Elisava Art Thinking, Gastón Lisak

University Master in Applied Research in Design

Specialize in applied research from design and communication. With this university master’s degree you will be able to access our doctoral programme, linked to different areas of knowledge.

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The University Master in Applied Research in Design promotes applied research within the areas of knowledge of design and communication, to generate a value proposition through project methodology.

The master’s degree will train you as a researcher with the necessary academic and professional skills to carry out global design projects, strategies and analysis, and reflect on your own design practice. You will define a work methodology, through techniques and advanced research methods, focused on design and the generation of proposals from critical thinking. The master’s subjects will provide you with knowledge and content that you can use in all processes and areas of research.

Through the master’s degree you can access our doctoral programme where you will define your academic and scientific projection in an area of knowledge.

Access and admission requirements: degrees in design, arts and humanities, social and legal sciences and professionals with some experience in the sector. This programme is verified by the accrediting institution AQU Catalunya, and accredited by the RUCT and the Ministry of Education (BOE).

University Master in Applied Research in Design

The master is structured into 60 credits according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), in which one credit is equivalent to 25 hours of work by the student. Teaching activity generally takes place in the afternoons, Monday to Friday, from the end of September to mid-June.

The university master’s degree is an advanced training of a specialized and multidisciplinary nature that aims to introduce you to research activities “for”, “about”, “from” and “applied” in design. Likewise, as it is a Master’s Degree, it allows access to a doctoral programme in a related area.

Student profile of a University Master in Design Research

The student group is heterogeneous and interdisciplinary. Its previous studies and interests are plural and it is usually made up of graduates in design, architecture, industrial design engineering, communication, sociology and other related disciplines.

The geographical origin is also diverse: Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Portugal, Germany, China and Taiwan, and also from many places in Spain such as: the Canary Islands, Galicia or Andalusia, and of course Catalonia.

Due to its nature as a Master’s Degree, this programme meets the official requirement, which allows candidates to apply for scholarships in Spain, as well as in different Latin American and European countries.

Study design in Barcelona

Our Master’s Degree is an official second-cycle degree in Social Sciences, where design takes intentionally on a primary role with scientific. An advanced training is oriented towards both academic and professional specialization.

The primary objective of the master’s degree is to promote the application of research in all areas of society. There are three possible environments where you can place your research:

+ Academic/scientist, directs the student towards the doctorate and academic career as a teacher.

+ Scientific/social, it will be the result of an eminently social vision, the primary essence of design and the designer, whose primary objective is to improve the world around us…

+ Scientific/industrial, innovation in the business and industrial field.

If you are interested in Applied Research in Design and Communication, but still do not know where to study, you should know that Elisava is among the most nationally and internationally recognized design schools. We are supported by our years of experience and the quality of our educational system, supported by the Agency for the Quality of the University System of Catalonia (AQU).


  • Explore research processes “for design”, “about design”, “through design”, and “applied in design”. ·
  • Document a critical reflection on how to approach a design research project from various points of view. ·
  • Know the various research methods that exist in design.
  • Analyze the historiography of design and its methodology.
  • Propose applied research projects in design and communication through their different phases.
  • Generate social design proposals and their value as an agent of change. ·
  • Define the scientific narrative that is generated from design and communication. ·
  • Apply the philosophy and ethics linked to design and communication. ·
  • Carry out professional internships in research institutes and renowned companies in the sector.

University Master in Applied Research in Design programme
1 Narrative in design and communication

How the disciplines of design and communication interrelate.

1.1 Artifacts and visual language
Research and creation are integrated, in a creative way, in the development of the subject. Through the analysis of visual and material culture, and through the development of visual artifacts that function as catalysts, you will begin your path towards research and critical analysis.

1.2 Design and communication strategy
The subject will provide the basic analysis tools prior to the strategic definition of a communication plan, with the aim of learning to evaluate the needs and opportunities of the market situation and thus determine the relevance of a communicative action.

1.3 Media and environments of design and communication
Analytical vision of the media and the environment as a source of knowledge, both in the field of communication and in the study of design as an integrating element in the construction of contemporary thought. The subject exemplifies the object as the medium that formalizes the functional and the symbolic, configuring the intra- and extra-environment of the subject’s identity.

2 Theory and practice of design research

Different types of research, orbiting between research about design and through design.

2.1 Interdisciplinary critical perspectives based on practice
From an interdisciplinary vision, perspectives such as speculative design and critical design will be explored, experimenting through design on the future of cities and human habitats and the possibilities of expanding design practice beyond communication and the product. Design as a discipline will be treated from the sociological, political, creative and social innovation perspective.

2.2 Social design. Care and the common good
Design is social, it mediates our way of thinking and interacting with the world. At the same time, designers are rarely aware of this social layer and its implications, without knowing how designs interact with, for example, power structures. This friction between capability and knowledge is visible in practices in the realm of “social design,” where, unlike many other design practices, there is an explicit emphasis on designing for the common good.

2.3 Academic-scientific methodology for design research
This subject is organized from a series of theoretical and practical criteria that will focus on providing various methods and techniques, as well as critical-theoretical devices relevant to design research. Although the focus of the subject is practical, central theoretical aspects about the nature of design research, its purposes and the different existing approaches will be considered.

3 Electives (select two)

Guide your career towards an ethical-political approach linked to the industry and the market, towards research and dissemination of ideas or towards practical contact with professional reality.

3.1 Philosophy and ethics of design and communication
Exploration of the ethical-political challenges that designers face within the framework of contemporary material culture. The subject seeks to stimulate critical reflection and provide students with the skills to carry it out.

3.2 Projection of the professional and research career
Develop action potential so that you are able to explore and discover your personal and professional interests. To do this, you must generate a series of objectives and future paths both in the professional and academic fields that are technically and materially viable, as well as socially responsible.

3.3 Professional practices
The internships will be developed in accordance with the general regulations that regulate external academic internships for university master’s students, currently by Royal Decree 592/2014, of July 11, which regulates external academic internships for university students. The UVic-UCC regulations, contained in the academic regulations of the university’s master’s studies, will also apply.

4 Final Masters’ Project

Development of a research project in design and communication, through which you will put the knowledge acquired into practice.

The Final Masters’ Project constitutes the last academic project, in which the knowledge acquired during the master is put into practice and validated.

If you want to know more about the University Master in Applied Research in 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 University Master in Applied Research in 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