Geneva University of Art and Design

Geneva University of Art and Design

Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD)

Plus 2,25, installation created by Spaces and communication MA students. Workshop directed by Konstantin Grcic, 2011. Photography: Raphaëlle Mueller.
February 16, 2012
Geneva University of Art and Design

Deadline for applications:
11 May 2012

HEAD – Genève offers two complementary specialisations in the Master of Arts HES-SO in Design:


Spaces and communication
Media Design
Together, they offer a prime field for experimentation with the redefinition of the socio-cultural and imaginary space. Far removed from the conventional idea of the designer as an ingenious service provider solely concerned with the production of useful objects, these programmes defend the creative stance of the autonomous, audacious, critical and inventive designer. Designers of objects, spaces or interactions, media and graphic designers, the students are encouraged to see design in a triumphant perspective that freely annexes the related areas of art, architecture, science, urbanism, … to make them its own.


These two Masters programmes promote an individual stance that finds expression in a wide variety of supports: prototypes, artefacts, simulations, films, models, photographs, games, online projects, interactive systems or life-size productions anchored in reality.


Head of Masters Design: Alexandra Midal
Coordination: Victor Durschei
Administration: Tiina Huber
Scientific collaborators: Pascal Berger, Maxime Schoeni
Assistants: Mathieu Bassée, Raphaëlle Mueller, Anh Truong
Technical teaching: Théo Reichel, Pierre Rossel, Daniel Zea




Spaces and communication
The unique combination offered by the Masters in Spaces and communication corresponds to a new profession of designers as sensitive to the question and the issues of the sign, of graphic identity—of visual communication in all its forms of expression and variety of media—as to the design of space in its broadest sense.


Modifications to the perception and uses of design in the public, commercial, cultural and urban space call for decrypting capabilities and knowledge that unite individual practice and the production processes of the designer and related theory. The diversity of the teaching—workshops, studios, seminars, critical sessions, etc.—emphasises the interrelation between the disciplines of graphic design and spatial design and the link between the disciplines of “doing” and “knowing.” Students assert their ability to question the world around them and to engage in dialogue. They measure the impact of spatial, political and technological modifications on our everyday lives and use them as the starting point for constructive examination, either real or fictional.


The recent inauguration of the Design Project Room, an exhibition space at the heart of the university, with a programme of international design, is a nodal axis of our teaching. In association with recognised designers, our students question exhibition formats in order to make concrete proposals.


After an introductory workshop, the first year is organised into seminars and numerous workshops led by internationally renowned designers and graphic designers, during which students enhance their knowledge, deploy individual means of expression and establish a creative stance. The second year is devoted to an individual Masters Thesis project.


At the end of the two years of studies of this vocational Masters, students will master the design and creation of signifying, commercial or museographic spaces and their resolution on a 1:1 scale, whether functional, critical, self-reflexive, ideological, etc.


Professors, Heads of Programme: Tristan Kobler & Barbara Holzer (Zurich)


Professors / Visiting Professors / Lecturers: Abäke (Maki Suzuki, graphic designer, London), Bruno Angella (designer, Paris), Berger & Berger (Cyrille Berger, architect, Paris), Claire Brunet (philosopher, ENS-Cachan, Paris), Nitzan Cohen (designer, Munich), matali crasset (designer, Paris), Pierre di Sciullo (graphic designer, Paris), El Ultimo Gritto (Rosario Hurtado et Roberto Feo, designers, London), Pascal Rousseau (art historian, Paris), Moritz Schmid (designer, Zurich), Daria de Seta (architect, Barcelona), Superstudio (Gian-Piero Frassinelli, architect), Noam Toran (designer, London), Eric Troncy (curator and critic, Dijon),…


Media Design
The dissemination of digital technologies and their diverse uses modify design production practices and research and make it possible to discover new fields of application. Design and interactivity thus contribute jointly and significantly to the evolution of the forms, objects, messages and services that characterise the era of technoculture.


At the intersection between creation, the media and innovation, the Masters in Media Design offers a field of experimentation favouring the development of projects in the areas of interaction design, information design, network communication, games, electronic publishing and the design of mobile media.


This programme is addressed to Swiss and international students and young professionals involved in visual communication, interactive design, computing or related disciplines.


The training combines the approaches to design, tools and expressive potential of emerging technologies with the practice of design. After an introductory workshop, the programme alternates theoretical seminars, courses and work led by internationally renowned contributors. During the first year, students acquire specific expertise in interactive design and establish an individual and prospective approach that they develop over the course of the second year, mainly devoted to the theoretical and practical work of the Masters thesis.


The studio project involves the acquisition of design processing skills, creation orientated techniques (electronics and programming languages, prototyping, modelling, animation) and enhanced understanding of digital history and culture, permitting a critical and realistic approach to this domain.


On completion of their studies, graduating students can become media and interactive designers, working freelance, in multimedia communication agencies or within structures active in the creative industries or in innovation.


Professor, Head of Programme: Daniel Sciboz (Geneva)


Professors / Visiting Professors / Lecturers: James Auger & Jimmy Loizeau (Auger-Loizeau, London), Laurent Bolli (Lausanne), Earlwyn Covington (Paris), Dominique Cunin (Paris), Vera-Maria Glahn & Marcus Wendt (Field, London), Nicholas Haagensen (Trivial Mass Production, Lausanne), Frédéric Kaplan (Lausanne), Lysianne Léchot Hirt (Geneva), Alexandra Midal (Paris), Etienne Mineur (Paris), Nicolas Nova (Near Future Laboratory, Geneva), Julian Oliver (Berlin), Daniel Pinkas (Geneva), Pascal Rousseau (Paris), Camille Scherrer (Lausanne), Annelore Schneider (Geneva/London), Douglas Edric Stanley (Aix-en-Provence)




Practical information
The teaching is organised into three types of modules:
1. A studio/laboratory, devoted to specific areas of teaching and to carrying out a digital design project (30 ECTS)
2. Optional theoretical and technical classes (30 ECTS)
3. A theoretical and practical Masters thesis (30 ECTS) 


Teaching Language: French with additional contributions in English
Duration: Four semesters, October 2012–June 2014
Credits: 90 ECTS
Qualification awarded: Master of Arts HES-SO in Design, major Spaces and communication / major Media Design
Cost of studies: 500 Swiss francs per semester 


Required qualifications: Higher education Bachelors degree (HES, Higher education college or university) or equivalent training


Deadline for application: 11 May 2012
Interviews: 5–6 June 2012
Start of the academic year: week of the 17–21 September 2012 


Admission requirements, procedures and application forms are available at


Geneva University of Art and Design
15 Bd James-Fazy, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland
Phone +41 22 388 51 00
[email protected]


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Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD)
February 16, 2012

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