Strategic Design | Master of Arts

Human Centered Design for strategic innovations in society and companies

Design is not just there to beautify the world, but has the potential to change the world and companies sustainably!

Do you agree? Do you have a bachelor's degree in design disciplines like design, architecture, art, photography or film?
Then the Master Strategic Design is just the right course for you!
"Strategic design represents the study of human behavior in context and latent, unmet needs and drive strategic value. Strategic designers study people's implicit attitudes, behaviors and motivations to gain insight about their openness to consider something new. They use design thinking and design-specific skills translate these insights into transformative products and services, and they serve as an important human-centered catalyst to help venture teams create the future. Strategic designers are adept at creating insightful venture opportunities and platforms, as well as compiling and analyzing ethnographic research and contextual design customer behaviors, pain points, needs and aspirations."
Source: Part of open job description at, 2017

Your studies

The Master Program Strategic Design is located at the interface between innovation management, brand strategy and the management of creative processes. In the course of study, the strategic thinking skills are trained around issues that are relevant for branding, innovation and design processes.

Designers are thus enabled to use design not as a mere decoration or for the design of surfaces, but as a strategic resource for processes and companies. Students are trained in methods and theories of corporate and brand management, design thinking, social design, transformation design, system thinking, critical thinking and strategic participation. They learn user-centered research, focused synthesis and systematic development of ideas. They dealt with creativity techniques, business models, sustainability as well as intercultural communication. Soft skills such as presentation strength and the development of your personal leadership style are specifically promoted through specially designed teaching units. The imparting of methods of scientific work creates the prerequisite for the preparation of a Master's Thesis in the fourth semester of study.

The lecturers of the design akademie berlin provide scientific-theoretical input, supplemented by practical project work and workshops. By sharing and collaborating with students from other disciplines and cultures, you will acquire the ability to move in interdisciplinary design and design teams.

Innovation is the common thread that runs through ways of thinking, working methods and topics. In the study, it is not only about understanding technological and social innovations, but also about being able to think about them holistically and strategically shaping them for the future.

One strength of the program is its practical relevance. In the Master program Strategic Design, all teachers are experts in their subject area and in addition to teaching in companies or agencies. They effectively apply what they have learned in project-oriented studies, often even directly in the development of new business fields of existing companies and institutions. Visits to Berlin-based companies and institutions that implement branding, strategic design and social innovations in their business processes are also integral parts of the curriculum.
With this practical relevance, you can already get valuable impressions during your studies, make contacts and get a good connection to the professional world of strategic design.

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Your career perspective

More than ever before, companies, institutions and start-ups are asserting their brand - management, empathy and strategic brand identity support are key to gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage. The demand for specialists in design management, brand management and creative direction is correspondingly high. Service Design or Experience Design are also typical occupational fields in which Strategic Designer operates.

Another constantly growing professional field for strategic designers is innovation management. Driving innovation in enterprises, institutions and start-ups is increasingly being led and moderated by strategically trained designers, as they can connect creative and strategic processes. Strategic designers can be found in strategy departments of large companies.

After two intensive years of regular study, you will receive the internationally recognized degree "Master of Arts" (M.A.). The diplomas and the Diploma Supplement comply with the EU requirements of the Socrates / ECTS program. This ensures international recognition of your academic achievements.

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Your application

To get started, a bachelor's degree in design disciplines such as design, architecture, art, photography or film is required. They go through a two-stage selection process.

In your application, convince us with a folder with various max. 20 own works of your creative talent. We also need your resume and a letter of motivation showing what you want to achieve with Master Strategic Design and how you would describe Strategic Design for yourself. In the personal admission interview, you will demonstrate your strategic talent and convince us of your person. The official application deadline is the 1st of September for the winter semester and the 1st of March of each year for the summer semester.


Apply here!