The curriculum is structured to provide students the time, space, resources, and conversations in producing a body of work which frames their practice. This work is always supported by a teaching staff of actively practicing designers, and invited guests who give workshops, lectures, and critiques. The first year of the Graphic Design MA is facilitated by prompts which engage students to question and reflect upon their work. The second year asks that students come to define their work and practices as a whole. Students are expected to discuss their progress at the end of each semester, and outline their intentions for how to continue into the next academic term. Parallel to this will include topic specific courses which change each year, investigating and responding to contemporary issues, methods and ideas in graphic design.
In the first year, each student is asked to question their practice, interests, and intentions as a designer through the active process of making new work. This is facilitated by prompts and projects intended to encourage critical investigation, hands-on making, and iterative working. The core course components are:
The program is organized around a studio model wherein practice is developed through formal investigations and applied projects. These can start from a combination of either prompts by the teachers, commissioned projects, or self-initiated work from the students. Regardless of the starting point, the work must be iterative, critical, and contribute towards the forming of a body of work. All work is supervised by weekly meetings either with the staff or visiting critics.
During the second semester for seven weeks, the program will relocate to Berlin, Germany, supported by a teaching staff of local designers. The Erasmus mobility program has approved a stipend for all students to cover travel and accommodation costs.
The theory course will support all practical studio work. Throughout the semester, students will meet with a theory teacher who will assign readings, lead discussions, organize lectures, and host screenings. The role of the theory teacher is to help students contextualize their work, position themselves in the contemporary world, and facilitate research that may eventually lead to their thesis.
As the first year progresses, these course components fold into one another, so that no work is done without the integration and support of the other. The work produced in the first year is intended to be reflected on, and students will be asked to find connections between their projects to serve as a starting point for defining their work in the second year.
In the second year, students will begin to define their own projects and research towards a final thesis, with the ongoing support of a thesis advisor. In the third semester, students are required to choose electives (from the faculties of Architecture, Design, Fine Arts, and Art & Culture) which support this work, while the fourth and final semester is dedicated entirely to completing the thesis submission and graduation exhibition.
The thesis is understood as a cohesive body of work, organized from a collection of projects developed over the two years of study. It will present what your work is about and how you position yourself as a graphic designer. The final submission will take the form of a book, which must include a formal written thesis and the body of work that supports it.
Upon successful completion of the two years of study and submission of a final thesis, students will graduate with a Master of Arts in Graphic Design.