Design Futures - Master of Arts

Working in product design increasingly means working at the intersection of design and other disciplines. Product design is moving into fields that differ significantly from the image of the designer of industrially manufactured goods, and designers sometimes deliberately distance themselves from this. A design degree programme must therefore prepare students for a job profile that can be highly heterogeneous.
The "Design Futures" Master's course understands design as an inherently future-oriented activity. At the same time, the programme explores the future of design itself, as a discipline, which can be designed and challenged. The study programme is interdisciplinary and includes scientific discourse in the field of design, engagement with social developments, and the development of a design process that focuses on openness of results and the personal responsibility and approach of the designer. Design is understood as an attitude and as a tool that enables students to critically examine the complexities of our world and to intervene in them through design.

The curriculum of the two-year MA Design Futures programme is divided into six studios, which offer a pluralistic approach to design cultures, methods, and theories. They support students in developing their own design identity. The course offers seminars, workshops and project units that promote students' independent development and enable their entry into a variety of design professions. It is also possible to join specific seminars in the Communication Design and Photography degree programmes.
Through the "Space for Sustainability by Design" (SBYD), which was established in the design department in 2023, one of the focal points of teaching and research are sustainable, resource-light and circular design practices. The university was awarded the title of "Innovative University" for the "Space for Sustainability by Design" by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Joint Science Conference, who also generously fund its activities. (Website:  / Instagram:

Folkwang University of the Arts is internationally connected – during the two-year Master's programme, students have the opportunity to apply for a semester abroad at one of the 63 international partner universities of the Department of Design.

Employment perspectives
The degree programme prepares students for professional careers ranging from work as an independent or employed designer, to strategic consulting, entrepreneurship, or positions in design research. Students learn about the versatility of product design, train their ability to reflect, and develop their own approach and creative fields.

Due to the interdisciplinary orientation of the Master's programme, applications from graduates of other disciplines such as design-related subjects in engineering, social sciences and humanities are welcome in addition to applications from design graduates.
Applications can be submitted annually by 15. March for the winter semester (course start date in October). At the time of application, a German language certificate is not required. But it will be required to submit a German language certificate (Level B2) before you start the course. After being offered a place on the course, students may postpone their entry to give them enough time to complete the German language requirements.


Website of the MA Design Futures and BA Product Design:  / Instagram: @folkwang_id


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