Master's in Design Research and Experimentation


Program Description

Master's in Design Research and Experimentation

Design in the 21st century needs professionals with trans-disciplinary training, who are capable of working in collaborative processes, and who investigate and understand the world in which they live and the effects of their own actions. The increasing dependence on technological devices, the material dimension of life and the presence of objects with which we interact every day make contemporary design a privileged place from which to think and intervene in the world. For these reasons, this Master’s course is offered as an area for reflection about the very processes of design, but also as an area for experimentation, practice and critical intervention.

The principal aim of the Master’s in Design Research and Experimentation is to provide conceptual tools and promote experimental practices for research in design and for a critical transformation of the socio-cultural environments in which we live. This Master’s course emerges as a commitment to the convergence of design as an area for the production of knowledge and research and design as a tool for intervention and social innovation with which to re-think and re-shape present and future lifestyles.

The course combines kinds of awareness and methodologies that are peculiar to experimental and collaborative environments such as Medialabs, Fablabs or workshops for artistic creation with the research methodologies of the social sciences, studies in science and technology or cultural studies. In this way, the theoretical sessions are accompanied by practical workshops in the HANGAR production center, where a working area is permanently available for the students.


To train professionals capable of carrying out projects of research and experimentation in design resulting in critical analysis and the creation of objects and devices that can be used in the sustainable transformation of the socio-cultural environments in which we live. Those processes will be made possible by the research methods, the conceptual tools and the experimental practices which arise from the meeting of the social sciences, art, and design. Taking its inspiration from free culture and open design, the kind of professional practice which is proposed is intended especially for contexts of work that are heterogeneousº, trans-disciplinary and collaborative.


The course is composed of five modules which converge into a final project.

  • Module I – The social life of things
  • Module II – Critical and speculative design
  • Module III – Creative practices and methods for research in design
  • Module IV – Digital manufacture
  • Module V - Final Project

This Master’s degree course offers a trans-disciplinary tour through areas of teaching, research and theoretical/practical experimentation. The methodology includes classes of theory, lectures, and thematic seminars, workshop practical sessions, experimentation stages, working sessions and the accompaniment and tutoring of projects.

The course is run as a collaboration between the BAU, the University Centre of Design of Barcelona, and HANGAR, a center for research and artistic production, together with various projects of research and experimentation in connection with design. Thus, in addition to the classrooms where the theory classes, seminars, and lectures take place, areas are also available for practical work and for experimentation workshops. The students also have permanent access to a workshop area at HANGAR, for their personal work and projects.


The professional application of the knowledge and skills acquired during this Master’s Degree course can be orientated towards different areas, such as projects in laboratories for digital creation and manufacture (Fablabs, Makerspaces, Medialabs, etc.), work in design or architectural studios, cultural and artistic projects, projects of social diagnosis and intervention, or projects for social innovation. The course is also, and especially, intended for professionals who wish to work in research centres or with research groups which incorporate technical, social and humanistic knowledge, as they will be training designers, cultural managers, scientists and social interveners and transformers in the fields of knowledge offered by design as a tool for research and material intervention in the world.


Edit: 1st Edition

Qualification: Master in Design Research and Experimentation accredited by the Universidad de Vic-UCC. Students without university degrees will receive a University Extension Studies Diploma.

Credits: 60 ECTS

School period: From October 6th, 2015 to June 2016. Final Project Presentation: June 2016

Timetable: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 16h to 19h

Mode: On-site

Language: Spanish / English ( bilingual teaching staff)

Price: 6960 €

Observations: Laptop required. Intensive Spanish course for foreign students willing to apply for the Master degree (optional course). From Sept. 10th to October, 2nd; from Monday to Friday (4h/day) – 395€.

Last updated Aug 2019

About the School

Bau is a centre that provides higher education in the field of design. Located in Barcelona, one of the leading cities in the field of design, BAU is situated in an industrial area of over 6,000 m2 eq ... Read More

Bau is a centre that provides higher education in the field of design. Located in Barcelona, one of the leading cities in the field of design, BAU is situated in an industrial area of over 6,000 m2 equipped with specific rooms for teaching and multi-purpose spaces designed to promote research, creation and innovation. Read less