Master's Degree in Research and Experimentation in Design

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Qualification: Master’s Degree in Research and Experimentation in Design awarded by UVic-UCC University.

Credits: 60

School period: From October 2017 to July 2018. Final Project presentation: July 2018. STARTING: October 3rd

Timetable: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 15.45 to 18.45

Mode: On site

Language: Spanish

Price: 9300 €

Access: Those interested in pursuing this master’s degree must have completed an official university degree in the fields of Design, Fine Arts or Architecture. Applicants with degrees in Humanities, Sociology or Anthropology will be considered providing they can demonstrate that their experience fits the requirements of the master’s degree by providing a portfolio showing their active involvement in at least 2 design projects or at least 2 research projects in the field of design during the last 2 years.

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Course: Master's Degree in Research and Experimentation in Design

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How to enroll


Lúa Coderch

Lúa Coderch

Doctorado EEES Estudios Avanzados en Producciones Artísticas (UB). Máster en Producciones e Investigación (UB). Licenciatura en Bellas Artes (UB). Graduado superior en artes aplicadas a la escultura (Escola Massana). Profesora de Grado en Diseño y coordinadora del Máster Universitario en Investigación y Experimentación en Diseño.


The growing demand for design professionals with multi-disciplinary training, who are capable of working through collaborative processes, and have the necessary skillsets to research and understand the world in which we live and in which they will play a transformative role is becoming increasingly apparent. Our growing dependence on technological devices, the material dimension of life and the presence of objects with which we interact on a daily basis have made contemporary design a privileged place from which we can consider and intervene in the world. Therefore, the main aim of the Master’s Degree in Research and Experimentation in Design is to provide students with tools and methods with which they can research from and with design.

This master’s degree exists as a platform for the convergence of design as a space for the creation of knowledge and research, and design as a tool for intervention and social innovation with which existing and future lifestyles can be reconsidered and reconfigured. Therefore, theory cannot be understood without practice, as research cannot be understood without experimentation, and a concern for politics cannot exist without a concern for sensitive issues. To bring all this together, we work with practices specific to experimental and collaborative spaces like Medialabs, Fablabs or artistic creation workshops and align them with the research methods used in social sciences, scientific and technological studies, and cultural studies.

This master’s degree is aimed at transforming students into professionals and, at the same time, providing the necessary research tools that will later allow them to access a PhD programme. It is worth 60 ECTS credits, which are required for enrolment on a PhD programme.


The main objectives of this course are focused on training professionals in a way that enables them to develop design projects that will result in the sustainable transformation of the environments in which we live from a critical and grounded standpoint; projects that are always based on strict research processes and guided by material, technological and conceptual experimentation. Students will gain knowledge of various research methods, they will learn to use manufacturing and digital prototyping tools, and they will explore the frameworks of contemporary thought to enable them to devise high-level personal projects. Inspired by free culture and open design, the professional practice we propose is specifically aimed at heterogeneous, multi-disciplinary and collaborative work contexts.



Compulsory subject credits: 36 ECTS

Optional subject credits: 12 ECTS

Final Project credits: 12 ECTS

Total credits: 60 ECTS

The Master’s Degree in Research and Experimentation in Design is structured around a common compulsory part worth 36 ECTS, plus the Final Project worth 12 ECTS credits, and an optional part worth 30 ECTS, of which students need to complete 12 ECTS by choosing two optional modules (worth 6 ECTS each) from different areas.

Tabla Asignaturas

* From the Experimental Methods subject, one of the following two optional modules must be completed: Investigation with Data or Ethnographies and Design.

** From the Tools and Design Work subject, one of the following three optional modules must be completed: Design and Numeric Control, Digital Design or Internship.



The Design Strategies and Policies subject is made up of two modules that place particular emphasis on the use of fiction or critical design as tools for stimulating applied speculation. The phenomenon of social innovation is approached from a critical perspective, and various forms of participatory and collaboration-based design are explored. Design is viewed as a practice with political and social implications that will be approached through practical projects and conceptual reflections. This subject is made up of two compulsory modules worth 6 ECTS each:

  • Fiction, Critical and Speculative Design (Dr. Jaron Rowan)
  • Social Innovation and Collaborative Design (Prof. Rubén Martínez) 


- Introduction to speculative design

- Critical design

- Design of diegetic objects

- The role of fiction within design

- Ontology related to the object

- Archaeology of the future

- Utopias and dystopias in art and design

- Critique of social innovation

- Participatory design

- Open and collaborative design

- Free culture and design

- Repositories and tools for open design

- Design with affected communities


The Social Life of Things introduces students to several academic disciplines from which it is possible to research from and with design. The fundamentals of the so-called material cultures are also established so that design can be understood from a complex perspective, through the exploration of its production and consumption circuits. By analysing the politics, ethics and aesthetics of objects we will observe their own biographies and the cycles they go through. This, alongside an introduction to the social studies of science and technology, anthropology, and cultural studies, will lay the foundations of a common theoretical basis. This subjects is made up of two compulsory modules worth 6 ECTS each:

  • Material cultures and design ecologies (Dra. Blanca Callén)
  • Design, power and society (Daniel López and Nizaiá Cassián)


- Introduction to material cultures

- Policies of objects

- Recycling and repurposing

- The social life of things

- Social studies of science and technology

- Economy of art and design

- Circular design

- Socio-technical controversies

- Actor-network theory and design

- The construction of audiences

- Research through design

- Sounding objects


This subject has just one compulsory module, Research in Art and Design worth 6 ECTS, which presents various methods for researching art and design in a practical and effective way. The selection ranges from traditional methods for artistic research to methodologies for exploring digital media, while also looking at ethnography, visualisation, working with bulk data and experimentation through collaborative processes. The foundations of thorough research conducted with and from design are established.

  • Research in Art and Design  (Dr. Roger Sansi)


- Art and research

- Cultures of laboratories

- Research in and from design

- Diagrammatic and methodological objects

- Inventive methods


This subject is divided into two optional modules that are each worth 6 ECTS. It aims to take a closer look at practical research methods in design. Students can opt for a module in which research is based on data, where they will explore various methods of visualisation, working with mass databases, big data, and working with digital environments. Or they can opt for an alternative module, which will provide them with the foundations they need to build creative ethnographies by exploring a territory, mapping, and learning how to be sensitive to the environment.

  • Researching with data
  • Ethnographies and design


- Visualisations

- Databases as creative objects

- Big data and its implications

- Information and privacy

- Analysis and quantitative research

- The ethnographic method

- Qualitative research

- Dérives and psychogeographies

- Participatory observation

- Artistic methods


Understanding the paradigm of digital manufacturing involves not only learning the workings of 3D printers, basic programming, electronics or Arduino and other tools for working with interaction; it also involves understanding the collaborative production contexts from which it originates, the principles of free culture on which it is based, and the forms and methodologies designed for sharing and experimenting with these tools. This subjects delves into this reality and introduces its technical foundations and performs a critical analysis of the maker phenomenon and digital manufacturing processes. It is developed through a single compulsory module that is worth 6 ECTS. 

  • Manufacturing and prototyping (Dra. Mariona Genís)


- The maker phenomenon and its implications

- Prototyping and experimentation cultures

- Learning and digital manufacturing communities

- Object experimentation lab

- Management of projects and materials


With the aim of taking a closer look at design tools, this subject is divided into three optional modules, each worth 6 ECTS, of which one must be chosen: Design and Numeric Control, Digital Design or the completion of an internship in a professional environment or a research study. This gives students the opportunity to acquire comprehensive knowledge of the most common tools for design work in the contemporary professional environment.

  • Design and Numeric Control  (Prof. Susanna Tesconi)
  • Digital Design (Prof. Josian Lorente)
  • Internship (students must complete their internship at a renowned professional design and digital manufacturing company; upon completion, students are required to write a report about the work they carried out during their internship).


- Computational thinking and design

- Laser cutting

- Digital milling machines

- Digital design

- Digital controllers (e.g. Arduino)

- Multimedia design software (e.g. Processing)

- Design and interaction


The Master’s Degree Final Project, worth 12 ECTS, is the framework for a supervised process that aims to enable every student to develop a personal project that integrates the methods and tools acquired over the course of the master’s degree programme.

Based on the themes, work methodologies and research formats encountered during the master’s degree, each student is required to develop a Final Project, according to their own interests and motivations, in a way that fits the focus and objectives of the master’s degree.

The Master’s Degree Final Project will be carried out individually and must include and demonstrate the preparatory research process through the application of the methodologies encountered over the course of the master’s degree, and also by showing that the student is able to effectively and creatively develop design projects by taking a critical stance towards the problems of today.



- Drafting of the proposal

- Preparation of the project dossier

- Realisation of prototypes and projects

- Planning

- Presentation and justification of the project


Formulating design proposals that integrate research and experimentation processes in accordance with the paradigms of contemporary design.

Applying methodologies of ethnographic research, both speculative and based on data to execute design projects of various natures.

Executing, prototyping and manufacturing of objects and design projects through the operation of numerical control and digital design tools and technologies.

Analysing the properties and behaviour of materials in order to use them appropriately and innovatively in design processes and projects.

Critical consideration of innovation and social transformation, participation and collaborative design, and other paradigms of contemporary design to facilitate the resolution of problems within the field of design.

Designing services, processes and objects that will provide solutions through the principles of open design and its fields of circulation.

Using the software specific to design by taking into account its applications and repercussions, both in the field of professional design and the field of research.

Understanding and valuing the political economy of art and design and identifying its value cycles, the social life of objects, consumption cycles and recycling in a changing social and economic context.

Applying the strategies of fiction and speculative design, using diegetic prototypes and provoking thought through design as an epistemic object.

Considering the material cultures of design and the many related traditions (philosophy, anthropology, cultural studies…) to conduct research through their objects and materials.

Managing the multiple work processes involved in the practice of design and integrating elements of research and experimentation.  

Teaching staff

Josian Llorente

Josian Llorente

Graduated in Architecture from the KTH (Stockholm, Sweden). Studied Electronic Art and Digital Design at the MECAD-ESDI, URL Media Centre for Art and Design.

Blanca Callén

Blanca Callén

PhD in Social Psychology from the UAB. 

 PhD in Social Psychology from the UAB with a thesis on techno-activism and the epistemological and political dimension of free software. She has developed many projects about collective actions and citizenship participation, the production of knowledge, and the social study of science and technology. She completed her postdoctoral project at the Centre for Science Studies at the University of Lancaster, which discussed electronic waste and innovative informal practices. She participates in projects aimed at the management of waste and repair culture like Recyhub and MEND*RS. Her works have been published in several books and academic magazines.

Jaron Rowan

Jaron Rowan

PhD in Cultural Studies and a Master’s Degree in Cultural Studies, both from Goldsmiths, University of London. 

Graduate in Fine Arts from the UB. Coordinator of the Objetologías research line (GREDITS).  He has lectured at several universities and schools, for example the MA in Culture Industry at Goldsmiths and the Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities at the UOC. He has delivered many talks and workshops at cultural and contemporary art centres. For over 10 years, he has been conducting research within the field of contemporary culture production, working on cultural employment, the political economics of culture, the role of free culture and, most recently, methods of creation that have arisen due to the digital environment. His research works have been published in books, magazines and electronic formats, most notably Emprendizajes en Cultura: discursos, instituciones y contradicciones de la empresarialidad cultural in 2010 and La Tragedia del Copyright published in 2013. He likes Black Metal, memes and animated gifs.

María Fernanda Moscoso

María Fernanda Moscoso

A Doctor of Anthropology from the Freie Universität of Berlin.

Winner of the third Marqués de Lozoya prize for research in Spain (2012). Pursues her academic activity between Latin America and Europe. Leads the workshop “Ethnography in the raw: a very brutish opening of archives” (Intermediae, MATADERO) and is a member of the research group ‘Ethnography and Education’ of the IMA (Madrid Institute of Anthropology). Manages to combine her academic activity with writing and art.

Rubén Martínez

Rubén Martínez

A Fine Arts graduate (UB, 2002) with a master’s degree in Political Sciences (UAB, 2012). He is currently at IGOP completing his PhD thesis on the tension between policies that promote social innovation and processes of community management.

Rubén Martínez Moreno dedicates every hour he can to research and teaching. From 2002 to 2011 he worked at YProduction, a cultural company with which he made several contributions to the critique of the political economy of culture. He currently works at Hidra Cooperativa and is a member of Barcelona’s Metropolitan Observatory (OMB), both of which are political intervention devices and part of the Fundación de los Comunes.

 Roger Sansi

Roger Sansi

A Doctor of Social Anthropology and Ramón y Cajal researcher in the Anthropology Department of Barcelona University.

Has taught in several national and foreign universities, notably Goldsmiths, University of London and the University of Chicago. The author of many books, including ‘Art, Anthropology and the Gift’ (Bloomsbery Press, 2014) and ’Sorcery in the Black Atlantic’ (University of Chicago Press, 2011). Is a member of the research group GRECS.

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Lúa Coderch. Doctorat EEES Estudis Avançats en Produccions Artístiques, Universitat de Barcelona. Màster en Produccions i Recerca, Universitat de Barcelona. Llicenciatura en Belles Arts, Universitat de Barcelona. Graduat superior en arts aplicades a la escultura, Escola Massana, Barcelona.

Career Opportunities

Designer • Researcher • Graphic producer • Designer of platforms and digital interfaces • Design lecturer • Coordinator of digital creation and manufacturing laboratories • Information and data visualisation designer • Coordinator of collaborative design projects • Designer of research projects • Designer of interactive projects • Cultural manager

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