Master in Design - Space and Communication: Contemporary Design Practices

expanded design – communication – experience – installation – performance – film – experimental – theoretical – critical – investigative – journalistic – the cinematic – narrative – research – futures – realities – fictions – social – political – engagement – design essay

MA Space and Communication is an experimental graduate design programme that through enquiry-driven practices, explores the collisions and intersections of objects, film, performance, media and space as interface for communication and experience.

The master Space and Communication is a course which sits definitively and proudly on the periphery, seeking new dialogues between design and other areas of knowledge. It is exactly the confluence between design and other thought processes and disciplines, particularly cinema, speculative fiction, political theory and sociology that makes design relevant. The master Space and Communication considers design as an essential, empowering kind of ‘verb’ (ie to design). ‘To design’ is to engage with and elicit change in the world, and as such is not a stand-alone ‘discipline’ framed by its traditional theoretical and commercial lineages. Through workshops, briefs and the memoire, the course constantly disrupts and challenges what it thinks design is (and as a result, the contemporary validity and relevance of the course itself), revising it every year through a collective, shared act of curiosity and belief in its potentials.

The students output, as a result, is as varied as the questions the course asks about design and its potentials, from designing time-travelling narratives, to designing alternative political movements, to designing speculative societies, modes of communication etc.

The course is in dialogue with both the past, present and future through a nuanced and informed approach to historical research, contemporary social and political awareness, and speculative proposals.

The course places emphasis on producing complex, layered narratives that ask viewers and participants to engage in a more meaningful relationship with design, and by disseminating them through multi-mediatic and multi-sensorial materials, from installations, to films, to performances.

Of particular importance is the relationship between design and filmmaking, a cross-disciplinary practice which the course invests in more than probably any other post-graduate design course, both in its theoretical and practice-based outputs.

We collaborate regularly with institutions who value the conceptual and critical relationship the course has with design.

The programme offers the unique opportunity to gain experience through a variety of learning modules. The modules of the course are organized so that theory and practice are equally constitutive parts of your education, developing your critical faculties and unique point of view while equipping you with the necessary skills to realise your ambitions. This master is a two-year course that culminates with two major pieces of work: the Master Thesis presented as a visual/physical essay and the Practice Project that consist on the designing and production of a 1:1 scale spatial project with its inherent variables such as films, objects, media, installation, performance, experience, displays, texts, books and photographs product of the personal investigative process that you developed within the master.

The first year is constituted of a series of individual or collective/group workshops, programme projects, seminars, field trips, run by world-renowned designers, architects, film makers, curators and artists. These workshops will provide you with the necessary experience to build your own skills and tools, create a network of contacts and to establish the key themes and subjects that will become the basis for your personal design practice.

In the second year, you will focus in a theory and practice personal project which culminates in a major exhibition. During this process you will work with autonomy and responsibly through an intense dialogue with programme tutors that will support you to become a compelling communicator, able to establish an individual design discourse.

All through the two years of the master there is great dedication from the course to support the documentation of your work you can finish with a powerful dossier ready to be published in different mediums.

Access to Master Espace & Communication online portfolios
Access to Master Espace & Communication vimeo
Access to Master Espace & Communication Master Thesis

Degree awarded: 
Master of Arts HES-SO in Design, major in Space and Communication

Head of Department


Teaching staff

Invited speakers

Mónica Bello>ARTS AT CERN, Tanguy Benoit, BIGTIME Studio, Alexandre Burdin, Jordi Canudas, Noemi Castella, Jeremie Cerman, Eléonore Challine, Romain Chappet, Emmanuelle Cherel, Matali Crasset, Anthony Dunne> DUNNE & RABY, , EL ULTIMO GRITO, Fatou Drave, Antoine Foegle, Marie Godfrain, Rita Hajj, Stefanie Hessler>KUNSTHALL TRODNDHEIM, Tristan Kobler>HOLZER KOBLER ARCHITEKTUREN, Vinca Kruk & Daniel Van der Velden>METAHAVEN, Philomene Le Baron, Aleksandra Lychagina, Malak Mebkhout, Jessica Maria Nassif, Ernesto Oroza, Sarah Owens, Emma Pflieger, Laura Potter, Joseph Popper, Sébastien Quequet, Stefan Kaegi>RIMINI PROTOKOLL, Reem Saleh, Jenna Sutela, SYNDICAT, Daniel Tapia Takaki,  TROJANS COLLECTIVE, Fatima Wegmann, YARZA TWINS, UGLY DESIGN, Z1 STUDIO, Mathias Zieba.

Study plan and detailed courses - in French
As of September 2020, the Master Space and Communication will be a 120 ECTS degree.