The HKB / MA DESIGN offers you an individual course for design and design-research projects with a high degree of social relevance in the fields of Entrepreneurship and Research, as a full-time student (over 3 semesters) or as a part-time student (over 5 semesters).

What is the HKB / MA DESIGN all about?

The HKB / MA DESIGN is focused on developing your project from the first idea until it is ready for implementation. It offers you small classes for individual support, and provides you sufficient time to identify a socially relevant design problem or research question, to analyse the problem or state of research, to create innovative solutions or new knowledge, and finally to formulate a business concept or research plan.

You apply with an idea for a product, a service or a research project, or choose an idea from the advertised project proposals. The programme advises you in finding appropriate supervisors, and in designing your curriculum according to the specific needs of your project. 

What does the HKB / MA DESIGN mean by “Design with a social impact”?

The HKB / MA DESIGN puts the social relevance of design and research at the heart of things. The programme thematises the complex networks of relationships between human beings and objects and between people and the environment.

You thereby learn and apply creative and scientific theories, methods and tools that will enable you to develop innovative solutions to socially relevant problems and to increase the “social impact” of your project. These include, for example, planning, carrying out interviews, participatory observation, workshops, cultural probes, on-site inspections and “empathy tools”.

What is the result of my studies and what can I do after graduating from HKB / MA DESIGN?

On the “Entrepreneurship” track you will conclude your studies with a business concept for a design-based product or service that you can make the basis of a subsequent career. With your final project you can found your own company and apply for design grants or start-up support, in particular for DEAL, the Berner Designinitiative programme for excellent entrepreneurial design projects.

On the “Research” track you will conclude your studies with a research plan for a design research project that you will carry out in your subsequent career. With your final project you will apply for research support or for admission to a doctoral programme, in particular at the Graduate School of the Arts of the University of Bern and the HKB (via the specialised Master in Research on the Arts of the University of Bern).

The skills and competencies gained during your studies will increase your chances of achieving an attractive career as an independent designer, entrepreneur, or design researcher.