Strategic Design | Master of Arts | Berlin

Human-centered design for strategic innovations in society and enterprises

Strategic Design

Design is not just about esthetics. It has the potential to change the world and create sustainable companies.

Do you agree? And do you have a Bachelor's degree in disciplines like Design, Architecture, Art, Photography or Film? If so, then the Master's of Strategic Design might be right 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 an open job description at, 2017

Your studies | M.A. Strategic Design

The Master’s Programme in Strategic Design lies at the intersection of innovation management, brand strategy and creative processes management. During the course of the programme, strategic thinking skills are trained around issues relevant for branding, innovation and design processes.

Students are taught to approach design not as a merely decorative art or in order to beautify surfaces, but as a strategic resource for processes and companies. You will gain knowledge of methods and theories of corporate and brand management, design thinking, social design, transformation design, system thinking, critical thinking and strategic participation. You will learn user-centered research, focused synthesis and systematic development of ideas. You will acquire knowledge on creativity techniques, business models, sustainability, as well as, intercultural communication. Soft skills, such as presentation skills and the development of your personal leadership style, are specifically addressed and promoted through specially designed teaching units. The imparting of methods of scientific work creates the prerequisite for the preparation of a thesis in the fourth semester of study.

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

Innovation is the common thread that runs throughout the course, influencing our thought processes, working methods and approach to all subject matter. The course is not only about understanding technological and social innovations, but also thinking about them holistically and strategically with regards to the future.

The biggest strength of the program is its practical relevance. All teachers are experts in their subject area and in addition to teaching, they are active in a wide variety of companies and agencies. They have a history of success in effectively applying what they have learned in project-oriented theoretical studies, to the development of new business fields in existing companies and institutions. Study visits to Berlin-based companies and institutions that implement branding, strategic design and social innovations in their business processes are also an integral parts of the curriculum.

Thanks to our focus on practical relevance, you will graduate with valuable experience in the field, with relevant contacts and a good network in the professional world of strategic design.

Apply here!

Your career perspective | M.A. Strategic Design

More than ever before, companies, institutions and startups alike are realizing that brand management and shaping a strategic brand identity are key to gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage. The demand for specialists in design and brand management, as well as, creative direction is accordingly high. Service Design or Experience Design are also popular occupations for Strategic Designers and alumni of our program.

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

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

Apply here!

Your application | M.A. Strategic Design

As a prerequisite, we require a Bachelor's degree in Design, Architecture, Art, Photography or Film.

The application process has two stages:

During the first stage, we ask you to submit an application. In your application, share your creative talent with us! Profile your various works without exceeding the limit of 20 pieces. We also require your CV and a motivational letter supporting your application, explaining what you hope to achieve with a Master’s degree in Strategic Design. In this letter, we also ask you to describe Strategic Design in your own words.

The next stage includes a personal admissions interview. During this exchange, you will demonstrate your strategic talent and convince us of your application. The official application deadline is 30 July for the Winter semester and 30 January for the Summer semester.


Apply here!

Projects | Strategic Design

Lebanon Refugee Camp

"Foreign and Foreigness" - Design thinking in the refugee camp of Lebanon. > More information

Don´t be silent

"Don´t be silent" project wins the Facebook Global Challenge. > More information

Venice Biannale 2017

Excursion to Venice Biennale 2017 > More information

The home of Desing Thinking

Strategic Design Class at Biennale Sessions 2017