master-diseno-espacio-comercial-retail-design-01 MUJI, Alaitz Gaztelumendi, Beatriz Diaz Marco, Agustín Rodríguez

Master in Retail Design

Delve into the design of commercial spaces and gain the necessary knowledge of strategy, technological innovation and visual merchandising to take on any retail design project: from boutiques to large multi-national brands.

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What do we need to account for when designing spaces for brands? In a world where a digital presence is becoming more and more important, the physical experience involving all our senses should have an added value in brands’ commercial strategies to attract customers in a differential, competitive way.

The Master in Retail Space: Retail Design combines aspects of different disciplines, including retail design, architecture, design, advertising and sales. It is an interdisciplinary specialization that will give you a broad vision of the design of commercial spaces.

The focus of this master’s degree is the analysis and study of trends, market innovation, society and the environment as the foundation for designing commercial spaces taking considering all the key elements: concept, market study, communication, circulation, exhibition, virtual and sensory aspects, etc.

You’ll work directly with brands and on briefs from real companies. When you finish this master’s degree, you’ll be prepared to work with the most demanding companies in the market. Some of the companies we’ve worked with include Antonio Miró, World Duty Free, IKEA, SONY, Swarovski, Vitra, Tous, MUJI and Nike.

In our master’s degree, we train the future designers of commercial spaces to give them a comprehensive understanding of the field of commercial design: from small- to large-scale design and taking new formats into account.

Access and Admission Requirements: An official university degree or equivalent in Architecture or Interior Design. Basic knowledge of 2D and 3D spatial representation.

Study the Master in Retail Design in Barcelona

There is no better place to dive into the world of retail design than the city of Barcelona. Not only because it is one of the most modern, cosmopolitan cities in Europe adapted to the new synergies emerging in the design world, but also because many great, historic commercial spaces coexist in the city. Studying retail design in Barcelona will open doors to a future of success.

Our Master in Retail Design trains future professionals, providing them with the necessary tools to meet the real needs emerging in the labour market. What sets apart our master’s degree in retail design is this transition between the academic and professional worlds. The students’ working environment approximates what they will experience in the workplace.


  • Analysing the role of retail design in the context of commercial strategy.
  • Applying social and market studies for an optimal design.
  • Creating a design for a commercial space.
  • Mastering the conceptualization and execution of shop display windows.
  • Addressing strategic branding tools related to retail.
  • Learning strategies, market plans and expansion models applied to retail.
  • Discovering the power of retail applied to virtual commerce.
  • Mastering the different trends in eco-lighting.


Master in Retail Design programme

1 Large formats and strategies: Expansion models

Analyse the internal business structure, the market, forms and strategies for expansion, and also the tools for directing retail projects. 

1.1 Large-scale spaces
1.2 Case studies
1.3 Market strategies and plans
1.4 Bases and concepts that define the market
1.5 Cases: Analysis of examples
1.6 Market “scales”
1.7 Discussion-practice: Future markets 

2 Development of a commercial design through the construction documents phase, details and formats

Develop the design of a large-scale commercial space and all its processes through the documents that make up the brand book and the construction documents for a store.

2.1 Introduction and presentation of the module. From the brand book to the construction documents
2.2 General guidelines, index of blueprints, content and information necessary for the development of the construction documents for a store
2.3 Layout design: Brand and segment
2.4 Human scale: The user’s relationship to the space and with the furnishings
2.5 The product as the foundation for furniture design. Display systems and furniture families
2.6 Product range sheets. Size and quantity of products on display and in stock
2.7 Materials in architecture and furniture. Manufacturing processes
2.8 Furniture design, functionality, execution, detail and prototyping 

3 Research methods, commercial spaces in cities. Global trends in sustainability

Create a commercial design project that is innovative and sustainable, incorporating your knowledge and experience from design, business, retail, urban planning, the global scenario, and/or climate action and social action.

3.1 Introduction and presentation of the module
3.2 2030 global scenario focused on the retail context
3.3 Frameworks, conceptual foundations and collaborative work
3.4 Trends and case studies in the context of the retail scenario
3.5 Field trips

4 Merging physical & digital: technology and retail

Analyse how technology has become one of the main drivers of change and, in the short term, has changed the way we communicate and interact.

4.1 Introduction: Blurring boundaries
4.2 Generational change and technology
4.3 Evolution of technology towards digital media
4.4 Digital communication and the physical environment
4.5 Retail and technology. Experience and point of sale
4.6 New models
4.7 Brick&mortar + Digital layer
4.8 Cases: Analysis of examples
4.9 Discussion and design
4.10 Proposal review and follow-up 

5 Display window production: first impressions

Investigate creative processes and develop productions for assembly in order to execute real proposals.

5.1 Visual language and its tools
5.2 Spatial and visual concepts applied to retail
5.3 Analysis and research of the sector based on its visual and material strategies
5.4 Communication and storytelling through commercial space
5.5 The cash register. The window. The envelope: A contemporary overview of display windows
5.6 Brand, identity and space
5.7 Lighting techniques in display windows
5.8 Organizing the assembly and budget
5.9 Case studies 

6 Comprehensive project. Global business. Large scale. Business in traffic. IKEA

Work on a commercial space characterized by traffic, like an airport or a museum, and analyse consumer behaviour in this environment.

6.1 Introduction and presentation of the case studies
6.2 Unconventional traffic stores: Typologies and formats
6.3 Development of distribution plans
6.4 Lighting and concept package for a comprehensive project
6.5 Dual retail: Cross-selling businesses
6.6 The “experience” at the point of sale
6.7 Product/service categories 

7 Commercial marketing strategies

Learn the foundations of contemporary retail marketing and analyse corporate strategy, the portfolio of products or solutions, and the tools of online, off-line and in-store communication.

7.1 Introduction to marketing and presentation of the module
7.2 Market analysis, life cycle, positioning, portfolio and segmentation
7.3 Distribution, structure and zoning in commercial spaces
7.4 Visual merchandising as a strategic operation
7.5 Omnichannel
7.6 Implementation of commercial strategies 

8 New forms in commercial spaces

Develop a design for a pop-up store. Discover new retail formats where experience takes precedence over sales.

8.1 Introduction and presentation of the course
8.2 Pop-up stores, shop-in-shops, fair stands and new sales formats
8.3 Case studies
8.4 Temporary art and installations for new forms of retail
8.5 Materials and building solutions
8.6 Storytelling at the point of sale: from concept to reality 

9 Visual communication, identity and expression of brands at the point of sale

Learn the importance of graphic messaging in retail spaces and its application in different languages, supports and formats.

9.1 Design as strategy
9.2 MIN segmentation model
9.3 Experience of the customer-brand relationship and strategic management
9.4 Introduction to the analysis of the research and positioning process
9.5 Definition of brand values and codes
9.6 Languages, supports and formats
9.7 Practical case developing a proposal in the context of the city of Barcelona 

10 Displays and visual merchandising (VM)

In the first part, you’ll learn about the concept of merchandising and its usefulness in a retail chain; in the second, you’ll learn how to minimize the waste generated by displays.

10.1 What is merchandising?
10.2 Brand study: Who am I?, target customer, product
10.3 Visual merchandising strategy
10.4 Seasonal merchandising strategy
10.5 Merchandising in a fashion retail chain
10.6 The store of the future in VM
10.7 Strategies in displays 

11 Creative and collaborative processes in retail

Learn about the importance of implementing innovative and sustainable criteria in the design process in general, and in retail in particular.

11.1 Market trends
11.2 Strategies and scales in commercial/retail actions
11.3 Towards committed leadership: Roles and tools for discussion
11.4 Creative collaborative structures
11.5 Project strategies and retail proposals for investors and consumers 

12 Master’s Final Project 

In the Master’s Final Project, you’ll develop a strategic proposal based on a brief provided by a collaborating company, and you’ll formalize a design for a retail space. 

If you want to know more about the Master in Retail Design download the brochure here:

Do you want to know more about the Masters’ School?

Each academic year, students with very diverse professional and cultural profiles of more than 80 nationalities from all over the world attend their master’s or postgraduate training at Elisava. We want to promote connections and networks among students beyond the context of each master’s degree to promote the exchange of knowledge through very diverse projects: we organize interdisciplinary workshops and conferences; transdisciplinary projects with students from several master’s degrees; collaborations with companies, institutions and NGOs…

Interdisciplinary workshops Collaborations with companies, institutions and NGOs Elisava Masters’ Talks and lectures Elisava Alumni

Masters’ Scholarships

Do you want to study the Master in Retail Design at Elisava? In this section you will be able to check all the information on the annual call for scholarships, which recognize, reward and disseminate the talent and excellence of future master’s students.

Elisava Masters’ Scholarships