Photo: Natalie Greppi

Design Cultures

Master’s level
15 credits (ECTS)


Design is all around us, shaping the spaces we inhabit, the products we use, the ways we interact with our fellow humans, organizations and the natural world.


Design Cultures introduces debates, case studies and methods that highlight the mechanisms through which contemporary design operates. With a focus on the expansion of the design field since the 1980s, we examine key ideas that help us to critically analyse the driving forces behind the development of practices such as design activism, critical design, the maker movement and design thinking.

The course has a particular focus on interpreting the ways in which design culture is mediated though criticism, exhibitions, industry events and academic research.

Over the course of the semester, we will introduce key concepts in design culture and support students in developing independent research in the field, culminating in a written essay. The course is suitable for students who are interested in developing a critical writing practice, which may include curating, academic research, business or studio practice.  

Apply for the course

Apply for the course on
Application period: September 15 – October 15 2020  

More information about HDK-Valand - Academy of Art and Design here.

Prerequisites and selection


180 higher education credits in fine arts, humanities or social sciences