Master Design

The Master Design is a two-year part-time course. It is centered on doing design research. This research seeks answers to self-defined design questions, and combines methods of making, gaining in-depth knowledge and positioning.

Master Design

Students learn how to design research their own design question through making, source researching and positioning methods. They constantly reflect on what they discover and share their story through storytelling. With their design research they contribute to (their own) new practices.

The Master Design has its own way of doing design research. The MD Circle represents this methodology in methods and lemma’s. The curriculum translates all of this into three learning lines and offers workshops, lectures and coaching sessions.

Different kinds of subquestions form the basis of the design research methods the students appropriate. For example, they start talks through conversation pieces, try out assumptions in hidden design and think aloud in a research blog. That's how they find answers to their design question, allowing them to make choices in their research and in their designs. At the same time, they develop their own methodology for doing design research and position themselves as experts in their own context.

Students come from different design disciplines. During the programme they share iterative research and working with participants.


The Master Design

  • is about doing design research into your own design question
  • has students & alumni showing their design research projects  here
  • shares all knowledge generated in the conducted design researches here
  • is an International Classroom, meaning that classes and material are in English, but students individually can work in Dutch
  • is part-time, lasts two years and has a study load of 20 hours per week
  • has biweekly workshops on Tuesday evenings and Wednesdays
  • has a team of teachers that consists of Jan Belon & Jop Japenga (Afdeling Buitengewone Zaken), Sietske Klooster, Harma Staal & Hanneke Briër
  • also invites interesting guest teachers, such as Moniek Driesse
  • is mostly meant for designers with a Bachelor of Arts or Design
  • provides information about the course at the Online Open Day on Saturday February 6, 2021. Keep an eye on this webpage for further updates.
  • offers a short preliminary program in Application Workshops
  • explains what to work on for the application in MD Application Portfolio & Assessment
  • shares all information on Open Days, the requirements for the application, the preliminary workshops, handing in of Application Portfolios and dates of Application Assessments here
  • start in September 2021 with a new group
  • is always available for questions and additional information through

Additional information about the Master Design which

  • is a study of 60 EC
  • is low-residency, meaning that a large part of the study load is outside contact time
  • in exceptional cases is suitable for students who are not designers, but who explicitly think and work as a designer
  • is due to its part-time nature and VISA legislation only accessible to EU residents
  • costs around € 1770 (first master's program) or € 10.000 (second master's program) per year
  • allows for a DUO Lerarenbeurs

Want to study at Willem de Kooning Academy?

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