The Master’s programme
We see architecture as the art of giving shape to our physical environment with a sense of social and global responsibility. This includes the design of the overall landscape, urban planning and building design, ranging from the macro level of how a building integrates with its surrounding landscape, to a micro level of architecture, small constructions, furniture, graphics, lighting etc. With respect to industrial design, focus is directed onto the potential tension field between the design-related object and the architectural whole, and between design processes and the work.
During the 2-year Master’s programme, the student will train to become an architect within the specialty field of Industrial Design in Architectural Contexts. This Master’s programme is offered by study department 11 (1:1), the furniture- and industrial design programme at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture.
The programme is laid out as three mandatory semesters, encompassing course and project phases, as well as an independent final examination project of a total of 120 ects points:
- Industrial Design in XL - elements for architectural space
- Furniture Design
- Furniture of the City
- Final project
The project work serves to introduce and instill in the student the competences required of an architect graduate. Project work is the principal component of the in-class instruction, and it is within this specific framework, that the student will translate his/her knowledge and skills, acquired through the courses of the Master’s programme, into concrete project proposals.
The project work phase puts equal focus on process and proposal-making. Thus, the department offers courses in programme-writing, academic and architectural, hands-on methods and analysis tools, project development and communication in conjunction with project counseling at the drawing tables. In order to ensure the anchoring of the design component, the Master’s programme also includes courses in design theory and design history, among others, as well as other design specific, tool-based disciplines.
During the first three semesters, students will be led through the main spaces of architecture: Landscape, city and dwelling.
First semester: Industrial Design in XL(this describes the project done last study year, theme is subject to change.)
By virtue of its function, the bridge has always been and remains an element connecting two points, thereby facilitating a smooth and unobstructed transition across a hurdle. This hurdle may be a river, road, cleft, a section of a train line, or merely a leveling of the terrain. The Romans used bridges to transport water to their cities, and thus made the bridge both an urban and landscape architectural element.
Bridges of our time most often appear as an application to a wider transportation network. New traversing needs arise, typically in connection with an expansion of existing cities or infrastructures. In addition, replacement of existing bridges may take place due to new traffic patterns or needs. Whether or not a bridge serves to connect new roads or address transportation related issues, the essential question, as it relates to the profession of design, lies within the programme.
The specific aspect of bridges within an urban environment is that they often appear in conjunction with other distinctive elements as opposed to bridges in a landscape that typically appear as solitary units. The art lies in finding a balance between the soul of the bridge and the soul that the city or the landscape possesses or will possess, while integrating the new family member, which in this case is the new bridge.
The bridge may adjust to the existing space, and/or it may challenge or play with the constructive laws, and create a new space within the space in which it is situated, in a manner similar to how for instance furniture blends in with the space surrounding it. At the same time, bridges are often experienced through body movements while they relate to the immobility of their specific location – contrary to the mobility of furniture.
Prior to actual project work, the semester begun by introducing a series of brief exercises covering topics such as minimal constructions, materials optimisation, optical stress distribution and scale-optimisation. It was supplemented by lectures, excursions and classes that will offer students knowledge and insight into theories on design within a landscape/urban context, design in XL scale etc.
Second semester: Furniture design
The programme of the second semester focuses on furniture design, and offers the student a thorough introduction into furniture design as a design discipline based on the Danish tradition of furniture making.
Furniture epitomises the shaping challenge of designers. The shape of furniture relates directly to the body, and the quality of this shape is immediately assessed by the body, all details being seen and felt. As a design object, furniture is mobile per definition, but the space it creates alone or in unison with other pieces of furniture engages in a continuous dialogue with the architectural context, thus furniture can not be evaluated as isolated pieces. The theoretical design discussion will unfold in the field between detail and space. During the project work phase, shape, tectonics, construction and choice of material will be subject to comparison between programme and concept.
The programme is developed in cooperation with external partners from the industry and research centres at KA, including DCDR (Danish Center or Design Research) and CITA ( Center for IT and Architecture).
The project work phase encompasses an extensive project assignment supplemented by brief exercises, workshops, theoretical exercises, workshop-based work, courses, excursions and lectures. The programme provides the student with knowledge on industrial creation processes, new materials, tectonic conditions of furniture, ergonomics etc. , and will also serve to develop the student’s’ ability to programme, apply user-oriented methods, design analysis and model work. Work on an actual prototype is carried out in the workshop in 1:1.
Third semester: Furniture of the City
Within the framework of the city’s spaces, intimate spaces blend with public ones, and the rhythm of the day and year is imperative to life in these spaces and the experience of which. Design complementing the city’s spaces, furniture, signage and lighting is of great importance to how one perceives the spaces, and not least our movements and activities in these spaces.
The function of furniture takes on a different character, and ergonomics, for instance, is assessed in relation to shelter and games, and thus analyses of the city’s spaces and the application hereof play an important role in the programming of the study. Also, choice of material is assessed in relation to maintenance, vandalism and cleaning, rather than comfort. Based on registrations in the city, students are engaged in group work with a view to outline a programme for the accommodation of a square in Copenhagen. The programme must include both lighting and furnishing, resulting in an overall design manual, which will serve as the basis for the development of one single sub-element.
This phase consists of an extensive project assignment supplemented by workshops, courses, excursions, workshop-based work and lectures.
The programme provides the student with knowledge on lighting, lighting strategies and furnishing of urban spaces, and also serves to develop the student’s ability to engage in teamwork, apply registration and analysis methods, design strategy/service design and concept development. This phase concludes with the development of an actual design object, furniture or lighting fixture prototype in the workshop in 1:1.
Fourth semester: Final project
The fourth and last semester will be dedicated to the final project that is laid out in cooperation with the department within this field, Industrial Design in Architectural Context. The student draws up a programme for the semester independently, and this process will be conducted in compliance with the school’s rules for final examination evaluations.