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See all Master's and Postgraduate degrees

Master's Degree in Design

With the Oficial Master's Degree you will develop a critical sense that will allow you to lead social and ecological design projects by applying various research methodologies, creative practice and technological and material experimentation. In addition, this Master will allow you to access to PhD programs.

  • Edition: 4th
  • Teaching period: From October 2021 to July 2022. Final master's project presentation: July 2022
  • Schedule: From Monday to Thursday from 16.00 to 19.00
  • Modality: On site
  • Language: Spanish
  • Price: 9.900 €
  • Qualification: Master’s Degree in Research and Experimentation in Design awarded by UVic-UCC and accredited by the RUCT and the Ministry of Education (BOE*)
  • Credits: 60 ECTS


The aim of the Master's Degree in Design Research and Experimentation is to train researchers and design professionals who are able to develop projects focused on well-being and social transformation, from a critical and sustainable scientific perspective, and based on material, technological and conceptual experimentation.

This official master's degree in Research and Experimentation in Design, develops the necessary competences for the students access to a doctoral program, being able to choose between doing their doctoral thesis according to the orthodox format or applied through an industrial doctorate . Likewise, its professional character responds to the high demand of design professionals with a much more transversal training, able to work in collaborative processes and understanding design as a social transformation.

As a result, this University Master's Degree is predominantly targeted at individuals who already possess an official university qualification in the disciplines of Design, Fine Arts or Architecture (*) and intend to research and also widen their professional domain to designing projects of a social nature.

This programme’s syllabus provides multidisciplinary training that encompasses research methodologies from disciplines hitherto unrelated to the profession, such as political and social sciences. These, alongside cultural studies and artistic research, make up the various subjects of which the master's degree is comprised and where theory and practice are combined, using the digital manufacturing workshop as a learning, experimentation and prototyping environment for producing research. This master's degree does not contemplate research without experimentation, concern for the political without concern for the sensitive, theory without technical creativity, or material experimentation without aesthetics.

(*) Acceptance of other university qualifications will also be assessed in accordance with the admission requirements.




The Master's Degree in Design Research and Experimentation has a value of 60 ECTS: 36 ECTS of a compulsory nature, which must be earned by all students; 12 ECTS for the Final Project; and 30 ECTS of an optional nature of which only 12 ECTS must be earned by choosing two elective subjects (worth 6 ECTS each) from different modules.

* 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.


Compulsory subject credits: 36 ECTS
Optional subject credits: 12 ECTS
Final Project credits: 12 ECTS
Total credits: 60 ECTS

Teaching Guide of the Syllabus


Subject I – Strategies and policies of design

This subject is made up of two compulsory modules worth 6 ECTS each:

Fiction, critical and speculative design and social innovation and collaborative design

This subject views design as a practice with political and social implications that will be approached through practical projects and conceptual reflections. To this end, fiction or critical design are used as tools for stimulating applied speculation, and various forms of participatory and collaboration-based design are explored from a critical perspective.

  • Speculative design
  • Critical design
  • The role of fiction within design
  • Critique of social innovation
  • Participatory design
  • Open and collaborative design


Subject 2 - The social life of things

This subject is made up of two compulsory subjects worth 6 ECTS each:

Material cultures and design ecologies and Design, power and society

Through various academic disciplines and their corresponding research methods, such as the social sciences and anthropology, research is carried out 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 and to address the relationship between design and power as a crucial issue. With this objective, the politics, ethics and aesthetics of objects are analysed.

  • Material cultures
  • The ethics of design
  • Sustainable design
  • Values as project principles
  • Design, politics and power
  • Design and geopolitics of materials


Subject 3 - Methodologies of art research

This subject is made up of a single compulsory subject that is worth 6 ECTS:

Research in art and design

In this subject, research is approached from the field of art and design, both from a conceptual and a practical dimension, and at the same time from theory and experience. The evolution of research methodologies throughout history is analysed providing an overview of practices in contemporary creation through a range of case studies that incorporate and intersect with various areas of knowledge.

  • Art and research
  • Contemporary methodologies in design
  • Artistic methods
  • Interconnections between knowledge areas
  • Hybrid practices


Subject 4 - Experimental methods

This subject is made up of two optative subjects worth 6 ECTS each:

Investigation with data and Ethnographies and design

This subject 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.

  • Databases as creative objects
  • Big data and its implications
  • The algorithmic design
  • The ethnographic method
  • Types of fieldwork
  • Ethnography as a critical and imaginative tool


Subject 5 - Design and manufacture of projects

This subject is made up of a single compulsory subject that is worth 6 ECTS.

Manufacturing and prototyping

Understanding digital manufacturing also implies understanding the contexts of collaborative production where it occurs, the principles of the free culture that it is based on, and the techniques and methodologies designed for sharing and experimenting with these tools. Therefore, this subject ventures not only into the digital production workshops but also conducts a critical analysis of the maker phenomenon and digital manufacturing processes.

  • Digital manufacturing
  • Advanced digital tools for design and manufacturing
  • The maker phenomenon and its implications
  • Learning communities and digital manufacturing
  • Prototyping and material and technological experimentation cultures
  • Laboratory for experimentation in objectual art


Subject 6 - Design work tools

This subject is made up of three optional subjects worth 6 ECTS each:

Design and Numeric control, Digital design or Internship

This subject is divided into three areas with the aim of taking a closer look at the design tools used in the field of design and expanding knowledge of numerical control. Moreover, students have the opportunity to complete an internship at a renowned company from the field of professional design that works to provide a response to both the needs of the working world and the current social reality. 

  • Design and numerical control
  • Computational thinking and design
  • Laser cutting and digital milling machines
  • Digital Design
  • Digital controllers (e.g. Arduino)
  • Design and interaction


Subject 7 – Final Project

This subject is made up of a single compulsory subject that is worth 12 ECTS:

Master’s Degree Final Project

At the end of the master's degree programme, students must demonstrate that they have acquired the skills needed to lead research processes and design projects, while taking a critical position on current issues and responding to the needs of today's society. Therefore, every student must create a final project, with individual tutoring, that relates to their interests and motivations by employing the methods and tools used during the master's degree programme. 


  • 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

Guest teachers

In the 2019/20 course, these were some of the professors invited to participate in the master's degree :
Carles Baiges

Architect for ETSAB (UPC) and Master in Urban Sociology from the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA). Member of the cooperative of architects LaCol, specialized in participation.



Visual artist. He has created a sculptural, photographic work, installations and interventions in the public space, which consider the architectural project as one of the most complex imaginary constructions of modernity. He has made numerous exhibitions and projects in situ in different countries such as Ireland, Mexico, Belgium, France, Italy, United States, Israel, Palestine, Argentina, Finland, Japan or Brazil. In 2018, MACBA dedicated an individual exhibition.


Antoni Hervàs

Visual artist. Interested in amateur practices of popular theater and local phenomena as a form of resistance, in recent years he has investigated archives of cultural minorities and social practices, collaborating with communities of local clowns, musicians, cabaret artists and minority sports athletes. His work drinks from popular culture, local subcultures, oral traditions and resistance archives.


Camila René Maggi

Architect. She works in the development of projects and communities that combine technologies, free culture and social innovation. His work is related to digital culture, open source and practical experimentation methodologies. He has worked in citizen laboratories such as Medialab Prado (Madrid) and LABIC (Colombia) and participates in projects such as Autofabricantes and Experimenta Distrito. He has also developed activities linking learning in technology and design in centers such as Matadero (Madrid), Tabakalera (Donosti) or Espacio Caixa (Madrid).


Toni Mañach

Degree in Philosophy from the University of Barcelona. He is Professor of History and Design Theory and Ethics of the profession at ESDI. He has been a member of GRACMON, Research Group in Contemporary Art and Design History of the University of Barcelona. He is the founder, together with Professor Carlos Jiménez, of DESINGERS, a pedagogical innovation laboratory where design skills are acquired through the performing arts.


Blanca Martínez

Journalist in media such as El País, El Confidencial, El Español, Noisey; cultural and research critic, collaborates in different projects dedicated to the review of digital and audiovisual formats. Graduated in Journalism and Audio-Visual Communication, Master in Comparative Studies of Literature, Art and Thought, Pompeu Fabra University. Co-founder of the digital anthropology magazine Visual404, a writing space on whose collective he holds different artistic exhibitions around stock image formats, .gif and motion graphics.


Sergi Opisso

Long-term graphic designer, he was the founder of Estudio La Mosca and since 2012 Opisso Studio. He has signed the graphic design of exhibitions such as “Kubrick”, “Llull, la Màquina de Pensar”, “Cerdà i la Barcelona del Futur”, “Sota Setge” at the CCCB, “La Bellesa i els monstres. Ismael Smith ”at the MNAC,“ On The Table. Ai Weiwei ”at La Virreina Centre de la Imatge. Currently working on the graphic design of the exhibition " Curiosidad Radical. En la Órbita de Buckminster Fuller ”, which will be presented at the Fundación Telefónica Space in Madrid and at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore.


Marina C. Salarich

Designer and 'things maker'. His Graviton Graphics studio is both a graphic design studio and an exploration laboratory on art in quantum physics. Marina grows in international environments, collaborating and working with Rascality programmers in New Zealand and for exciting customers. He has lived in England and Australia, always looking for opportunities abroad. Alumni of the Degree in Design (Graphic Design itinerary) of BAU.


Mireia Sallarès

Artist and teacher. Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona (1997), with studies in film and video at the New School University and the Film & Video Arts in New York (2001-2003). She works as an independent documentary filmmaker and collaborates with the MACBA making a documentary fund of artist interviews. He lives between Barcelona and other foreign cities where he develops his artistic research projects. The condition of foreigners is an indispensable record in their work.


Ariadna Serrahima

She works as a graphic designer and educator specializing in the fields of editing and editing artists. His career has developed between visual arts and graphic design. In 2015 he co-founded his design studio, Oficina de Disseny, where the main interests and projects focus on the cultural field. Ariadna is also part of collective initiatives such as L'Automàtica, a self-organized printing press, and is co-founder of MUNT, a sound art platform that selects live experimental music performances and publishes the resulting recordings.


Mariona Soler

Ateneu Popular 9Barris resource technique. Bachelor of Political Science and Administration (UAB). Master in Social Economy and Management of non-profit entities (Center for Research on Economics and Society - UB).


Taller Estampa

Study founded in 2006 dedicated to interactive, audiovisual and graphic design projects. His interests focus on working with data and its critical appropriation, on the new forms of interactive web, on the expressive possibilities of obsolete technologies and on experimental animation. They have also carried out projects for the Master in Theory and Practice of the Creative Documentary of the UAB, the CaixaForum, the CCCB and RTVE, among others.


Ana Villagordo

Degree in Environmental Sciences from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), with a cross-sectional profile in the fields of strategic environmental consulting, communication and exhibition productions. Currently working as a freelance in the development of environmental and creative strategies and communication projects related to the world of sustainability.


Career Opportunities

  • Multidisciplinary designer.
  • Designer researcher.
  • Design lecturer.
  • Designer of research projects.
  • Transitional designer.
  • Consultant for environmental and sustainable design projects.
  • Coordinator of digital creation and manufacturing laboratories.
  • Coordinator of collaborative design projects.
  • Cultural manager.

Payment methods

Total cost of the course: 9.900 €

Payment methods

BAU, Design College of Barcelona offers different terms of payment:

  • Single payment: attracts a 3% discount
  • Part payment, in three installments:
    • 1st payment consisting of 40 % of the fees on enrollment
    • 2nd payment consisting of 30% of the fees before November 5th
    • 3rd payment consisting of 30 % of the fees before January 5th

Former students of BAU benefit from 10% discount on any of the courses. A former student of BAU is a student who, not being registered in the current academic year, has exceeded 50% of the credits for a Degree, Higher Degree in Design or the BAU Nit (BAU Evening); or 100% of the credits for any of the Master’s or Postgraduate degrees.

More information about scholarships and grants.

Pre registration process

Pre registration: from January 2021, 18th to September 2021, 30th


Check the information about the pre registration process
Download the pre-registration form


The quality of the BAU pedagogical system is guaranteed by various indicators and reports by the seals of (AQU, RUCT, ANECA, EUC ...). Visit the Quality section.


Doctorate Program

The Master's Degree in Research and Experimentation in Design at BAU is a 2º-cycle study program that responds to the research concerns of the BAU Doctorate Program structured in two lines of research:

  • Design and society. Politics, art and education.
  • Communication and its environments. Corporations and institutions; media, networks and territory.

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