The MA Design of Experiences is a two years, full time MA programme. (Friday is not scheduled for classes so that students can take paid roles to support their living expenses). Our programme exists at the nexus between critical design, experiential, theatrical, filmic, semiotics, political and musical practices; it aims to teach students how to engineer situations, to design experiences and events to best support social dreaming, social actions and power shifts within institutions, companies and governments.

The programme runs as such:


Where both practice and theory are ran simultaneously. Our first year programme is fast paced, providing both methodologies and tools to students in the development of their unconventional practice, the formulation of their events and their understanding/ approach of the institution.


-In the fall, weekly theory classes (2 hours each): Cultural entrepreneurship/ Linguistics/ Political strategy/ Theatrical practices/ Political philosophy and methodology (ethnography, design practices, ethics and gender studies). Sport classes take place every tuesdays morning to teach team work and endurance as a form of work ethics. Alongside scheduled classes, students also run self directed studies with their own group discussions.

-The Allegory of the Cave series runs weekly and it is co-curated by both the teaching team and the students. It is a series of illuminating talks and discussions on various topics and timeframe questioning our plausible futures, unique design and unconventional research practices, economics, politics, sociology and more. In the fall 2017, guests included Head of Documentary at the Guardian Charlie Phillips, designer Daisy Ginsberg, filmmaker Noam Toran, Activist and member of Anarchist Feminist group Pussy Riot Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova, cyborg Moon Ribas, science fiction author Bruce Sterling, feminist and serbian author Jasmina Tesanovic and more.

-Thursday evening screenings. In collaboration with production studio Dartmouth Films a series of documentary films questioning politics, society and economics, proposing methods and visual investigation of research.

Thursdays 5 to 6. Time for current affairs; Every Thursdays from 5pm to 6pm, students and staff discuss one piece of writing, one piece of recent news relevant to their research investigation. Together we read, share sources and references and together we identify some innovative or imaginative concepts, challenging problematic which might influence students’ practice or research in the coming years. 


RADIO PODCAST: group work, a monthly podcast by the students in MA Design of Experiences, produced at the University of the Underground in the basement of nightclub DeMarktkantine. The programme’s treatment is written by the students in relation to their course programme, presented and disseminated in collaboration with Radio Wolfgang.

-BRIEF 1: CELEBRATIONS! Monday 2nd October 2017 (briefing & symposium day) to Saturday 4th November 2017: This brief focuses on the geophysics of the underground, surveillance and countercultures. It is developed with the Night Mayor of Amsterdam Mirik Milan and tutor Teun Castelein and it explores celebrations throughout history and the development of the nightlife. Students are tasked with the production of an innovative celebration in collaboration with an institution of their choosing.

-WORKSHOP 1: Tuesday 7th November 2017 to Friday 10th November: Material and visual workshop with guest tutors visual artists Our Machine.

-BRIEF 2: The Immortal Monkey Monday 13th November 2017 to Thursday 11th January 2018: This brief, lead by tutor Thomas Greenall, explores Artificial Intelligence (AI) and gender studies. From the dawn of mechanized human forms to cutting-edge technology fresh from the lab, we interrogate the 500-year quest to make machines human. Focusing on why they exist (and the potential implications of their existence) rather than on how they work, we explore the ways robots mirror humanity and the insights they offer into our contemporary ambitions, fears, and desires, and our perceived position in a rapidly changing world.  Students are tasked to design a new test for artificial intelligence (an alternative Turing Test) in collaboration with an institution of their choosing, in order to challenge our limited understanding of human intelligence, and to explore a more productive future for human-machine interaction. 

WORKSHOP 2: Monday 18th December 2017 to Friday 22nd December 2017: Material exploration workshop and visual software (ie: Illustrator/ Photoshop/ Adobe After Effect, etc…) through a techno-catastrophe workshop by Clemens Wriklers.

WORKSHOP 3: Monday 8th January 2018 to Thursday 11th January 2018: Music and music production Workshop: The Christmas Album lead by rock band Savages (Fay Milton and Ayse Hassan).

WORKSHOP 4: Monday 15th January 2018 to Thursday 18th January 2018: Experimental architecture with Prof. Rachel Armstrong, Set Design workshop with Joseph Popper, Space architecture with Dr. Barbara Imhof.

-INTERIM ASSESSMENT: Monday 22nd January 2018.

WORKSHOP 5: Thursday January 18 and
Thursday, April 26: Launch of the University of the Underground, MA design of Experiences’ leaflet. In collaboration with guest tutor Sina Najafi, editor in chief of Brooklyn based Cabinet Magazine. A series of literary, poetic experiments and narrative methodologies are introduced to students’ practices

OPEN DAY: Friday 2nd February 2018 at the Sandberg Institute and the University of the Underground.

BRIEF 3: Since 1989. Monday 5th February 2018 to Thursday 22nd March 2018. A brief in  London, in collaboration with the British Film Institute (BFI), the British Council and their archive department together with independent record label XL recordings. Students have access to film and audio archives to rethink post-truth and narrative arcs. When post-truth is the new normal, what is the role of fiction in revealing hidden political narratives? Cultural institutions and the entertainment industry gain a whole new relevance when emotions matter more than facts.  Students are tasked to question the role of the curator, the role of films in human archiving for the age of the network and clouds of data. Part cinemathèque, part theatre set, Since 1989 is collectively constructed by the students of the MA Design of Experiences, culminating in 24h of live performance and experience rethinking the future of storytelling in cinema and sound.

BRIEF 4: What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone? A brief lead by tutor Sjaron Minailo in collaboration with the Opera House of Amsterdam and Opera Director Peter Sellars, together with the department of dramaturgy at the University of Amsterdam. In this brief on post-colonialism and reenactement, students are introduced to strategies for writing and rewriting history. Monday 26th March 2018 to Friday 25th May 2018.

FIRST YEAR ASSESSMENT: Monday 28th May 2018 to Friday 1st June 2018.

SECOND YEAR PROPOSAL: Monday 4th June 2018 to Friday 22nd June 2018: Students have to present the institution they want to work with in their second year, their research question, summer programme and thesis topic.

THE GLOBAL PROGRAMME: summer assignment. Students have to fundraise and intern at an international institution of their choice which has to present challenges to both their practice and their training. Along the way they learn to write and imagine new roles and potential job description for themselves. Their internship or work has to happen abroad.


The year 2 kickstarts with brief on economics and post-capitalism where invited hypnotists, economists and psychiatrists redefine new market models. Students are tasked to develop new economies and to pitch them to the Nobel prize museum in Sweden.

In mid-November, students submit a 10,000 word thesis on their research practice.

In their second year, students are developing design events, products, experiences, political outcomes, and experimental actions in collaboration with institutions and experts of their choosing. This includes the documentation of both their process and results. Students’ final year project is to be developed by the students according to their own topical agenda and in their own voice, at a site either within an institution – or without, this can be a reconstructed site – of their choosing.