Interaction Design, Master's Programme (Two-Year)

Programme - second cycle - 120 credits

Overview

Admission requirements

1. Degree of Bachelor or equivalent in subjects relevant for interaction design. Examples of relevant subjects include, but are not limited to: computer science, informatics, information systems, human-computer interaction, new media arts,
fine arts, design (industrial, product, graphic, interaction), communication studies, media studies and cognitive science.
2. Approval of the following submitted material: 2 x work samples of previous
relevant work and an individual response to the application assignment. Please see next tab on this page, called Selection for further information.
3. General eligibility + the equivalent of English course B in Swedish higher secondary school.

Selection:

Applicants are selected in order according to precedence from work samples, design assignment and a letter of motivation in combination with interview if needed.

Note
There are specific instructions regarding eligibility or selection on the next tab on this page, called Selection. Please, make sure that you read the instructions thoroughly!

Description

Interaction design concerns the design of digital artifacts and digitally mediated communication, with a focus on use experience.
Interaction design is a rapidly changing discipline, and we maintain the relevance of our education by working with real-world design cases and outside clients that include local industry partners, as well as cultural and civic organizations. Navigating a shifting design landscape also requires the critical mindset of a scholar, and we foster reflective design by teaching research skills and involving students in active research projects.
The two-year master programme aims to produce designers who can articulate and develop cutting-edge practices in key areas of interaction design: tangible and sensor-based interaction, wearable and embodied interaction, game design, participatory design practices, critical design, social innovation and collaborative media development. Students approach these genres within a broad context that considers the social, political and ethical consequences of their designs.
We have offered master’s degrees in interaction design since 1998, with graduates moving on to positions as designers and strategists in the ICT and media industries around the world, as well as to entrepreneurial endeavours.

Selection

Once you have completed your application with your academic credentials and English proficiency, you also need to submit work samples, a response to our design assignment and a letter of motivation. 

Deadline for submission is April 30:th 2016. 

To complete your application follow the steps below.

  1. Create an account and apply to the programme via Universityadmissions.se. 
  2. Upload your documentation on Universityadmissions.se. You will need to show both a bachelor degree in a relevant field and English proficiency to be considered eligible for the programme. Applicants in their final year, who will receive their diploma before the programme starts, can also apply but must follow specific instructions.
  3. Submit your work samples + response to design our assignment (2 pages) + your letter of motivation online to University Admissions.
  • Two work samples or portfolio pieces to show your craft skills and your ability to execute. For each sample, we like you to explain briefly why you chose it and what you think it says. (If it is joint work, be sure to indicate your contributions clearly).
  • Your response to our design assignment. (You find the assignment at the link below).The assignment is intended to test your sense of how to approach an interaction design situation; we are looking for your thoughts on process rather than product ideas. Submit max 2 pages on this part.
  • A letter of motivation, detailing why you chose to apply to the programme and what you aspire to do upon graduation.

Download the Design assignment here

Save your documents as a pdf and upload it to your account on Universityadmission.se. See Universityadmission.se for more information.

Content

Interaction Design at Malmö University

We educate designers who can articulate and develop cutting-edge practices in key areas of interaction design: tangible and sensor-based interaction, wearable and embodied interaction, game design, participatory design practices, critical design, social innovation and collaborative media development. Students approach these genres within a broad context that considers the social, political and ethical consequences of their designs. Our education is studio-based, bringing students into close contact with our design professors. 

Who are you?

Interaction design requires the fusion of multiple skill sets. We recruit students with different backgrounds – design, media, engineering, the arts, and social sciences – and focus our teaching on creating disciplinary synergy in concrete design work.

Practical Design Skills and Academic Research 

Interaction design is a rapidly changing discipline, and we maintain the relevance of our education by working with real-world design cases and outside clients that include local industry partners, as well as cultural and civic organisations. Navigating a shifting design landscape also requires the critical mindset of a scholar, and we foster reflective design by teaching research skills and involving students in active research projects.

Collaboration with the "real world"

Design is a collaborative process, where users and other stakeholders contribute their expertise and values to the joint task of shaping future things, services, media and spaces.

Internationally Recognised

Our programme was founded in 1998, making it one of the more established programmes of its kind. We focus on areas where our design and research excellence is internationally recognised: tangible and sensor-based interaction, wearable and embodied interaction, game design, participatory design practices, critical design, social innovation and collaborative media development.

Content

The programme comprises full-time study for two academic years. See the syllabus tab for courses.

Teaching Methods
The programme is based on a learning-by-doing pedagogy. This means that we encourage an iterative practice of experimentation and reflection. As teachers, we view ourselves as coaches guiding you in this process.

Studio-based
The programme is studio-based. You will also have access to computer labs, a materials workshop and a prototyping lab for electronics, sensor and microprocessor programming.

Group work in multidisciplinary teams
The primary method of learning is through group work in multidisciplinary teams with classmates and other stakeholders. Abilities to work in teams and with others – including user communities – are important parts of our curriculum, and several projects are organised to practice doing this.

Humanistic approach
With our humanistic approach, you will be practicing qualitative research approaches to support your design of tangible artefacts as well as digital and interactive services, systems and artefacts. We emphasize an understanding of people in their use situations.

Reflective and experimental design thinking and practical doing 
Prototyping in the studio and real-world contexts is an integral part of becoming an interaction designer.
 
To practice reflective and experimental design activity, projects and courses integrate seminars and hands-on workshops introducing students to, among other things, ethnographic fieldwork, visualisation, low- and high-fidelity prototyping, microprocessor programming and video sketching, as well as evaluation of use qualities. All these practices are backed up by literature references and examples.

IDM- green logo

The thesis project
Your thesis project will be a combination of a design project and reflective writing that will involve communicating and discussing your own design work. 
This is one result of a student's work in Thesis Project I.

Working environments

Students have access to studio space, and we encourage a healthy studio culture. This is where we conduct group-work, seminars, workshops, presentations and discussions. Close by there is a well-equipped materials workshop and a physical prototyping lab for electronics and sensor work. Additionally, we often use the facilities at the MEDEA research centre for final presentations, exhibitions, seminars and programme-meetings.

Potential positions

Most alumni move on to positions as interaction designers, user experience specialists or usability architects in the ICT, telecom and media industries. For some, this involves fine-tuning the interfaces and interactions of current products to users' needs; other interaction designers work on concept development for future products and services. Yet other alumni find their calling in strategic positions where the role of interaction design is considered in relation to market and business development.

Some interaction designers are also found in the role of change agents in public organisations and NGOs. 

Connections to world-class research

Finally, thanks to the close connections to world-class research, the programme prepares its graduates to enter academic research institutes. A fair number of alumni have moved on to PhD studies and positions as university teachers and researchers, in Sweden as well as abroad. 

Interviews

“Interaction Design is very appealing to anyone who is hungry for new challenges!”

The curriculum offered by K3 Interaction design gave James Haliburton the academic foundation that has proven useful in an industrial context.

– This is very appealing to anyone who is hungry for new challenges! Also, the professors and teachers at the school have been some of the defining figures in the field, but are also open to redefining the practice as it matures.

James Haliburton has studied Inteaction Design at Malmö University

James Haliburton is 33 years old, Canadian, but holds also a Finnish citizenship. He comes from a fine arts background, but not in the traditional sense. He completed a BFA in New Media from Ryerson University in Toronto in 2003. Before he came to Sweden he did installation art and VJ type systems for live video performances. James also ran a small design company for a short time prior to moving to Seoul, South Korea, where he spent some time travelling and doing freelance design.

– Even though I had been designing interactive systems for a number of years, I hadn´t been able to formally define the practice in a way that satisfied me.

That is why he chose the curriculum and master's programme Interaction Design at Malmö University.

– I have family in the Nordic countries, and culturally it is an easy transition to live here for a Canadian.

Today James is living his dream already; he is a co-founder and CEO of TOPP, a design consultancy based in Malmö Sweden with great partners and designers who are bringing new value to digital products and the people who use them.

– Our company is lucky enough to work with clients who often want these types of perspectives brought into the project we do for them. One of the more rewarding elements of having a company closely situated to Malmö University is that we're able to work with students, thesis workers, interns, and new grads. These young designers have just spent several years helping to define new approaches to difficult design problems, and we want to learn from them.

One challenge about no longer being at the university, according to James, is setting aside time to dedicate to the explorations and reflection that were provided at Malmö University.

– If you're not interested in discovering new things about the way people interact with technology and the world around them, then you're going to have a difficult time creating new value for people in this field.

Anette works at Sony

Anette Sandegård divides her time between Beijing and Bjärred, and holds a master’s degree in Interaction Design from Malmö University. She is 45 years old and works at Sony Ericsson which she has done for the past ten years, currently as Global Manager for a team in Lund and two teams in Beijing.

I found out about this education in a telephone conversation with a friend, late one evening in 1998. It sounded so exciting that I checked out Malmö University’s website straight after the phone call and when I noticed that the application deadline was in quarter of an hour I registered immediately.

Anette Sandegård have studied interaction design

She also sent an email to the programme coordinator, which was followed by an interview and a presentation of her portfolio. This went well and she was accepted to the very first class of the programme.

At that time the department, K3, was rather small, the premises brand new, the academic staff energetic, attentive and curious, as were the students. Everything felt possible and the path from concept to design was short.

She believes it gave her proof of her existing knowledge and ideas, but also provided new tools and above all new methods to test and use as support. Before she started at Sony Ericsson she worked with art, education and media production in her own business. In the future she can see herself working within the field of artistic expressions again.

This fall she returned to Sweden after four years in Beijing where she had developed and operated a design department with interaction and graphic designers for the same company.

– My new job entails the development of user support materials– to create content – texts, illustrations and animations –in order to describe to the end users how our products – telephones and accessories – function and how these functions can be used.

We learned from each other and learned to work with each other!
 

Soo Basu today works as a User Experience Designer at Adobe Systems in Delhi, India, after Interaction Design studies at the School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, Sweden.

Soo Basu sensed that the faculty felt right from the first day and that they helped her to figure out what she really wanted and supported her throughout the whole process.

Soo-Basu

– I don't think that I would have found such supportive people elsewhere! The faculty did not try to force us to follow their own philosophy or their perspective on the design issue at hand – instead they provided an extremely nurturing environment in which to develop our own ideas and allowed us to find our own thoughts.

Soo describes this as very different to the design faculty she had encountered attending her bachelor's programme in India where she were expected to align her thoughts with the faculty's. 

– It was really great to have such a mixed bag of fellow students in the IDM programme in Malmö, we learnt from each other, and learnt to work with each other!

Today Soo Basu works as a User Experience Designer at Adobe Systems in Delhi, India. The benefits of her studies at Malmö University she mainly uses as a participatory approach towards design, with engineers and managers.

– I also use elements of co-design, as the software that I work on has a pretty loyal user base that writes plugins and extensions for it. Apart from this, I think I learnt the skills of critical thinking and service design which I apply daily in most areas of life and work.

Syllabus

Syllabus for students admitted autumn 2016

Other semesters:

Programme Code:
TAIND revision 10
Language:
English
Date of establishment:
10 December 2006
Date of ratification:
02 December 2011
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
03 September 2012
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
24 February 2011

Entry requirements

1. Degree of Bachelor or equivalent in subjects relevant for interaction design. Examples of relevant subjects include, but are not limited to: computer science, informatics, information systems, human-computer interaction, new media arts,
fine arts, design (industrial, product, graphic, interaction), communication studies, media studies and cognitive science.
2. Approval of the following submitted material: 2 x work samples of previous
relevant work and an individual response to the application assignment. Please see next tab on this page, called Selection for further information.
3. General eligibility + the equivalent of English course B in Swedish higher secondary school.

Organisation

The programme comprises full-time study for two academic years, divided into eight courses as follows.

Year 1
Introduction to multidisciplinary interaction design, 15 credits.
Embodied interaction, 15 credits.
Collaborative media, 15 credits.
Graduation project, 15 credits.

Year 2
Design and social innovation, 15 credits.
Play and ludic interaction, 15 credits.
Design-based research, 15 credits.
Thesis project 2, 15 credits.

In year 2, the studio courses on Design and social innovation and Play and ludic interaction can be substituted with studio courses on equivalent contemporary topics in interaction design research after individual approval by Utbildningsnämnden, in order to facilitate exchange with comparable education programmes in Sweden and internationally.

Concerning design methodology, there is a progression from participatory approaches with heterogeneous groups in public settings to participatory approaches where the border between design and use is dissolved and further to design practice as part of academic knowledge production.

Academic maturity is developed throughout the first year towards an independent project on advanced level, and further in the second year towards state-of-the-art approaches to practice-based research within interaction design.

Content

Courses

For programme with start Autumn 2016:
Autumn 2016 - Semester 1
Spring 2017 - Semester 2
Autumn 2017 - Semester 3
Spring 2018 - Semester 4

Learning outcomes

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
After completing the program, the student should be able to:
  • demonstrate a broad understanding of the field of Interaction Design: its transformative character, history and development

  • demonstrate substantial knowledge of current research themes and different genres within interaction design, including knowledge of a broad repertoire of design examples from these genres, their use situations and use qualities

  • demonstrate substantial deep knowledge in the individual research area chosen for the second year thesis project

  • demonstrate broad knowledge of the various materials used in interaction design: their properties, limitations and possibilities.

  • demonstrate substantial knowledge of design methods, approaches and practices for designing for interactions, in individual, multi-disciplinary and collaborative settings.

  • demonstrate sound understanding of the relationship between details and overall strategies when designing (networks of) products, services, tools and / or event for experiences and interactions

SKILLS AND ABILITIES
After completing the program, the student should be able to:
  • demonstrate ability to apply a design practice of learning-by-doing

  • demonstrate abilities to contribute to multi-disciplinary interaction design work

  • demonstrate abilities to engage with users and other stakeholders in iterative co-designing processes

  • formulate and re-frame fruitful design problems, challenges, openings and questions in complex design situations

  • demonstrate ability to reach beyond design assignments as originally stated and to explore a range of possibilities as a means to ground design decisions

  • demonstrate ability to select and use relevant methods, techniques, tools and approaches in the design work, including a broad repertoire of techniques for representing interaction designs

  • demonstrate ability to evaluate and critique design concepts, prototypes and finished systems with regard to functional, spatial, aesthetic, sustainable and ethical aspects of quality, with a particular emphasis on methods and theories focusing on use situations

  • demonstrate ability to reflect upon the design process and its results, and to promote a conceptual development of the interaction design field by articulating knowledge contributions on research levels

  • demonstrate ability to account for and discuss knowledge contributions developed through design work including the arguments for these contributions, spatially, verbally as well as in writing to various target groups

JUDGEMENT AND VALUES
After completing the program, the student should be able to:
  • demonstrate ability to, within interaction design as an area of knowledge development, exercise judgement accounting for relevant societal and ethical aspects

  • demonstrate insight regarding the roles of interaction design in society, and regarding the responsibility of the interaction designer to develop meaningful technologies, services, tools and experiences from a humanistic standpoint

  • demonstrate ability to reflect upon and learn from groupwork and individual design processes and practical experiences, for identifying new knowledge needs, and thereby taking responsibility for one’s own continuous learning.

Degree

Master's Degree (120 credits).
Degree of Master of Science (120 Credits) with a Major in Interaction Design.

Contact

Further information

Enquiries about the Interaction Design, Master’s programme should be directed to K3student@mah.se, including questions about the work samples and design assignment related to the selection.

If you have other questions about admissions, requirements or documentation, please contact the Admissions Office at Malmö University, admissions@mah.se / +46 40 665 75 00.

If you need study or career guidence related to the programme, please contact Student and Carreer Advisor Viktoria Brännström (viktoria.brannstrom@mah.se).

Information about the School of Arts and Communication

K3_vykortThe School of Arts and Communication – also called K3 after its Swedish name “Konst, kultur och kommunikation” – is a multidisciplinary school engaged in media, culture and design. At K3 we combine traditional scholarship and academic knowledge with artistic methods and practical skills. In our teaching and research, art, technology, design and communication converge in new and innovative ways.

K3 offers education in fields as English, interaction design, media and communication studies, visual communication, graphic design, arts journalism, as well as a range of practical courses in different types of media production.


The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the department School of Arts and Communication.