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“Design and Computation”: New joint degree program of UdK Berlin and TU Berlin

Designers, artists, engineers, natural scientists, humanities scholars, and social scientists can now apply to the new interdisciplinary and research-oriented master’s degree program in Design and Computation. It is the first interdisciplinary degree program offered together by Berlin University of the Arts and Technische Universität Berlin.

From the digitalization of the working world to ensuring food security through to overcoming the climate crisis – since the turn of the last century, industrialized societies have been witnessing an ever-increasing penetration of far-reaching areas of public and private life by new technological applications that often stem from decades of basic research. The “metatrend” of accelerated, digitally coordinated technologization also affects, albeit in different ways, large areas of human productivity, including the engineering sciences (e.g. mechanical engineering, materials research, civil engineering), classical design disciplines (e.g. product and fashion design, visual communication, architecture, media design) and the arts. This development places fundamentally new demands on graduates from these fields as well as on university teaching.

In view of the current rapid technological and social change as well as an increasingly dynamic academic landscape, the new master’s program “Design & Computation” was established in a cooperation of Berlin University of the Arts and Technische Universität Berlin and will commence winter semester 2020/2021. The program is aimed at bachelor’s graduates from the fields of design, art, engineering, natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, offering them the opportunity to contribute to pressing questions of our time in an interdisciplinary context, drawing on the extensive expertise of both universities in a range of disciplines, each reflecting the “cutting edge” of their respective fields.

“For today's engineering sciences, such as mechanical engineering, materials research or civil engineering, completely new questions arise as to the social dimension of their innovations. And in creative and artistic fields such as product and fashion design or architecture, technical expertise is becoming increasingly important. Because of these overlaps, new hybrid fields of work frequently emerge in between traditional university disciplines. The cooperation between Berlin University of the Arts and Technische Universität Berlin allows us to map this development with the new study program in an excellent way,” explains Professor Albert Lang, representative of the new master’s program and professor of technological systems in design at TU Berlin.

Content and structure of the master’s study program

The four-semester master’s program begins with a customizable introductory semester that serves to develop a common thematic, discursive and methodological foundation. This is followed by two semesters of work in the studio “Design as Medial Practice”, which forms the core of the program. In the studio, students dedicate themselves to exploring and exploiting new technologies, media, materials and methods, their critical reflection and problem-oriented application in the frame of project-based teamwork and across an annually changing set of topics. The studio is supervised by professors from both universities and takes place within the context of free drafts, visualizations on varying scales, literature work, concrete scientific experiments and other formats.

Parallel to the studio work, students take one of two elective modules, “Modeling and Simulation” or “Structures and Systems”, and thus deepen their respective fields of study. In addition, an extensive portfolio of elective subjects from both universities offers second and third semester students the opportunity to precisely adapt their studies to their own preference and interests.

The last semester of the master’s program consists of writing a final thesis, optionally comprising a practical component.

Graduates are trained in the application of new technologies in the design process and are able to critically examine central problems of an increasingly globalized and technologized world. Furthermore, they possess a flexible mindset that transcends disciplinary boundaries, enabling them to move confidently in transdisciplinary research contexts and to act as initiators and pioneers of public and private enterprises. 

Further information about the master’s program in Design and Computation can be found on the website of the study program.

[Translate to English:] © Design & Computation