MFA Programme in Child Culture Design
The unique master’s programme in Child Culture Design explores the relationship between design and children’s perspectives. The activity play is central. As a student of the programme, you will develop projects for and with children and practise how to utilize multidisciplinary research and knowledge in your design projects. Child Culture Design plays seriously.
Child Culture Design started in 2009 and is a field that is growing in knowledge, yet still unique in the world with its multidisciplinary approach and its focus on artistic design practice targeting children.
By focusing on children’s play, children’s perspectives, and their specific conditions, we have created a master’s programme that differs from many others. Our aim is to combine the subject design and artistic practice with child culture and in-depth knowledge of this specific user-group. One of the cornerstones is working to create a sustainable society, not only in the ecological sense, but also with regard to social equality, gender equality, ethics, economy, and issues of social justice.
Well-rounded opportunities to gain experience
The relationship between children’s culture and child-culture will be problematized in order to relate the subject of design to the concept of child culture. Through a series of lectures and seminars, you will be given the opportunity to take part in multidisciplinary research and practise referring to and using research results in your design projects.
Through projects, seminars, workshops, thematic work, and your own individual work, you will develop your practical and theoretical capabilities within the entire range of courses and projects. These will sometimes be carried out in cooperation with external partners and extend over areas like the shaping of environments where children spend their time, the products of these environments, toys, outdoor play objects, children’s books and illustrations, new media, processes, and methods of participation.
A collaborative, creative, and inspiring learning environment
A vital aspect is collaboration with organizations and other actors involved in cultural production for children; for example, cultural institutions like museums and libraries, municipalities and city planners, and companies dealing with play, toys, or children’s books.
We welcome students from all traditional design disciplines, architecture, art and crafts, and more. Child Culture Design is like a melting pot of different experiences, skills, and cultural backgrounds all working together to make the world a bit better.
Get to know teachers and other staff at the Design Unit.
Programme structure and content
The programme is a two-year design education at an advanced level. In short, it is based upon the idea that a better and deeper understanding of a specific target group creates more informed projects and thus has a greater potential impact on users and society. The two years are divided into four semesters of 20 weeks each. Influencing the input and aims of the courses, each of the first three semesters has a general theme:
1. the construction of childhood
2. play and participation
3. children and society
4. graduation project
Semester 1: the construction of childhood
- Introductory Course
- Homo Ludens
Semester 2: play, perception, and culture
- Mobility and Play
Semester 3: children and society
- Children and Society
- Preparation for Graduation Project
- Graduation Project: master’s thesis
Who should apply?
- Are you interested in how design aspects can make a difference in a child’s world?
- Do you want to work with empowerment of children in society?
- Are you interested in participatory design practices?
- Do you want to investigate how toys, children’s books, environments, and other cultural expressions have an impact in children’s lives?
Together, we will work to create a socially sustainable society, with regard to social equality, gender equality, ethics, economy and issues of social justice.If you are ready to play seriously, then apply for the master’s programme in Child Culture Design.
Prerequisites and selection
Bachelor's degree in design of at least 180 credits or equivalent. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS. In addition, approved work samples are required.
Find the portfolio instructions for the MFA Programme in Child Culture Design here:
The selection is based on an assessment of submitted work samples.
Graduates of the programme receive the degree Master of Fine Arts with a major in Child Culture Design.
After your education, you’ll have the possibility to work as a designer, with play, child culture, and children’s perspectives as your special qualification. Within the field of design, you can work in traditional areas like product and industrial design, interior design, or graphic design.
Our educational aims extend beyond traditional professional boundaries, and will give you the possibility of creating your own path. You will also be qualified to apply for post-graduate studies.
HDK-Valands facilities on Kristinelundsgatan, where the programme is situated, are situated in the middle of Gothenburg in the same building complex as Röhsska Museum of Design and Crafts. It is an international study environment with well-equipped workshops close to the arts.