|Degree:||Master of Arts (MA)|
|University website:||Graphic Design|
The Master of Arts (MA) in Graphic Design at the Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA) is a new two year, English language program intended to develop a student’s independent practice and define their position as a graphic designer. The program takes an expanded view of graphic design, seeing it as a form of knowledge production whose role can be understood as a way of ‘making things public.’ This idea is supported by providing opportunities for students to work through both traditional models of graphic design—books, websites, posters, typefaces, videos—but also to publish texts, organize exhibitions, host lectures, teach workshops, and create other contexts for exchange during their studies.
The program places the individual interests and concerns of the student at the centre of their studies, with the making of a body of work which considers their own relationship to form, content, production, and the distribution of information. While this will identify itself differently for each student, what they will share is a form of practice which is self-reflective, process oriented, rigorous and intentional, and one which consistently holds an honest position in response to the fluctuating conditions of work as a graphic designer. Students will actively question the medium as a whole, consider its ability to engage meaningfully in social and cultural contexts, practice new ways of making work and expressing form, and contribute to the contemporary development of the discipline.
The curriculum is structured to provide students the time, space, resources, and conversations in producing a body of work which frames their practice. This work is always supported by a teaching staff of actively practicing designers, and invited guests who give workshops, lectures, and critiques. The first year of the Graphic Design MA is facilitated by prompts which engage students to question and reflect upon their work. The second year asks that students come to define their work and practices as a whole. Students are expected to discuss their progress at the end of each semester, and outline their intentions for how to continue into the next academic term. Parallel to this will include topic specific courses which change each year, investigating and responding to contemporary issues, methods and ideas in graphic design.
In the first year, each student is asked to question their practice, interests, and intentions as a designer through the active process of making new work. This is facilitated by prompts and projects intended to encourage critical investigation, hands-on making, and iterative working. The core course components are:
As the first year progresses, these course components fold into one another, so that no work is done without the integration and support of the other. The work produced in the first year is intended to be reflected on, and students will be asked to find connections between their projects to serve as a starting point for defining their work in the second year.
In the second year, students will begin to define their own projects and research towards a final thesis, with the ongoing support of a thesis advisor. In the third semester, students are required to choose electives (from the faculties of Architecture, Design, Fine Arts, and Art & Culture) which support this work, while the fourth and final semester is dedicated entirely to completing the thesis submission and graduation exhibition.
The thesis is understood as a cohesive body of work, organized from a collection of projects developed over the two years of study. It will present what your work is about and how you position yourself as a graphic designer. The final submission will take the form of a book, which must include a formal written thesis and the body of work that supports it.