Designers, curators and theorists work in a world in flux. They are faced with complex themes that cannot be reduced to readily solvable design problems. More and more they will be crossing the boundaries of their disciplines, while the themes they work on deserve the critical view of well-informed creative minds. The Master course at Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE) offers students the tools needed to research and analyse complex situations, and develop personal views on possible interventions, both to improve their individual design, or design theory, practice and to create (multidisciplinary) collaborations with others.

The minimum requirement for new Master students is a completed course at Bachelor level in design, design history, curatorial studies or equivalent discipline.* During the Master course the authorship of the designer or designtheorist will be reinforced. Students strengthen and focus their positions; learn to reflect on the profession and its limits; develop their personal imagery and signature; research topical questions in order to come up with valid design, presentation or text proposals. The cultural context in which designers and their products ‘function’ is the guiding principle, but the domains the students will research may be socially, technically, or economically oriented as well.

The Master course of Design Academy Eindhoven consists of four research programmes: Contextual Design, Social Design, Information Design and Design Curating and Writing. The two-year curricula are set up around research and design assignments, given by the mentors of the four departments, and lectures and workshops, given by guest lecturers. During the second year, students work on individual research themes, which they have formulated themselves. In order to formulate topical research themes DAE Masters regularly cooperate with external institutions, governments, companies, leading experts, as well as with the researchers of the DAE- Lectoraten (Readerships/Professorships).

Apart from the lessons of each programme there is a general theory, workshop and discussion programme for all Master students: Source. Lectures by the visiting critics and guests of the programme Design Curating and Writing will be shared by all Master programmes.

Completing the Master Course at DAE will lead to the title Master of Design, MDes.

(English is the language of instruction)

* Applicants with a Bachelor degree in art, architecture, art history, or the humanities, with a demonstrable affinity with design, can also apply. DAE will not deviate from the rule that the Master’s is a two-year course and that a completed Bachelor’s programme is a requirement for admission, except in highly exceptional cases. Students who believe they are eligible for certain exemptions may submit their request to the Programme Manager of the Masters, Judith Konz.


Open days

More information can be attained by visiting the Open Days at Design Academy Eindhoven:

- Wednesday 21 October 2015: 11:00 - 16:00 hours

- Wednesday 20 January 2016: 11:00 - 16:00 hours 

- Wednesday 1 June 2016: 11:00 - 16:00 hours 

Each Open Day the Masters present the department
from 13.00 - 14.00 hours at the Auditorium. 

You can find Design Academy Eindhoven in the building:
'de Witte Dame', Emmasingel 14, 5611 AZ, Eindhoven.
You can park underneath the building in :
'P de Witte Dame' .


The masters application procedure for the study year 2016-2017 runs from 1 November 2015 - 1 April 2016.

MDES - then what?

Students finish the Master Course not only with a new title, they have also deepened their personal talents. The positions they acquire are diverse as there are many options for designers and design theorists with a broad interest in autonomous thinking, concept development, research, interdisciplinary cooperation and teaching.

Some continue to work in their own design studios, alone (such as Daniela Dossi, Irma Földényi, Tuomas Tolvanen, Therese Granlund, Julien Carretero, Tomáš Gabzdil Libertíny), or with a partner (such as Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin: Formafantasma; Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler: mischer’traxler; Mario Minale and Kuniko Maeda: Minale-Maeda). Some create incidental partnerships (such as Thomas Vailly and Itay Ohaly). Some continue to study in design and art (such as Alicia Ongay Perez), become designtheorists (such as Tamar Shafrir), critical design activists (such as Ben Landau, Jeannette Petrik, Pablo Calderon Salazar), or develop a scientific career (such as Joana Meroz and Giovanni Innella). A number of masters have started to cooperate with scientists to work on futuristic plans (such as Sonja Bäumel, Maurizio Montalti). Several alumni now hold leading positions within major companies in their homelands (such as Po-Ching Liao). Some work as project managers (such as Agata Jaworszka who works for Droog Design). Many have become design teachers apart from their design research practices (such as Alvin Ho, Garðar Eyjólfsson, Tal Erez).

Location and facilities

Eindhoven is located in the south of the Netherlands, and with 250,000 inhabitants it is the fifth largest city in the Netherlands. Eindhoven was originally an industrial city, hometown to Philips Electronics and Lighting, and a city that emphasizes technology and engineering. It has developed into a centre for innovation, research and design. With its many educational institutions and with leading companies choosing Eindhoven as their base, Eindhoven is often referred to as the ‘brainport of the Netherlands’.

Eindhoven is strategically located in relation to the rest of Europe. It has its own airport and excellent rail and road connections. Amsterdam, Brussels and Cologne only take a 90 minutes train ride and Paris, London and Berlin are within easy reach by car, train or airplane.

Design Academy Eindhoven is situated in the heart of Eindhoven and occupies 10,000 m2 of the striking landmark ‘deWitteDame’ (the White Lady Building). Built in 1928 as Philips’ first largescale lighting factory, it has now become Eindhoven’s thriving centre for information, design, art and technology. Besides the academy it also houses a public library, several art galleries, the Philips design department and various commercial services for students and general public.