MA Study Programme in Design
The MA programme in design offers practical, methodological as well as theoretical skills to work with design at an advanced level – functionally, aesthetically as well as ethically. Application deadline 1 February.
The master’s programme is an interdisciplinary programme where you as a designer study form, function and ethical aspects of design in depth. Through practice, methods and theory, you learn to work on design at a high level.
The core of the programme is your master’s project. This is a large-scale, independent and experimental design project in which you meticulously investigate aspects of reality and define design challenges and problems. You arrive at new, sustainable design solutions by conducting trials and experiments, and hopefully work across established professional boundaries.
Your days as a master’s student consist of working independently and in small groups. The number of students admitted to the Department of Design is small, which facilitates close contact between the teaching staff and students. An important part of the learning process in the master’s programme takes the form of conversations and discussions between yourself, other design students and your main tutor. You will take part in new, stimulating professional arenas throughout the study programme. You will present your project at regular intervals, either in writing or orally. Exhibitions are held in connection with the semester assessments, and they give you a chance to hone your skills in effective visual and oral communication.
Through the programme, you develop the ability to see yourself and your project in relation to a complex and rapidly changing reality. To reflect this, the master’s programme is based on design research and development. Your master’s project is also a contribution to this knowledge production.
The programme will give you more insight into your role as a designer and how to talk and write about your work. You learn what generates drive and creativity in cooperation with other designers and design users. This gives you a grounding in how to manage large-scale projects. The goal of the programme is to teach you how to master the discipline with courage, empathy and insight.
The master’s programme in design is an international programme. The language of instruction is English and the students are from international backgrounds. As a master’s student, you will have good opportunities to go on exchanges, including to institutions abroad. Such exchanges count as part of the programme, and your study progress is not delayed.
The programme concludes with a large public show, staged with the help of a professional exhibition architect in an external venue that is suited to the presentation of design projects.
From January 1st 2017 we are part of University of Bergen, as one of three institute at Faculty of Art, Music and Design. In August 2017 we move to a brand new building, designed by Snøhetta. We can then offer great fascilities for your master study in design.
Visual communication and furniture and spatial design / interior architecture
The programme primarily covers the subject areas of visual communication and furniture and spatial design / interior architecture, but not in a narrow sense. The department encourages a cross-disciplinary approach in relation to traditional subject boundaries and traditional ways of thinking within the subject areas.
The main elements of the MA programme
The main elements of the programme support you in your work on your master’s project, and you also have an opportunity to increase the breadth of your practice through practical workshop and studio courses, in addition to courses that place design work in a wider context.
The master’s project is developed over four semesters in close contact with the department's teaching staff. This gives you time and space to develop ideas and an opportunity to conduct research, for example about the users and user situations you are designing for.
Writing courses are held several times during the programme period. At such courses, you can work directly on the text for your master's project, and you also have an opportunity to try your hand at different textual genres that you may have use for in your career as a designer.
Interdisciplinary and external projects are something we give high priority at the Department of Design. They give you direct contact with different parts of the life of a professional designer. These projects last for two or three weeks and they usually have a social dimension. They often involve contact with other disciplines, such as psychology, sociology and anthropology.
Subject-specific projects/workshops teach you skills in parts of your subject area or in relation to certain target groups. These workshops are often taught by external designers who have distinguished themselves in the field in which they are teaching.
Theoretical knowledge and critical reflection are offered as a series of lectures on communication, methods and marketing. This topic also includes discussions and writing assignments.
Courses in the development of ideas, applying methods and project management develop your ability to investigate, develop ideas and manage projects. You learn these skills through practical work in workshops.
Presentation and exhibitions gives you an opportunity to show your work at the end of each semester and, not least, when you complete your master’s degree. In that connection, you are also given very useful courses in oral and visual presentation.
Preparing for a professional career gives you the tools you need as a designer on the labour market. You learn how to protect your ideas and draw up a good market plan.
Workshop courses give you new knowledge that enables you to use several types of materials. In recent years, the Department of Design has built several new and advanced workshops that have machinery and tools that students can use in their work on their master’s projects. You will have access to a 3-D printer, a laser cutter and a risograph. You will also have use of a photo lab, sound lab, wood workshop and metal workshop.
Morten Skjærpe Knarrum: Behind Bars in Vik
Future detention policy in Norway intends to provide rehabilitation for inmates. Currently detention is foremost a punishment, but can also be an opportunity for inmates to develop the skills and values necessary to seek
employment and become law-abiding citizens once they're released. All Norwegian inmates have mandatory work duties during detention, but these tasks - which may vary from scrubbing floors to making candles, bathtubs, or toys - have remained unchanged since the 1960s. If the duties of detained prisoners are intended to play a role in developing their skills and learning capacity, how can design benefit these inmates? Can the production of furniture in prisons stimulate dignity, perspective and pride among inmates?
For the project 'Bak murene i Vik' (Behind Bars in Vik) the artist Morten Skjærpe Knarrum designed furniture intended for production in prisons after holding a workshop with six inmates from Vik prison in Sogn. Using traditional techniques from cabinet-making, Knarrum's dining-room furniture designs are meant for an outside market. By reconnecting mandatory duties with real application, real use, his project aims to teach a profession and useful skills to inmates, improving their self-confidence and future prospects.
Albert Cheng-Syun Tang: Extraordinary in Ordinary
How can design guide people to find the concealed value in the relationship with objects in everyday life?
Setting out to rediscover the extraordinary in the ordinary and to uncover the hidden value in the familiar objects of everyday life, Albert Cheng-Syun Tang's project proposes a new kind of diary: The Daily You. Appearing as a
simple mirror, Cheng-Syun Tang's design doubles as a recording device that snaps a single picture of its owner each and every day - doing so unobtrusively, catching them at their most natural and unaffected. Over the
years, The Daily You creates a series of unique portraits - snapshots of specific moments that accrue value and meaning with the passage of time.
Both projects were displayed in Porto in summer 2012 at the NEU/NOW Festival: http://www.neunow.com/