Masterstudio Experimental Design

Masterstudio Experimental Design

Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW

February 14, 2023
Masterstudio Experimental Design

Application deadline: March 15, 2023
Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW
Campus of the Arts Basel
Freilager-Platz 1
4002 Basel

T +41 61 228 44 44
Instagram / Facebook

In my definition, “Experimental Design” means designing without the perspective of solving problems or finding (easy) answers but instead asking relevant questions. In our Masterstudio Experimental Design at the Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW, these questions are addressed through an exploratory design practice in which students dare to challenge prevailing norms and engage in a new way of dealing with materials and/or stage speculative futures. Thus, the MA programme is best suited for students with a background in design and related subjects who feel grounded in their practice and are looking for ways to link designing to socially relevant issues through a critical approach. However, we also welcome applications from students with other backgrounds as we aspire for an interdisciplinary discourse in our MA.

I would say that it is helpful if students can deal with a great degree of freedom and can manage their time well. This is important since the development and realisation of self-directed, individual or collective projects take up about half of the study time. In return, the team of the MA programme embraces everyone as an individual, and we are willing and able to support every student according to their professional interests.

Next to the practice projects, we offer inputs and inspiration in short workshop formats, excursions and lectures that are conducted in exchange with the two labs of the institute, Critical Media Lab and Hyperwerk.

Susanna Hertrich Dipl. Des. (FH), MA (RCA), Head of Masterstudio Experimental Design a.i., Institute Experimental Design and Media Cultures (IXDM), Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW.

Masterstudio Experimental Design
Apply by March 15, 2023. The Masterstudio Experimental Design at the Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW critically examines contemporary ways of living and aims at designing possible futures. A research-based engagement with current social and environmental challenges such as climate change, social inequality, migration, demographic change, and technological transformations of our live worlds is fundamental to the students’ work. At the Masterstudio Experimental Design we translate a norm-critical, post-disciplinary and post-anthropocentric stance into experimental design practice. Experimental Design means developing an autonomous, research-driven design practice, which has a direct impact on different areas of social life. A post-disciplinary approach aids in identifying and exploring new fields of design. The programme’s tutors, researchers from HyperWerk and the Critical Media Lab, and external experts accompany and inform the students’ practice-led project work. As a member of the Masterstudio Experimental Design, you will design collective experiments and develop exemplary scenarios, speculative models, and radical proposals for societies and worlds in transition.

Target audience
The Masterstudio Experimental Design targets candidates with a background in design (from fine arts and across all design disciplines) and graduates of university programmes interested in translating their knowledge and skills into practices of design. You are interested in exploring contemporary challenges and want to explore how designers can impact the world of tomorrow. You are curious to engage with norm-critical experimentation, speculative design and methods of collective self-organization.

Study structure
We emphasize independent study and peer learning. Central to the programme is developing and implementing study projects in exchange with tutors and researchers. Students work in interdisciplinary teams, apply their individual skills towards a common goal, and develop collective projects that form the basis of their individual MA theses.

Career prospects
Graduates of the Masterstudio Experimental Design explore new fields of activity through a self-driven critical design practice. They moderate and mediate, produce and publish, think ahead and transform. Thanks to its integration into the IXDM’s research activities, this Masterstudio Experimental also prepares you for a career and teaching and research.

Students have access to the research groups, workspaces and technologies of the IXDM labs HyperWerk and Critical Media Lab. Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW also provides all institutes with workshops for metal, wood, plastics, and ceramics and facilities for photo and video production, rapid prototyping, bookbinding, screen printing, painting, sewing, cooking, and sculpture. Every student in Experimental Design has unlimited access to their own desk and in the shared studio space.

Additional information and application.

Get to know all the Master programmes of Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW: Digital Communication Environments, Fine Arts, Masterstudio Experimental Design, Masterstudio Fashion Design, Masterstudio Industrial Design, Masterstudio Scenography, Arts and Design Education (Teaching Diploma for Secondary Schools).

In the course of our MA programmes students broaden and deepen their knowledge in art and design, respectively, and extend and contextualize their methodological skills so that, upon attaining the degree, you meet the qualifications of contemporary research practice and reflection. The programmes move between experiment, research, theory and critical self-reflection.

Our lecturers offer support in your project work and provide insight into the complex system of production and reception in contemporary art and design. In a professional environment and within a deliberately undefined framework, you learn to translate ideas into aesthetic formulations independently.

Visit the virtual campus of the Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW in a 3D space.

About studying at Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW
The Basel Academy of Art and Design is linked with other universities and academies, in Switzerland and abroad. Ties with renowned schools and universities in Europe, the United States, and Asia provide an opportunity to study your subject from a different viewpoint and against a new cultural background. At the same time, the Academy welcomes candidates from other Swiss universities and from abroad to study here in Basel. You will find more information here.

RSVP for Masterstudio Experimental Design
Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW
February 14, 2023

Thank you for your RSVP.

Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.