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Product & Furniture Design MA

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year 2 days a week September 2017
Part time 2 years Contact the course leader for details September 2017

This course was previously called Design: Product+Space MA.

Choose Kingston's Product & Furniture Design MA

The course is a unique blend of propositional thinking and experimental making. Delivered by designers and practice-based academics, the course sits at the forefront of the design agenda challenging students to negotiate, design and discover solutions that inform future practice across the discipline.

Driven by insight rather than object, the course encourages you to develop work within a wide range of spheres. Traditional industrial products appear alongside material-led explorations. Experimental projects that challenge behaviours and social rituals sit beside brand and manufacturing solutions. Social and environmental outcomes inspire new singular and plural interactions with the world.

View work from students on this course.

Key features

  • This course is part of the Design School's Postgraduate Framework, which promotes interdisciplinary practice opportunities, underpins research, supports personal trajectory and industry contact, and includes a supporting lecture series.
  • The core staff team is supported by expert full time and visiting studio tutors. These include Harry Richardson of Committee, Simon Hasan Fabien Cappello, Julia Georgallis, Rosemary Anrude and Lauren Davies.
  • Our visiting professor is world-renowned designer Sebastian Bergne. Sebastian delivers lectures, tutorials and project workshops within the course and department.
  • The action of "making" is the signature of the course. We seek critical thinkers and makers that seek to challenge and evolve contemporary practice through the physical domain.

What will you study?

You will be exposed to the critical issues and contemporary pressures within the creative marketplace through the teaching briefs and industry relationships leveraged.

Students are expected to evidence a robust personal manifesto with direction and purpose reflecting their own area of study. Students are required to be self-directed, reflective and practical in approach. The course is studio and project based. Activities can include specialist lectures, workshop inductions, group and personal tutorials, seminars and symposiums.


Practical design projects, presentations, masters project and exhibition.

Course structure

This course is part of the School of Design's postgraduate programme.

The structure – shared with students from the Communication Design MAs, Fashion MA, and Sustainable Design MA – enables you to explore your individual specialist interests within an integrative learning environment that provides a comprehensive understanding of the value and role of interdisciplinary methods and ways of working. The influences and impact of thinking from other related design subjects on your own specialist study is an important aspect of the identity and the community of interdisciplinary practice at masters level in the School of Design.

This structure is designed to help progress and develop your independent learning, encouraging you to construct and explore projects concerned with areas of particular personal interests. The overarching course philosophy, based upon an emphasis on research, methodology and design thinking, allows individual and personal concerns to be explored through focused study in product and furniture design.

The two shared modules of the School of Design's Postgraduate Framework both commence with a symposium, in which high-profile external speakers present their work and contribute to a debate on a topic of relevance to all courses in the Framework. View the promotional flyers from the following recent symposiums:

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.


  • Designing Research lectures and seminars are designed to enable students to rationalise and focus on thematic approaches to problem finding and problem solving. This module will teach you to:

    • make practical use of your ideas, perceptions and discoveries; and
    • work effectively and creatively in a wider inter-disciplinary and cultural context.


    It will do this by helping you to understand existing conventions and developing your personal visual vocabulary.

    The integrative programme encourages you to develop a personal and critical point of view by recording, documenting and evaluating ideas from within their discipline and from the wider interdisciplinary environment, and applying those findings within project work.

    The module introduces and develops a range of analytical tools that you can use to interrogate designed objects and artefacts, and makes links between analytical and propositional methods, creating a framework within which you can structure your project proposals. You will explore practical research methods, with an emphasis on developing creative, rational and effective approaches to visual experimentation and critical reflection on practical design work within a logical and measurable framework. You will learn about the wide-ranging tools and methods that are available to inform and support the development of your practical study, and create a basis for further study on the course.

  • This module builds on the notion that the best jobs and careers in the creative industries do not exist – and that they are created from individual creative ambitions and understanding. It explores how this can be approached in practical terms. The programme of study encourages you to develop a personal and critical approach to your future career and its relationship to the development of their individual major project.

    Creative Futures lectures and seminars help you develop an approach to, and focus for, their future career and their ongoing personal and professional development. By understanding the key skills and attributes you need for a career in the creative industries, you will develop an informed and focused Major Project proposal and project.

    You will learn about a range of practical methods that can help you create the foundations of a sustainable and successful design practice and career. Lectures, seminars and workshops will introduce and explore key issues that help you understand how to develop your own approach to professional career planning. You will also engage in a range of activities that include professional competitions, live project work, studio visits and professional practice lectures. This work will support and inform the development of your Major Project Proposal.

  • Context I develops individual design direction within the context of product and space. Each student explores the context through engagement with a number of practical design briefs.

    Briefs are thematic and broad in scope to encourage creative speculation. Students identify their own personal lines of enquiry for each project and take responsibility for leading the critical discussion and debate. Design thinking is evidenced through a body of visual and physical work; 'making' and 'doing' are integral. Debate and feedback with the staff team and peer group stimulates critical development.

    Students should explore networks outside the Faculty to expand their knowledge and lend their work rigour and credibility. Successful projects conducted within this module are developed further in Context II.

  • Context II extends and builds upon the learning experience gained in Context I, positioning students in readiness to commence realisation of their masters projects.

    Students continue to develop practical design enquiries established in Context I, refining and editing material and undertaking new research and study as necessary. The body of module work is undertaken with a view to synthesising a comprehensive masters project proposal that prepares students for their semester three masters projects.

    The module firmly establishes credibility for progression on to the Masters Project and Exhibition module but does not limit subsequent development or adaptation. External links are further developed.

  • The Major Project – the capstone project – consolidates the knowledge gained in earlier modules and is informed and supported by prior learning within both the Design School's postgraduate interdisciplinary framework and course specific specialist study.

    The purpose of this module is to enable students to relate the work of the course to a practical solution and to demonstrate skills in defining, analysing and developing a substantial solution to an individually defined design related problem. It will demonstrate both in content and form the students advanced understanding of contemporary design practice.

    The research and documentation of the project is an integral part of the submission, reflecting on the process, as well as the critical analysis and methodology of the research itself. The research will be conceptually integrated within the practical work. Individual project topics are expected to be wide ranging and provide the opportunity to fully investigate a practical situation, underpinned by a critical report on the work produced. Topics must allow the opportunity to position work politically, socially and culturally and identify and apply appropriate technology as a means of delivery. Project topics must demonstrate the potential necessary to achieve the level appropriate to the learning outcomes.

    Three possible forms of Major Project submission are available to students (see below):

    1/2. The Practical Project Practical (outcome supported by research, testing and developmental materials) 70% and The Project Report (3-5,000 words) 30%.

    3. The Thesis (12-15,000 words) 100%.

    4. The Design Management Project Report (10,000 words) 100%. Intended in the main as the outcome for students studying on the MA Design for Development.

    These three options are available to all students studying on the courses within the Design School Postgraduate Framework. Students will be guided and supported in their choice of mode of Major Project by course tutors and this will be informed by individual career and personal development planning undertaken during the preparation of the Major Project Proposalin DE7301 Creative Futures.


You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

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This course is taught at Knights Park

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This course is taught at Knights Park

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Student project work

Original Stools by Sascha MikelSee student project work from the Design: Product+Space MA programme.
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