La Floresta,

City in Action. Master in Critical Design

The role of the designer is undergoing a process of creative destruction. The practice of design and communication itself is changing and being redefined. This programme provides a comprehensive view of the key concepts of the history of change and the new economies by means of conceptual, analytical and practical tools.

The purpose of the first ever master’s degree in Critical Design is to respond to the pressing need for the design of new economic, cultural, social and aesthetic strategies. Cities, institutions and companies need a new designer profile that is able to question the status quo and provide a fresh outlook on our daily lives. Rather than answers or solutions, a critical designer will look for issues, ask questions, promote discussion and inspire people to think about a new society.

A monographic module on the methodology of General Trial* as a tool for the design of a city. The module is structured on the design process of a simulacrum or test on an urban scale through the conceptualisation, experimentation and documentation of a proposal that allows for future scalability and replication.



– To acquire the skills necessary to commission proposals of actions at an urban scale.
– To reflect on the new theories of the city, public space and urban actions.
– To design ephemeral spaces.
– To design transmedia elements.
– To conceptualise and take part in citizen participation and co-creation.
– To work on the integration of multiple disciplines and teamwork.



– Basic concepts of conceptualisation and the development of proposals that can be transformed into full-scale actions.
– Anthropology/Urbanism: Theory of the city, public spaces and urban actions.
– Architecture: Design of ephemeral spaces.
– Communication: Design of transmedia elements.
– Society: Citizen participation and co-creation.
– Science: Techniques for documenting and obtaining balances and results.


* The “General Trial” is a staging practice that allows for the testing of multiple modification impulses of the existing city as an exercise to transform abstract ideas and desires into specific actions. It is a social testing discipline in which the “What” and the “How” are closely related.

Read MoreRead Less
Start Date 01/10/2018
Final Date 31/05/2019
Title City in Action. Master in Critical Design
Mission Syllabus
Typology Teaching
Location Barcelona
Developer BAU, Design College of Barcelona
Teachers Eva Serrats, Francesc Pla

Related Articles