apply your skills in unconventional realms, using your skills from the embedded design practice to make a change in new organizational contexts, adapting to an increasingly global and digitalized society.

Last updated Nov 2019

About the School

HDK-Valand – Academy of Art and Design is a department at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

HDK-Valand – Academy of Art and Design is a department at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Read less