In a moment in history with global challenges like the climate crisis, extreme political polarization, war conflicts or social disparity, a contextual critical design that invents hopeful futures renders more necessary than ever. This Master in Critical Design instrumentalizes critical thinking to create an impact in our society, cities, and other environments.
Critical Design emerged in the 60’s, when Italian architects and industrial designers started to dissociate their work from the logics of the market, linking it with political ideas that would confront the challenges of their time. This swift change of interests transformed the figure of the designer into someone who participated in intellectual and political public discussions from their own practice, widening its scope and creating an impact in the world.
During one academic year, this master programme combines theoretical study, research investigation and practical work led by international architects, thinkers, artists, activists, curators and publishers. The programme explores history, current debates and gives a landscape of contemporary practices that are challenging hegemonic discourses today.
Ultimately, the students will acquire a broad set of perspectives on key challenges of our times and tools to add to the international conversation on geopolitics, spatial justice, environmental activism, care, identity politics, feminist studies and practices, climate justice, extractivism, non-human rights, political art and design, critical architecture or urban radical alternatives among others, though experimental criticism applied to design research.
The curriculum is structured in three themes: Critical Thought and Design, Current Debates, Contexts (Cities and Environments), and culminates in the development of a Master Thesis.