IED Barcelona Escola Superior de Disseny

Master in Design for Urban Environment

IED Barcelona Escola Superior de Disseny

60 Crèdits
15.400 €


Strategic design for actual and future needs in the urban context.

The city is one of humanity's most important inventions and it is facing basic challenges for the

future in the 21st century.

Against this backdrop, design is an essential tool for improving the social, cultural and economic fabric of the urban contexts in which we live.

Through a knowledge and understanding of past and present urban environments and by projecting for the future, we can design new proposals that adapt to the changes that the future holds with those people living in and managing them.

The main areas of work covered are:

  • Sustainability: design for sustainable development

  • Social Inclusion: empowering citizens to confront social challenges

  • Governance: cooperation, e-democracy, open data, transparency

  • Mobility design to solve the challenges of urban mobility

  • Safe cities design to contribute to the safety of people

The future urban design specialist can:

  • Conduct research into places and people, analysing and understanding the physical, social, political and economic context of spaces and users.

  • Manage and visualise data to provide accurate diagnoses about situations and make well-informed decisions.

  • Help citizens to participate actively in transforming their urban environments, developing critical judgments and transferring their opinions to technicians and elected officials, empowering them to take a shared responsibility in decision-making.

  • Promote and preserve the city´s own identity.

  • Optimise the city´s efficiency: accessibility, exchange, plurality and coexistence for balanced, harmonious growth or renovation and to improve the living conditions of all citizens.

  • Create distinct urban identities, contributing to preserve heritage and building future city models committed to the democratic values of a respect for interculturality and sustainable, solidarity.

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Temari del curs

The teaching programme is divided into 1 Specific Module and 2 Common Modules. The common modules are shared by all Master's degree courses because they lay the groundwork of a common culture for the entire IED Barcelona community.
Specific Module:
The Specific Module of the Master in Design for Urban Environment provides students with:
  • Tools for the critical analysis of urban environments, understanding which macro-fundamental contexts operate in urban environments, such as geographical, political, historical, cultural, social and economic. Helping to identify and analyse the morphology and physical components of historical and current cities in order to project futures around specific elements of environment and landscape, mobility/accessibility, spaces, urban elements and materials...
  • Understanding the factors related to specific people and human communities in relation to the uses of the city: coexistence, mediation, associations, safety and health, as well as elements related to services such as energy, sustainability, recycling, telecommunications or management.
  • Tools to be able to make strategic diagnoses on the deficits and opportunities of urban environments by learning methodologies that can detect these and exercises that can develop the ability to identify and express potential design solutions applicable to addressing deficits by taking advantage of opportunities.
  • Tools for planning proposals related to design by anticipating factors of non-viability and being aware of the vectors of complexity related to the singularity of the context, multiplicity and heterogeneity of the actors involved and the times and uncertainties inherent in urban environment projects.
  • Tools to conduct work as a positive element in the complex mechanisms of new urban environment governance, understanding the role and functions that correspond to designers at each stage of the projects in which they are involved, both as a part of teams and in relation to the other actors involved, with the ability to be able to mediate and design suitable material for each stage and team.
  • Tools to propose and implement specific design solutions adapted to prior requirements and planning in order to create fair, adequate, new/updated, different and better urban environments.
Classroom Common Module:
This module deals with Entrepreneurship and Communication and Culture and Creativity, together with the crosscutting tools that complement the professional profile of an IED Barcelona graduate.
The module consists of the following subjects:
  • Travel design experience.
  • Design tour.
  • ED Master professional talks and experiences.
  • Public speaking.
  • Portfolio and personal branding.
Online Common Module:
This module deals with the fundamentals of Design Culture and is common to all IED Master courses.
The module tackles the cultural and methodological aspects of design as viewed from an Italian design culture base merged with that of Barcelona.
The module consists of the following subjects and their corresponding acquired skill set:
  • Italian design culture and history.
  • Design process.
  • Social design and sustainability.
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Competències per a les que et prepara el curs

IED Master Barcelona general skills:
Research skills
Teamwork skills
Creative entrepreneurial and leadership skills
Management skills
Communication skills
Ethical, social and sustainable commitment skills

Specific Course Skills:
Ability to analyse critically the urban environment
Ability to diagnose strategically urban environments
Ability to plan strategic solutions for urban environments
Ability to act as an interlocutor and mediator in urban environments
Ability to generate and implement solutions in the urban environment


  • Professionals and recent graduates who are interested in continuing their studies in order to acquire skills in strategic urban design and become involved in urban design projects from a multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspective.

  • Product, visual communication and interior designers, architects and management/marketing professionals, among others, will be able to update their knowledge and acquire new skills in areas of urban design that are not part of their expertise.

  • Professionals interested in exploring the intersection of design, social innovation and public policies.


IED Master offers theoretical and practical training in two complementary formats:
Classroom: With shared content that is common to all courses and individual course-specific content.
Online: With shared generic content on the cultural and methodological aspects of design. The learning process involves an educational team of practicing
professionals from the fields of business, design and communication.
The IED Master philosophy is built upon design culture, using a methodology based on learning by doing and applying various creative and innovation process methods through project-based learning.
Observation, analysis and experimentation are an essential part of learning. The course proposes intense theoretical/practical immersion in the urban context of the city of Barcelona, which is why both its theoretical classes and projects are backed by outings led by the teachers of the Master's degree.

Idiomes en què s'imparteix

Courses in English require an intermediate level, corresponding to TOEFL or IELTS 6.5.


Monday to friday from 6.30PM to 10.40PM.




  • To train new profe ssional profiles with the skills to act in urban contexts from a collaborative design perspective nased on the needs of v arious actors/stakeholders.

  • To provide students with a global, interdisciplinary and integrating vision of the experiences taking place within the urban environment in order to propose relevant, consensual and sustainable design solution actions.

  • To provide students with specific t ools and knowledge to complete projects related to the urban environment.

  • To train students to acquire the language and role of a designer/facilitator profile in order t o co-create urban environment solutions.

Perspectives laborals

Graduates are qualified to join different kinds of projects in the urban
context with tools that can help them to interpret from an overall
perception of design.
They face the challenges posed by current urban problems and citizen
needs, expanding their knowledge to work with multidisciplinary teams
and coordinating a design approach in urban projects.
They will be able to work in public/private entities in some of the
following areas/functions:
Lead urban regeneration processes.
Urban design consultancy.
Urban design process management.
Conduct studies related to the urban environment.
Prepare guidance and statements.
Site and area design and/or mobility design.
Facilitate collaborative processes for design in the urban environment.
Visualise and communicate data in urban design processes.


15.400 €
Enrolment fee: 3.900 euros.
Tuition fee: 11.100 euros.
Total: 15.000 euros.

Avantatges del curs

Those students who so desire have the chance to go on a study trip to Milan to attend
the Milan Design Week and Salone del Mobile. Educational activities led by a team of
teachers from IED Barcelona and IED Milan will take place during this trip.
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