Master of Arts in

Designing Digital Cultures


Course length

2 Academic Year


April 2024





The Master’s program in Designing Digital Cultures has a duration of two academic year and aims to explore digital technologies and the spaces (physical/digital) shaped by them that are present in our contemporary lives. It allows students to develop design responses to the questions that arise from the digital design immersed in our surroundings. Students are encouraged to push the boundaries of digital design practices and become professionals in the field.


The Master’s program in Designing Digital Cultures aims to delve into various digital design methodologies, encouraging critical analysis and the development of unique approaches.

The curriculum is structured around four main modules, which focus on immersive technologies, the creation of digital universes, artificial intelligence, and creative coding, as well as critical reflection applied to them. These modules explore augmented, virtual, and mixed reality, game engines, and applications based on artificial intelligence.

The course’s goal is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the field, enabling them to develop personalized and innovative design approaches.

The Master’s program aims to:

  • support students in reimagining knowledge, research, and contemporary digital design practice;
  • encourage students to develop a critical and reflective approach to digital design;
  • introduce students to experimentation and design-based research, bridging the theory and practice of digital design;
  • encourage students to explore the broader cultural contexts of the discipline and freely experiment with the boundaries of digital design practice;
  • enhance understanding of the ethical, social, and environmental implications of digital design practice, urging students to develop responsible and sustainable approaches to their work;
  • provide students with a unique and stimulating social and working environment that helps them develop and demonstrate research, technical, and design skills, allowing them to enhance their professional and academic abilities;
  • foster independence, initiative, and a sense of responsibility to achieve personal or group results.

Students must hold a bachelor’s or higher academic degree in a field of arts, design, or other creative disciplines from any program recognized at ISCED level 6. Graduates in scientific, social sciences, and humanities disciplines may also be selected for the Master’s program, as well as candidates who have previously gained significant professional experience in the field. SPD also takes into consideration other significant experiences and/or participation in SPD Preparatory Courses.

In addition, international students need IELTS score of 6.0, with no component below 5.5.

Selection is based on the following criteria:

  • curriculum vitae
  • motivation letter
  • portfolio
  • online interview

The number of places is limited.

The Master’s course in Designing Digital Cultures is organized in collaboration with major industry leaders and other universities. Certificates and academic credits are awarded according to the ECTS system.

This module provides the opportunity for the student to experience either a vocational internship with external institutions and companies, an internal research internship, or a period of study abroad.

The Major Project module aims at enabling students to develop and direct their own design project, taking into account learnings from previous modules. It aims also at encouraging students to demonstrate a high level of professional competence and to have a deep understanding of the social and philosophical context, in which they are practicing.

Students are expected to demonstrate the enterprise potential in their ideas and to understand the future possibilities and contexts, in which ideas will exist. Students critically reflect upon their own learning and become prepared for continuous professional development.

Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli
Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli is an architect and curator whose work encompasses technology, politics, design, and environmental practices. Formerly an architect and partner at OMA, he founded the interdisciplinary agency 2050+ in Milan to deploy space as a medium rather than a goal. Latest projects include Synthetic Cultures at the 10th Architecture Biennale of Rotterdam, the short film dilogy Riders Not Heroes, the exhibitions Aquaria at MAAT in Lisbon and Penumbra in Venice, the design of the Fredriksen’s collection space at the National Museum of Norway in Oslo, and the transformation of La Rinascente’s modernist icon in Rome. Ippolito curated Open, the Russian Pavilion at the XVII Architecture Venice Biennale, and co-edited theaccompanying collection Voices. Towards Other Institutions (Lenz, 2021). In 2018 he co-curated Manifesta’s 12th edition, The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence in Palermo and co-edited Palermo Atlas, the preparatory investigation on the Sicilian capital (Humboldt books, 2018). Ippolito teaches at the Royal College of Arts in London Data Matter, a research and design studio exploring the entangled relationship between data and the material world. His work has been published internationally, in various institutions, festivals, and exhibitions. He was the president of the Jury of the XVIII Architecture Biennale in Venice.

Kamil Dalkir
Kamil Dalkir (Ph.D. Architecture, Royal College of Art, London, 2023) is a researcher, architect and curator. His doctoral thesis focuses on the law and architecture of forced migration, and in particular the financial nature of humanitarian governance and its extractive capacities. His practice revolves around model making, moving image and storytelling methodologies as forms of evidence production. He currently holds a senior research role as part of interdisciplinary research studio 2050+, based in Milan (IT). Prior to which, he has worked on numerous exhibitions and installations (including the 2019 Sharjah Architecture Triennale as part of the curatorial team), and in international design studios such as Balmond Studio and Studio Fuksas.

Erica Petrillo
Erica Petrillo is a researcher and curator with a background in political philosophy and social sciences. She is currently based in Milan, where she collaborates with the interdisciplinary agency 2050+. She has curated public programs and exhibitions for various cultural institutions, in Italy and beyond. These include the series of monthly R&D Salons at MoMA in New York; Broken Nature, the 22nd Triennale di Milano; Environmentalism Without Politics is Gardening at ADI Design Museum in Milan; and, with 2050+, Open, the Russian Pavilion at the 17th Architecture Biennale of Venice and Synthetic Cultures for the 10th International Architecture Biennale of Rotterdam. After completing her studies at the University of Cambridge and at Maastricht University, Erica worked for two years with NGOs (including Amnesty International) focusing on issues around migration.

2050+ is an interdisciplinary agency based in Milan, whose practice is placed at the intersection of technology, environmental practices, politics and design. Since its inception, 2050+ has carried out various projects that embrace curatorial and research practices, exhibition design and architecture. These include curating Open, the Russian Federation Pavilion at the 17th Architecture Biennale in Venice, and Synthetic Cultures, a research-driven project presented at the 10th Architecture Biennale of Rotterdam.
2050+ regularly collaborates with fashion brands such as Slam Jam, Sunnei, Nike and Bulgari on temporary installations, films, public programs and editorial initiatives. The agency is also committed to develop independent research projects, such as the short film Riders Not Heroes and Riders Not Heroes: Anatomy of a Delivery, shown at the CCA in Montreal in 2022.
2050+ has published on numerous platforms, including Flash Art, e-flux Architecture, Terraforma Journal, Volume and Unbore, often addressing the relationship between data and the material world – a research strand that 2050+ explores in the context of ADS8 – Data Matter, a design studio at the Royal College of Art in London. Texts authored by 2050+ have also recently appeared on Cover of I, Like Many Things (Yale School of Architecture, 2023), Automated Landscapes (Nieuwe Instituut, 2023), The Last Grand Tour (Park Books, 2023), and various exhibition catalogs.