Master of Arts program - Research in Design, Art and Media – Designing the Future

The Master of Arts program Research in Design, Art and Media – Designing the Future offers you considerable freedom in the structuring of your studies and the media you choose to create your project situated between the broad contexts of “experimental world building” and “experimental documentary practice”.

Under close individual supervision, you will develop a long-term project over the course of the whole study program, benefiting from synergies within a diverse group of students while acquiring and deepening your practical skills at the Merz Akademie’s numerous labs (virtual reality, sound studio, green box/video and media lab, screen printing, photo studio, print/scan lab, bookbinding, etc.).

Amidst catastrophic wars, the rise of authoritarianism, global inequalities and instabilities, and the devastating effects of climate change, but also the challenges of a continually changing mediascape, especially the rapid growth of AI, we look towards art and design as models of human activity that can help us to create new terms of engagement for working, thinking, and living together.

Presentation of the master projects in winter semester 2018/19

Your project: film, media art, photography, comics, graphic design, illustration, AI (…)

The transdisciplinary Master’s degree progam Research in Design, Art and Media – Designing the Future enables you to realize an individual project in the fields of film, media art, photography, graphic design, illustration (e.g. comics or graphic novels), interface design (VR/AR) and much more, as well as to combine artistic research with social activism. You will have the resources of a renowned university at your disposal.

The close supervision of your project by artists, designers, media experts and theorists throughout your studies takes place in three phases:

– Research and focusing on content
– Experimentation and conceptual specification
– Realization, documentation and presentation.

Throughout the entire process of realizing your cinematic, artistic, creative, illustrative, photographic, or activist project, you will be supported by a team of experts. From application to graduation, the program focuses predominantly on the individual project and its intellectual and artistic background, enabling you both to further develop and sharpen your knowledge and skills while at the same time realizing a major project that will serve as a springboard for your future career.

During the 3 or 4-semesters in-person program, you will deepen your cinematic, artistic, creative, theoretical and/or activist practice in the field of design, art and media. You will open up new contexts and networks in a process-oriented environment, discuss your progress with experienced lecturers, fellow students from related fields and external experts, exploring together the field of artistic research while developing your own media practice.

Master students organize exhibitions and events such as "DIY documenta"

This is what you can expect:

Would you like to develop your skills, but also the contextualization and positioning of your cinematic, artistic-design, activist, cultural-theoretical or social media practice? The program Research in Design, Art and Media – Designing the Future provides you with practical and theoretical knowledge about process-oriented working methods as well as methods of contextualization, presentation and documentation.

Based on the conviction that everything that is relevant in the field of art, design and media is fundamentally embedded in theoretical-philosophical and political-social contexts, the course provides two basic approaches or perspectives: “experimental world building” on the one hand and “experimental documentary practice” on the other.

Your individual focus remains at the center of the flexible curriculum, accompanied by feedback and input from the lecturers as well as a mixture of required and variable courses: Based on your interests, you will deepen your practice in process-, context- and research-oriented methodologies.

During the realization of your project, you will record all your work processes, learning to reflect on them and communicate them to others, both in and outside an academic context. You will have 24/7 access to all labs at the university, refresh your technical skills if necessary and use all available resources for your project.

You will discuss with fellow students, artists and theorists in regular colloquia about your findings and experience.

In the interplay of individual practice and collective reflection, you will strengthen your ability to contextualize and position your work, learning how to give and take constructive criticism and form strategic networks.

Master Workshop Deep Focus

You will develop these skills:

  • the ability to present and communicate your experience and findings in an appropriate format;
  • an advanced and reflective audiovisual, photographic, illustrative, graphic or interface design practice;
  • the ability to create conceptual image strategies, campaigns, performative productions or fictional approaches in various media using contemporary techniques and technology (e.g. storytelling and scrollytelling, reflected use of generative AI, animation, VR/AR, motion capturing, image recognition, geolocalization, 3D modeling, CI guides, kinetic typography, data visualization, interactive simulations and much more);
  • analytical and design skills as well as the technical and methodological skills to play an active, critical and reflective role in shaping a more resilient society of the future;
  •  the ability to pursue an academic career in the field worldwide (creator doctus, preparation for a PhD program).

 You have these prerequisites:

The Master’s degree program Research in Design, Art and Media – Designing the Future is aimed at prospective (media) artists, designers (graphic design, interface design), illustrators and comic artists, photographers, influencers, etc., but also Bachelor’s graduates in the humanities and STEM degree programs who are interested in artistic research with an academic perspective and who are characterized by a fundamentally critical and media-reflective attitude.

You have:

  • strong communicative and reflective skills
  • an independent artistic-creative or theoretical practice,
  • a completed BA degree in the humanities or art/design and an interest in contemporary art, film or design
  • a distinctly independent way of working

Would you like to finally realize your own major project after completing your BA degree or working? Then apply → here.