Call for applications: MA in Codesign

MA in Codesign, Two years full time – 120 ECTS, Language: English

The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts – School of Design

Philip de Langes Allé 10 , DK-1435 Copenhagen K, Denmark

Deadline for applications: March 1st, 2016!

the night before_

Codesign students from 4 continents, Melanie, Gaia, Ju and Sofia preparing a public presentation on “Body Dialogues”


Through collaborative design-led research, the Codesign Research Center (CODE) is a trans-disciplinary academic laboratory in Copenhagen for graduate students and researchers seeking to push the boundaries of codesign. Student work in cross-disciplinary teams and consider issues from multiple perspectives by inventing and deploying mixed methods from design and the social sciences.

The MA-program in Codesign is designed for students who are interested in new ways of exploring and understanding complex social and material issues through the use of visual, sensory and dialogue-based approaches.

Codesign is an attitude, a mindset and a practice. Bringing together international students from many design disciplines the master program in codesign is a transdisciplinary design laboratory where students learn as they engage with real life challenges. Sketching and making is at the heart of codesign as it is of other design disciplines, but sketching and making with non-designers call for new toolboxes and new modes of experimentation. Students learn to sketch and coproduce as codesigners along side being participants also in the on-going research of codesign faculty.  

The Ma program in codesign builds on the themes of design and the sociology of science & technology; constructive design research; theories of experimental making; performance studies, design interventions and engagements with ethnographic field settings. For the codesigner research, sketching and making goes hand in hand. Working with generative prototyping, collaborative inquiries and sustained participation the codesigner takes part in a critical exploration of possible futures. The MA-program in Codesign combines an orientation towards research, with studio-based teaching and real life engagements with external partners.

During the program, each student develops an individual codesign profile based on their BA competencies. However codesigners share a professional repertoire of skills including empathy through ethnographic fieldwork, exploratory design inquiries based on experimentation in situations of high complexity, visualizing and materializing design proposals, iterative prototyping and a high degree of collaboration and participation.


The program has a research orientation. Each year will have an overall theme influenced by the ongoing research in CODE. The teaching is studio-based but the codesign

studio extends beyond the building’s boundaries. Students will engage in research in real life networks of community participants. Much time will be spent with people and in environments outside the school. The high degree of collaboration with external people will provide training in working with complex real life issues, and producing different kinds of deliverables. 

The first semester is fast paced and oriented towards developing codesign skills through engaging with a network of partners. The students start with an open program and use a critical and explorative approach to identify the ‘burning issues’, within the network. Through several iterations a programme is negotiated with selected partners. In the second half of the semester the students co-realize a codesign production.

The second semester has a slower pace. It is dedicated to research and reflection. The aim is for the students to situate their own practice and results from the first semester in a web of codesign research and activities that are already taking place in the world. In the first 10 weeks the students co-produce a book on the year’s theme. The last 10 weeks of the semester involve externships in selected design studios and organizations.

The third semester focuses on creative project management and the student’s individual professional identity as codesigner. Students will get responsibility for setting a relevant project frame with external partners. One aim is to prepare the students for their thesis project and pave the way for taking responsibility as project leaders of codesign projects after finishing their studies.

The fourth semester is the realization of a larger self-chosen project, individually or in small teams. The thesis project may be integrated with on-going research & development projects in CODE.


Chemo To Go, Please. By Xénia Geller, Melanie Povlitzki, Rie Maktabi and Isabel Aagaard. The team was invited by two Danish hospitals to design a bag that will enable chemo therapy patients to receive treatment during their daily routines and avoid hospitalization. The project resulted in a range of research insights about the broader chemo experience and a bag prototype in the pipeline for manufacture.

SCAUT-collaboration. By Toke Frello and Martin Krogh. Exploring the everyday lives of ICD and pacemaker carriers through open interviews and probes over a period of 6 weeks, we have created two rich, open and alive film portraits of Troels and Christian, two very different heart patients, and their families to inform the development process of a new smartphone app by our collaborators in the SCAUT project. The films also portray the meeting between the carriers and us as designers and suggest a more explorative, designerly research approach. and (press the CC icon, bottom right, to enable English subtitles).


Working with external partners and taking departure in real world issues is central to codesign and a requirement for projects in the master program. With a range of external partners the codesign center, CODE has previously explored a number of longitudinal project themes, addressing complex societal issues such as recycling & waste handling, living with Alzheimer’s, and urban service networks for active senior citizens. Some partners are distinctly corporate, and students will be offered to develop and deliver value to complex organizations. Other partners are more societal in their objectives, and students will stage events in the city or suggest service models for public partners. With partners like patient organizations and NGO’s, projects can be about generating and communicating empathic stories of particular people’s untold life-worlds, for example to better understand the everyday concerns of people suffering from chronic disease or marginalized communities.

The codesign faculty is part of a large international network of design researchers, and frequently publish their work in journals and conferences. Students are encouraged to participate in the ongoing research seminars and occasionally also to try publishing themselves.

Main faculty from CODE:

Joachim Halse, Associate professor, PhD.  (program responsible)

Thomas Binder, Professor, PhD.

Eva Brandt, Professor, PhD.

Information and application

All applicants should have, or be expected to gain a bachelor degree in design or a suitable related subject. Applicants with more professional experience are also encouraged. For more information and application use the links below or contact  us.

You can find additional information about the MA in codesign at


You can learn more about the Codesign research center, CODE here:

For more information about the application requirements and process see:

Contact: Joachim Halse,, Phone: +45 41 70 18 58

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