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Master in Design and its importance today

Hi folks,

today I would like to tell you a bit about the importance of Master programs in Design offered by many Design schools around the globe.

I decided to treat this topic because sometime, during my visits in schools, students ask me if it is adviced to follow a Master Program after the Diploma and if this is a key factor for a company hiring designers.

First of all I have to tell you that since my time in school (Art Center in 1989) things changed a lot. At that time a good respected Design school diploma plus your talent was good enough to have a strong possibility to find a job. Today everything has changed because of many reasons like timing/technology/globalization/quality/competition.

In the last 20 years we have seen a lot of new Design schools appear on our planet and the evolution of their scholastic programs and methods have changed (not always in a good direction…), we assist today to a sort of mass production of young talents all in competition for few job openings a year.

Now, lets see this situation from professionals’ point of view. How do I get in contact with the best talents to hire few of them? How can I see who stands out to offer a chance? What type of skills do they have after 3 or4 years of school?

The Master Programs in Design today are important to help in a mutual way the student and the industry.
A good Master Program is organized to give the opportunity to concentrate the student’s skills and talent on one (or 2) projects on a longer period of time to analyse, implement, study, detail, criticise, develop fully a project followed by dedicated professionals there to explane following a different teaching criteria.
The relationship between the Master Program student and the “designer” teacher, during this year, is at a higher level. The intention is to reproduce the feeling of beeing at work, respect a breafing a planning a series of steps important to get to the point on time and with professionality.
I would like to say that this type of experience is very different from a stage in a Design studio, they are two different type of activities with different goals and objectifs. (So do not mix the two).

In order to assure to yourself a good Master to follow you have to choose the right Design school, this is a clear condition to make sure that your money is still an investment for your future and not just a nice (expensive) piece of paper added to your personal record.

In this post I will not tell you in which school to go (even if I do have my preferences…), however I can suggest to search in cities like: Detroit, Pasadena, Torino, Milano, Pforzheim,Tokyo & Bratislava.

Hoping as usual to have been of help I wish you the best!


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  • sebastian dragu
    June 24, 2011 at 5:33 am

    What do you think about the master at Umea University? I do think its over Pforzheim for example.

  • Luciano Bove
    June 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Umea University is a very good school.

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