design and computation
Berlin University of the Arts and Technical University BerlinNew Website under
24.11.2023 – 24.11.2023Link to Website

Design & Computation has a new website:


Design & Computation – a new inter-university, interdisciplinary, research-based Master’s program between Berlin University of the Arts and Technical University Berlin


“In Order to understand the phenomena surrounding a new technology, we must open the question of design – the interaction between understanding and creation. In speaking here of design, we are not restricting our concern to the methodology of conscious design. We address the broader question of how a society engenders inventions whose existence in turn alters that society.” (Winograd, T., & Flores, F., 1988, Understanding Computers and Cognition: A New Foundation for Design)

Since the turn of the last century, industrialized societies have been witnessing an ever-increasing penetration of far-reaching areas of public and private life by new technological applications that often stem from decades of basic research. This process has been taking place on a global scale and in accelerated innovation cycles, and it equally affects the social, economic, ecological and cultural conditions of societies: from the algorithmizing of everyday life and the digitalization of production and labor to public participation in decision-making processes to guaranteeing food security and overcoming the climate crisis.

Beyond the positive or negative confirmation of this trend, given its scale and infiltrating nature, fundamental questions are being asked in the humanities and social sciences, in design and in the arts as well as in public discourse – about represented political interests and the distribution of costs and benefits associated with technological progress, but also about the basic relationship between the individual, technology and society.

The “metatrend” of accelerated, digitally coordinated technologization also affects large areas of human productivity, including the engineering sciences (e.g. mechanical engineering, mechatronics, materials research, civil engineering), classical design disciplines (e.g. product and fashion design, visual communication, architecture, media design) and the arts. For the engineering sciences, the increasing impact on society as a whole raises entirely new questions about the social dimension of their innovations. At the same time, the classical design disciplines are faced with the challenge of incorporating new technologies and methods into existing practices at an increasing pace while subjecting them to critical review.

In addition, the question of the social function in engineering and the growing importance of technical expertise in design are bringing the two disciplines ever closer together, creating overlaps and intersections and giving rise to hybrid (“emergent”) fields of study.

Against this backdrop – i.e. in view of the current rapid technological and social change as well as an increasingly dynamic academic landscape – the new Master’s program “Design & Computation”, which was established in a cooperation of the Berlin University of the Arts and the Technical University Berlin, is aimed at Bachelor graduates from the fields of design, art, engineering, natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. The program offers them the opportunity to contribute to pressing questions of our time in an interdisciplinary context and by drawing on the extensive expertise of both universities from diverse disciplines, each corresponding to the “cutting edge” of their respective fields.

Study Program

The four-semester Master’s program, whose students come from different disciplines, begins with a customizable introductory semester that serves to develop a common thematic, discursive and methodological foundation.

The introductory semester is followed by two semesters of work in the studio “Design as Medial Practice”, which forms the center of the program. In the studio, students dedicate themselves to the exploring and exploiting of new technologies, media, materials and methods, their critical reflection and problem-oriented application in the frame of project-based teamwork and along an annually changing set of topics. The studio work takes place within the context of free drafts, visualizations on varying scales, literature work, concrete scientific experiments and other formats. The studio is supervised by lecturers from both universities, who provide expertise from the fields of design, engineering, the humanities, natural sciences and the arts. Parallel to the studio work, students take one of two elective modules, “Modelling and Simulation” or “Structures and Systems”, and thus deepen their respective fields of study. In addition, an extensive portfolio of elective subjects from both universities offers second- and third-semester students the opportunity to precisely adapt their studies to their own preference and interests.

The last semester of the Master’s program “Design & Computation” consists of the writing of a final thesis, optionally comprising a practical part. Students strive to obtain a Master of Arts (M.A.) with mention of their respective field of study and including the seals of both the Berlin University of the Arts and the Technical University Berlin.

Graduates of the Master’s program have specific competences in targeted research and self-information about current and future developments in various technical disciplines. They are trained in the application of new technologies in the design process and are able to critically examine central problems of an increasingly globalized and technologized world. Furthermore, they possess a flexible mindset that transcends disciplinary boundaries, enabling them to move confidently in transdisciplinary research contexts and to act as initiators and pioneers of public and private enterprises.

Exemplary Schedule

1st Semester
2nd Semester
3rd Semester
4th Semester
Scientific Modeling and Simulation/ Structures and Systems
Fundamentals of Research in Computational Design
Critical Design Thinking
Transdisciplinary Studies in Design, Computation and Society - Introduction
Perspectives in Engineering
Perspectives in Design
Design as Medial Practice I
Design, Technology and Social Processes
Design as Medial Practice II
Master Thesis

Participating departments

Universität der Künste Berlin Fakultät Gestaltung UdK Institut für Geschichte und Theorie der Gestaltung Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte Institut für Produkt- und Prozessgestaltung Designforschung Institut für Experimentelles Bekleidungs- und Textildesign Entwerfen Bekleidungs- und Textildesign Institut für Architektur und Städtebau Konstruktives Entwerfen und Tragwerksplanung Digitales und Experimentelles Entwerfen Institut für zeitbasierte Medien Entwerfen von interaktiven Systemen Experimenteller Film/ Medienkunst Entwerfen, digitale Medien Gestaltung des bewegten Bildes Einstein Zentrum Digital Future Technische Universität Berlin Fakultät für Geistes- und Bildungswissenschaften Institut für Philosophie, Literatur-, Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte Literaturwissenschaft mit dem Schwerpunkt Literatur und Wissenschaft Institut für Sprache und Kommunikation Audiokommunikation Technologische Systeme im Design Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung Gender in MINT und Planung / Feminist STS Fakultät Elektrotechnik und Informatik Institut für Technische Informatik und Mikroelektronik Robotics and Biology Laboratory Institut für Softwaretechnik und Theoretische Informatik Machine Learning Neuronale Informationsverarbeitung Software and Embedded Systems Engineering Institut für Energie- und Automatisierungstechnik Lichttechnik Fakultät Verkehrs- und Maschinensysteme Institut für Maschinenkonstruktion und Systemtechnik Konstruktion von Maschinensystemen Agromechatronik Institut für Werkzeugmaschinen und Fabrikbetrieb Wissensdynamik und Nachhaltigkeit in den Technikwissenschaften Campus El Gouna Department of Urban Development Fakultät für Bauen Planen Umwelt Institut für Architektur Digitale Architektur und Nachhaltigkeit Architekturtheorie

o   Admission to the Master’s program is restricted. 20 students will be admitted to the winter semester 2023/24.

Application Deadline

The application deadline for winter semester 2023/24 will be announced soon.

Subject-specific Entry Requirements

A first university degree that qualifies for professional work and has been acquired in one of the following disciplines: humanities, educational sciences, social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, engineering, artistic design, economic sciences, legal sciences, medical science or in a closely related course of study.

Required Application Documents

Information & Counseling

For questions about the application or to arrange a consultation (also possible online), please contact:



Contact Persons

Prof. Albert Lang
consultation hours by arrangement
(also available online)

Student consultant
Aaron Lang
Office hours:
Mon 10am-1pm
Thu 10 am - 1 pm
(also possible online)

For questions about the application or to arrange a consultation (also possible online), please contact:

Information for Press

Useful Info


Text: Albert Lang
Design & Development: Björn GieseckeLucas Liccini, Hans-Jakob Gohr
Typeface: based on various instances from the Letter Spirit project by Douglas Hofstadter and Gary McGraw

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