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Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you. (Aldous Huxley)

Welcome to the homepage of the Experience Design-concentration of the Master of Visual Arts (MVA)-programme of the Academy of Visual Arts. This is our home on the web, and here you can find all the recent news and activities in connection with our programme. Please take a look, and make sure to come back.

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VAED7100 Narrative Aesthetics
(required; specialised course; 6 credits)

Any designed experience is built on an underlying narrative, which at the same time is created and pre-defined through the design-process. Any narrative, linear or non-linear, pre-supposes a time-line, allowing a story to begin, progress, climax and end. In that sense Experience Design is about designing the time for an experience to strategically un-fold to its pre-defined maximal effect.

Narratives are a core concept in contemporary engagement with any audience; narrative structures are applied to corporate brands, events, public relations and promotion, as well as all the most effective kinds of interactions with the public. Narratives structure the exposure of the audience to an experience and define the desired overall emotional effect – aka the ‘product’ – of the design.

It is the aim of this course to introduce various interpretative strategies (= narratives) to the students, to allow them to discover, analyse, understand and appreciate the structures, purposes and intentions of existing narrative samples. It then establishes approaches for developing immersive aesthetic narratives with the students that equip them to relate with, engage and provoke their intended recipients, by establishing on-going, and valuable audience relations. These acquired skills will then be applied and practiced through designing narratives for given case studies.


VAED7200 Scenographic Contexts
(required; specialised course; 6 credits)

A premise of contemporary Experience Design is the existence of a constructed, communicative context as the location for an experience to take place. This context may be physical, virtual, fictional or social, or – often – any of these at the same time. Scenography is about creating complex environments that allow and encourage particular experiences.

Scenographic contexts today leave behind the limitations of physical space and integrate virtual reality, medial representations, social networks and many more. The experience of a brand for example will usually be across a wide range of media and spaces, including graphics, commercials, web, retail spaces, products, social interaction etc.

This course offers the students the opportunity to engage with and practice the interplay of spaces that create scenographic experiences. Through the realization of a small-scale urban intervention that scenographically articulates the spatial and temporal experience of a – real or fictional – brand the students will be introduced to a professional level of planning, and learn to project audience reactions.


VAED7300 Master Project
(required; independent studies; 6 credits)

The Master Project embodies research, development and realisation of an independent body of work under the supervision of a supervisory team (Principal Supervisor and Secondary Supervisor). The final outcomes of the Master Project could be a series of artistic work on a defined topic. The format and deliverables of the Master Project should base on the individual learning contract, which is agreed between the student and the supervisory team before the beginning of the last trimester. The outcomes should demonstrate students’ mastery of the knowledge, skills and professional attitude throughout the programme.


VASC7100 Research Practice for the Visual Arts
(required; shared course; 3 credits)

21st century witnesses visual arts practitioners merging cultural concerns, research, and process of making into creative output that highlights the complexities of life experiences; and explores new territories. In equipping students’ artistic inquiry, this course introduces various research methods that are common in art and design-practice, such as content analysis, cultural probe, user survey, interview, and ethnographic studies. Also, it helps students to develop their own research project by examining different research paradigms, and interpretive approaches including hermeneutics, phenomenology, discourse analysis, feminism and action research. Bringing methodology into professional practice, students will go through the process of research: defining research focus, designing appropriate methods, collecting data, documentation, interpreting findings, presenting, through textual and/ or audio / visual means.


VASC7200 Professional Practice for the Visual Arts
(required; shared course; 3 credits)

A graduate in any area of the visual arts entering the professional arena today cannot expect to be looking forward to a streamlined career. Instead his/her career will be a patchwork of activities crossing all boundaries from art making to applied design commissions, occasional administrative jobs to part time teaching and back. They will work in a variety of contexts from self-employed freelancing to private agencies, corporate structures and the public sector. This course aims at equipping students with basic knowledge and skills in a variety of professional fields that will help students to jumpstart their professional practice in the visual arts.

The course is made up by a sequence of workshops delivered by professional specialists and visual arts practitioners. Each workshop includes lectures, seminar-style talks as well as small practical assignments, which allow participants to get some initial hands-on experience within the respective area. The intention of the course however is not to educate specialists, it rather aims to make aspiring professionals of the field aware of these matters, sketch the situation and indicate comprehensive ways of approaching problems arising.


VASC7300 Interdisciplinary Practice for the Visual Arts
(required; shared course; 3 credits)

“Creativity isn’t the monopoly of artists.” This remarkable claim made by Joseph Beuys back in 1979 denotes not only the liberation but also the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary art. Over the past decades, all sorts of collaborations among different artistic disciplines, areas of knowledge and various stakeholders in the society have opened up the diversity and openness of creative practice.

By introducing the background and current trends of interdisciplinary practice in connection to visual arts, this course provides students with new insights to rethink about the roles, responsibilities and capabilities of visual artists in our time. As a Shared Course being offered to all students from various MVA programmes, it will utilize this particular setup to also address common areas of socio-cultural concerns, strategies and skills for teamwork as well as the management of creative process for practitioners from different visual arts fields.