Open Design

Study mode:Full-time Languages: English Duration:2 years
Foreign:$ 1.32k / Semester(s) Deadline: Apr 30, 2021
StudyQA ranking:377

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The international, non-consecutive, interdisciplinary Master's degree programme Open Design/Diseño Abierto para la Innovación is a double-degree programme organised by the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) and the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA).
The Master's degree programme focuses on the "design turn" in interdisciplinary research. Graduates will acquire skills in a broad spectrum of empirical methodologies that encompass cultural studies and humanities through analysis and historicising, scientific experimentalisation from the natural sciences, and creative synthesis from the design disciplines. Students will be given the opportunity to reflect on complex problems that require input from multiple disciplines.
Successful graduates will be awarded a double degree by the two universities.
By examining the differences between disciplines and cultures, the programme prepares students both in specific intercultural skills. The programme reflects on intercultural experience from historical and theoretical perspectives. Through the exchange programme between Argentina and Germany, students learn about different cultural practices and acquire local knowledge as productive interculturality.
The main language of the Master's degree programme is English. Basic knowledge of Spanish is also required, although students will have the opportunity to acquire or improve their knowledge of Spanish or German during their studies through language courses.
The graduates are prepared to work in intercultural and interdisciplinary communication and mediation, interdisciplinary problem-solving, development and innovative research, conceptual work and project development for the industrial, scientific and social sectors, research and research facilitation.

Educational organisation

The first three semesters of the Master's degree programme each focus on a semester theme which addresses current social, economic and scientific processes. This semester theme is approached through three key theme seminars taking place over the first three semesters. The core of each of the first three semesters is the laboratory module, which involves a laboratory project and exercise. These complement the seminars and allow students to develop project-oriented research on the corresponding semester theme.

Key Theme I: Spatial Structures
Students acquire expertise in historical and theoretical description and application of spatial structures within different sciences. The students will have the opportunity of synthesising this knowledge into new spatial structures in different disciplines such as physics and architecture, materials research and design.

Key Theme II: Media Technologies
Students acquire expertise in the history and theory of media technologies, including the transfer, processing and conservation of data and objects. Students learn about media technologies from a historical perspective and apply their knowledge productively in processes of Gestaltung.

Key Theme III: Design Strategies
Students acquire expertise in diverse design strategies within the different disciplines and are encouraged to analyse these as comparative processes of Gestaltung, since they are central to interdisciplinary work. Furthermore, students realise concrete projects in a special nexus of Gestaltung and interdisciplinary knowledge.

First Semester
Elements
Based on their acquired knowledge of historical, theoretical and material properties as basic elements of Gestaltung in the different disciplines, students interpret spatial structures and analyse their importance as interdisciplinary distributors of knowledge.
Laboratory Elements
On the basis of the foundation elements of Gestaltung and research processes (draft, concept, model, etc.), students gain interdisciplinary project skills and extensive experience of software programmes for the modelling, simulation, presentation and distribution of knowledge.

Second Semester
Experiments
Students acquire basic knowledge of experimentation and the development of experimental systems in the distinct disciplines. They study the use of basic media technologies and analyse and demonstrate an understanding of the structure of scientific and humanistic experimental systems as well as those concerning Gestaltung.
Laboratory Experiments:
On the basis of the foundation elements of experimentation and the structure of experimental systems, students master interdisciplinary methods and acquire extensive user experience in media technology, design strategy and the methods, structure and evaluation of experiments.

Third Semester
Projects
Students analyse specific interdisciplinary design processes that integrate analytical-historical and experimental procedures in a complex manner. They apply design strategies for the development of innovative projects, thus bringing together the various elements of Gestaltung and empirical methods.
Laboratory Projects
The module offers the students course-specific, practical, and subject-oriented research and project work focused on a semester theme. Students solve given problems in interdisciplinary groups, developing project management skills.
Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Competence
Students examine the differences between disciplines and cultures and reflect on intercultural experience from historical and theoretical perspectives. Through the exchange programme between Argentina and Germany, students learn about different cultural practices and acquire local knowledge as productive interculturality.

Fourth Semester
During the fourth semester, students work on their Master's thesis in either Buenos Aires or Berlin, applying the acquired interdisciplinary skills to develop and solve, theoretically and methodically, a chosen thesis reflecting current scientific research.

Study abroad unit(s)

The first two semesters take place in Buenos Aires at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, followed by a third semester in Berlin at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. For the fourth semester, students may choose to work on their Master's thesis in either Buenos Aires or Berlin.

Forms of assessment

Graded examinations (seminar papers, portfolio presentations, written assignments, project work)
Master's thesis

Course objectives

The Master's degree programme focuses on the "design turn" in interdisciplinary research. Graduates will acquire skills in a broad spectrum of empirical methodologies that encompass cultural studies and humanities through analysis and historicising, scientific experimentalisation from the natural sciences, and creative synthesis from the design disciplines. Students will be given the opportunity to reflect on complex problems that require input from multiple disciplines.
The graduates acquire knowledge on diverse academic methods and on praxis-oriented problem-solving strategies, as well as on diverse social competences, from critic self-reflection in joint work within interdisciplinary teams, through languages competences, up to intercultural competences through joint work in diverse scientific work cultures.

Language requirements

Applicants must submit a certificate of advanced English knowledge (C2 or its equivalent: Certificate of Proficiency English (CPE)/TOEFL -/250-300/600-677/IELTS 7.5+/Trinity Grade 12).
Applicants whose native language is not Spanish must have a basic knowledge of Spanish at A2 or equivalent level.
During the first two semesters it is highly recommended that students take a German language course, since basic knowledge of this language is necessary for the third semester taking place in Berlin.

Academic requirements

Applicants must have completed a university degree in any area of knowledge. The degree must have been earned over no less than four years of study, with an attendance of no less than 2,600 sixty-minute attendance hours. If the applicant has a Bachelor's degree with less than four years in duration, he/she must submit proof of at least one year's work and/or research experience in their field of study.

Costs of living

Approx. 800 EUR per month to cover personal expenses

Arrival support

Students receive information before arrival concerning accommodation, schedules, and other relevant questions. If students have any questions, they can contact their course coordinator by e-mail (info@master-open-design.org).

Services and support for international students

Both programme coordinators and the International Offices of the Universidad de Buenos Aires and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin offer support services for international students during their entire studies.
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