Master Programme in Design+Change

120 credits

The Master Programme in Design + Change is an advanced-level two-year programme within Design, the main field of study.

Design involves creativity, criticality and transformation. Design calls into question the state of things and makes an impact. Design challenges preconceptions, prejudices, norms, and stereotypes and provokes emotions, thoughts, sensibilities and actions. Design can enhance our lives and our relationships to the world. It can make us attentive and empathic to the ecological and socio-cultural systems in which we live. In a world of many challenges, design can be an agent for sustainable change.

In shaping our futures, designers will face unprecedented challenges compared to what conventional designers faced during the twentieth century. In fact, the role of the designer will and should change. Instead of only designing for mass production, which was important during the first phase of industrialisation, designers of futures must handle multiple roles and increasingly complex issues. As agents for change, designers will play key roles in shaping futures of sustainability.

On the Design+Change Master’s Programme at Linnaeus University we challenge the traditional role of the designer, working across disciplinary and media boundaries to define new roles that meet contemporary and future needs. For design to confront the crises we are now facing, we need to work together with other academic disciplines and cultural practices and in partnerships with professional designers, community organisations, businesses, activists and governmental bodies.

Students on the Design+Change Master’s Programme can choose to extend their existing knowledge in a specific design field or explore new ones. The programme focusses on artistic and experimental processes and creative research, and students will develop their capacity for critical reflection in making well rounded and futures oriented design proposals. Particular attention is paid to contemporary and emerging design disciplines such as critical and speculative design, social design, metadesign and design activism. Furthermore, students are introduced to and practice relevant methods for questioning the current state of things, opening up to ways of thinking and shaping futures creatively and differently.


Our aim is to develop artistic maturity and foster responsible designer roles with a focus on sustainability and design as a change agent. At LNU, you will develop your skills with exploratory work, concept development and implementation, in complex projects.


Master of Fine Arts (Main field of study: Design)

Application and portfolio

The application process consists of two steps. First you need to apply to the programme online at at (in English), or (in Swedish). Then you need to submit your portfolio together with your other documentation regarding eligibility on your pages on (in English), or (in Swedish).

You find instructions for the portfolio below.

Student projects

1 3

George Green, from London, England

Please describe your product

"I created a tool in the form of a card deck and associated activities that help to discuss and make tangible brand identities, values and visions. It can be used further to develop a universal language between designers and clients and provide a framework with which to develop new projects. Combining ice breaker, matching and mapping challenges the deck is fast and efficient to use and can be expanded upon with new cards over time to remain fresh and relevant. Empathy and understanding through co-operative activities
cements relationships, speeds up decision making and generates knowledge for all involved parties."

How would you describe co-operative design for someone not
familiar with the topic?

"Co-operative design is an approach to projects and challenges that is pro-active in
including all stakeholders in the research, design and creation process. These can include users, manufacturers, partners, distributors etc. It can be difficult to find and generate suitable methods that facilitate this type of participation, but its value lies in understanding and building empathy for the wants and needs of others."

Name three things that you think represent Sweden

"Fika, the outdoors and sustainable living."

Container paradigm pic 1
1 3

Andrei Zberea, from Moldova, Chisinau

Tell about your project

"My Master Thesis is about Sustainable housing for students, which goes beyond what we consider typical housing. In this thesis project I depicted an environment/future in which students and regular people could move with their home without boundaries. A student has the possibility to relocate with their home to different places and universities using normal means, and reconnect to an infrastructure with no complexities."

How would you describe speculative design for someone not
familiar with the topic?

"Speculative design is basically imagining the future - how thing can be and what possible future we can predict. Critical Design is about challenging preconceptions and defying the norm; by criticizing we can make changes - an opposite of affirmative design in which the idea is supported."

Name three things that you think represent Sweden

"I think that Sustainability, Innovation and Equality are the things that represent Sweden"


Table project
1 3

Danyang Chen from China

What is your Master Thesis about?

"The project aims to create a sharing furniture, which used in living room, for young single person households. By using this furniture, they can enjoy the time being alone at home and also enjoy the leisure time with others, for example, through the Swedish social phenomena - fika."

How would you describe fika and Scandinavian design for someone not familiar with the topics?

"Fika: Just as normal as daily meals.
Scandinavian design: Pure color. Pure function."

Name three things that you think represent Sweden.

"IKEA, Absolute Vodka, Wood Horses"

Student testimonials

Three students

Meisam Kalantari, from Iran

After I did a glass design course at the summer academy in Kalmar, it helped me to get a better image of this university, and then I decided to continue my studies at LNU because there are a lot of experiments here, more practical work than my studies before. I hope I can learn more stuff and improve my design skills every day, that´s the reason why I'm here.

The education has been good so far. We have done some interesting projects until now and we have just started three months ago! The best about studying here is that it´s creative, practical, project based and innovative. And we have different professors for each course, which is really cool.

The best about Sweden is that there is not a big gap between poor and rich people or at least it's not obvious, which I found very noticeable. More is that Sweden is good in design. I love that everything is minimalistic here, it could be also considered as a Swedish mindset or lifestyle. The other good thing about Sweden is the nature! The Scandinavian nature is really awesome. People also take care very much of the forests, and recycling and sustainability which I love.

Nastazja Niedziela, Poland

The start of the education has been better than I thought it would be. We are not just talking about design but doing things all the time.

The best about studying here is that we are making things, rather than just speculating about them.

The best about Sweden is the cultural mix. If you want to study here, consider the finances, and the limited accomodation.

Xia Xinyu, Wuhan, Hubei Province, China

I chose to come to Linnaeus University because of the fantastic Scandinavian design, and Ikea.

The start of the education has been exciting but nervous, both to get used to the way of Swedish education and group discussions. The best about studying here is that I get to deal with the wooden furniture and deepen my knowledge about the design process.

The best about Sweden is the natural landscape and the democratic society. If you are coming here to study you should consider the different cultural conflicts and the idea of what good design is.


Följ oss på Instagram.

Lennart Schmitz

"My time at Linnaeus University has been with ups and downs, sometimes concerning, sometimes reassuring, but always allowing me to be who I want to be and do what I want to do, which is design and create change. We work on a project now that is called Can you Manage? We will have an exhibition this week about how the ability of design can criticise and point out issues. Not to offer an actual solution, but instead to make someone understand and question the issue we criticise. It is something I would have never thought I would find exciting, but I learned the opposite is the case. The best thing about the programme is the ability to explore new paths and approaches to design that go away from the ordinary in order to find designs and solutions that are timely, relevant and effective for change." /Lennart Schmitz, student of the master programme in design


Linnaeus University’s campus is located roughly 15 minutes with bicycle from the city centre. Campus is like a small society in its own right, with the university, student accommodation and student life all in one place. Everything happens on campus – here you become part of a creative knowledge environment and an eventful student life.

What will you find when exploring Växjö? There is a great selection of restaurants and cosy cafés. There is a large lake in the city centre, beautiful nature is always nearby. Many students enjoy the combination of the city centre in Växjö and life on campus. This is where your dream of the future begins!