Master in Eco-Social Design
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano
EUR 1,350 / per year
07 May 2024*
Earliest start date
* early bird application | late application (only for EU citizens): 10 July 2024
The 2-year practice-oriented and transdisciplinary study course is an educational framework for designers that aims to contribute to more sustainable, resilient, solidary, and just futures — both locally and trans-locally.
Eco-Social Design is not only about more eco-efficient products and services but is striving for future-viable modes of production, consumption, and life – for sustainable economies and cultures. Based on these general aims and values the design of products, spaces, processes, interactive applications, and transmedia communication is understood as an integrated task. Design as a catalyst of desirable and necessary change.
With your projects, you try to approach today's issues effectively by (co-)designing concrete future-viable practices today and visions for tomorrow. You are encouraged to experiment with existing and emerging practices of collaboration and co-creation. The overarching goal is to encourage a good life for all! – humans, and other living beings all over the planet now and in the future.
You will learn how to use instruments of diverse design practices and research combined with perspectives and competencies derived from social sciences and economics and from sectors such as business, activism, technology, and craft. This equips you to develop your ways to approach complex issues with reflection, creativity, and pragmatism.
You have the possibility to set your personal focus, by choosing what to deepen within the rich set of design disciplines and sciences offered in the study program.
During the first semester, you do a project starting off from a given local and provincial context. The aim is to create a shared basis for team/group work preparing you for more complex projects, stimulating inspiration, and facilitating your landing in unibz and the environs of Bozen-Bolzano. It is also an opportunity to meet a diverse network of students, teachers, and external partners.
In the second semester, you develop an autonomous project, in teams or individually, together with external partners you choose. Throughout the course of studies, you will select courses from the areas 'Observe, Analyse & Apply' and 'Make & Intervene'. The former provides you with theoretical foundations, critical thinking, and methods from the social and economic sciences. Through the latter, you will learn how to use tools and techniques for your creative work as a designer. Experienced designers, with various specializations, will support you with the development of your project along two lines: object-space-services and communication-interaction-services. The course in Design Research supports your project development and teaches basic approaches and methods of the field. All other courses you choose can contribute to the development of your project, too. If you want to extend your study plan further, you can choose courses from other faculties.
In the third semester, you carry out research through design and creative experimentation on a topic of your choice that acts as a foundation for your final thesis project. The integrated course in Design Research will be particularly helpful this semester. This development process is accompanied by the 'Master Colloquia', during which you discuss you're work-in-progress with teachers and with experts from outside the university.
In the fourth and last semester, you will focus on your final project including a comprehensive written thesis.
- Project 1 in Eco-Social Design
- Design Research related to Projects 1 and 2
- Project 2 in Eco-Social Design
- Thesis Project Phase 1: Research through Design, Exploration and Experimentation
- Design 3
- Design Research
Courses in the Area "Make and Intervene"
- Web and Media Design
- 1 Mandatory Course to be chosen among the following:
- Design and Production
- Social Interaction Design
- Design and Materials
- Information Design and Visual Storytelling
Courses in the Area "Observe, Analyse and Apply"
- Political Ecology
- Ecosocial Economics
- 2 Mandatory Courses to be chosen among the following:
- Media Studies
- Social Studies of Design
- Moderation and Participation
- Cultural Anthropology
Free Choice Courses
Free Choice Courses**
Technical Workshop Courses
- Carpentry Workshop
- Metal Workshop
- Plastics Workshop
- Digital Modelling Workshop
- Print Workshop
- Cutting and Binding Workshop
- Photography Workshop
- Video Workshop
- Assembly Space (Bankraum)
- Surface Treatment Workshop
- Glass Workshop
* Thesis Project Phase 1 can only be taken once the exams of Project 1 and 2 have been passed.
** Free Choice Courses
You have to choose free choice courses for a total amount of 12 credit points. These courses may be chosen among those offered by the Faculty of Design and Art and/or those of the other faculties of unibz. At the beginning of each academic year, the Faculty announces which courses are offered and recognized as free choice.
During the 4 semesters, students must attend 3 seminars that provide useful knowledge for the introduction to the job market, among the offered ones, for a total of 6 credits. Attendance of the seminars is compulsory and foresees a pass/fail test.
**** Degree Thesis
In the fourth semester, you develop a final project as your master’s degree. You can choose your project. Your work is overseen by a thesis supervisor and a co-supervisor. You present and discuss it before a board.
Program Tuition Fee
The MA Eco-Social Design supports students to invent and co-develop professional practice that fits with them and with today's realities, challenges, and potentials.
The variety of jobs in the traditional domain of design is already very broad and continues to expand. Eco-Social Design offers the possibility to set up your own design agency, work for interdisciplinary design agencies, and/or collaborate with partners who are committed to environmental, social, and political progress, such as NGOs, foundations, public institutions, citizen groups, cooperatives, and social enterprises. The expanding market of organic, eco-friendly, and ethical products and services, the sharing economy, and other innovative “alternative economies” create emergent fields for work opportunities for our graduates. For example, Community Economies and Commoning provide exciting contexts to contribute to, and benefit from, new modes of work, production, and consumption.
Well prepared and ready for the job market. On the website of AlmaLaurea, you can check statistical data about graduates’ satisfaction and their employability.