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Transformation Design (Master of Arts)

Transformation Design

The central challenge of our times is the transformation of our society. How can we create a ‘good life’ where sustainability and global justice are an everyday reality? Designers have a special responsibility to address this challenge. By developing innovative products, services and systems, we can show that although current developments may seem unstoppable, they are not inevitable and there is another, better way. Our Transformation Design degree course does not only offer new solutions to problems – problems that design itself has in some cases brought about. We want to be a catalyst for social debate and bring a radical new perspective to objects and circumstances. In other words, transformation design sees design as arising inherently out of human, social and cultural needs. It attempts to find sustainable solutions towards the future survival of our society, without ignoring the bigger economical context.

The HBK Braunschweig Masters’ degree course in Transformation Design uses a project-based approach to equip students with the ability to reflect on, initiate and contribute to processes of change. Questions of sustainability and the long-term viability of societies play a central role and are viewed from a theoretical and methodical design-based perspective. Through engaging with this project, design itself is automatically transformed. Processes, connections and interactions with other disciplines, institutions and civil society become an integral part of the design process. Further information and fascinating examples of our work can be found on our blog,

And afterwards?
Graduates of Transformation Design explore, develop and experiment with a wide variety of activities that transcend traditional careers for designers. They may become scouts, moderators or advisers, accompanying change processes of all kinds for companies, institutions, social groups or individuals. The Master’s programme also prepares students for doctoral study, which in turn opens up the path to an academic career in teaching and research.


Degree programme Master of Arts
Standard period of study 4 semesters
Modules Introduction to Transformation Design; Society, Future, Transformation; Design Studies; Eco-Design and Engineering; Digital Culture and Sustainability; Project-based Learning; Writing, Presenting and Publishing
Teaching Language German
Method of Attendance Full-time
Course Commencement Autumn semester
Application Period 1 May to 15 June (deadline by which applications must have been received by the HBK Braunschweig)
Admission Restriction Yes

Entry Requirements

  • Proof of a Bachelor or Bachelor-equivalent degree in a design subject or in engineering, social studies, the humanities or sciences.
  • Students whose first language is not German require a certificate of German language proficiency.
  • Personally motivated to contribute to sustainable change processes

Application Process

The application process at the HBK Braunschweig takes place in several stages. As part of the process, applicants must submit a portfolio and a personal statement of motivation setting out why they wish to study Transformation Design. They must also attend a selection interview. Prior to the interview, we recommend that applicants submit the following documents together with their written application by the end of the application period:
1. Online application via the HBK Braunschweig website
2. Submission of hard copy application with supporting documents by 15 June (deadline by which the application must reach the HBK).
Candidates must then also
3. Attend the selection interview.


The portfolio should take the form of a summary of one or more relevant pieces of work completed during your undergraduate degree. These may be artworks and/or relevant written works that demonstrate an affinity to the principles of Transformation Design. The portfolio must be in hard copy. Films included in the portfolio may be no longer than 5 minutes in duration and can be submitted in DVD format.
Your personal statement should be no longer than two A4 pages in length and should set out your studies and career to date, your personal interest in and motivation for studying Transformation Design, topics and research areas you would like to focus on during your Master’s degree and, if applicable, any career perspectives.


Places on the degree course are awarded on the basis of three criteria: (a) the final result and/or average coursework grades obtained during your undergraduate degree, (b) your performance at the selection interview and (c) your portfolio. If your undergraduate degree has not yet been awarded by the time the application period closes, we request that you provide a letter from your university attesting your provisional average grade and proof that you have obtained at least 150 ECTS credits.

You can find up to date information on the application process and the portfolio here

Last amended by Press and Communication on 19.02.2019