First time in Asia: Master in Design for Smart Cities

Nov 19, 2017

 Master in Design 1  

This year, SIM Global Education entered into a partnership with Strate School of Design (Paris, France) to bring to Singapore the first Asia Master in Design for Smart Cities, awarded by Strate School of Design, France. This multi-disciplinary programme places an emphasis on human-centric learning experiences equipping students with valuable industry relevant skills to stay competitive and employable for the smart-nation and beyond.

Here, the DesignSingapore Council speaks with Jacques Malz, the Director of Strate Singapore.

Master in Design 2

Jacques Malz, the Director of Strate Singapore

1. Instead of the traditional programmes focusing on Design as an academic discipline, this programme puts humanity-human centric experiences as a forefront, why is that so?

Instead of focusing on Design as an add-on to specific curricula (architecture, environment, transportation), this programme fosters Design as a full-fledged academic discipline addressing all the pillars of a Smart City, with an uncompromising emphasis upon human experiences.

Strate Design mix is a unique multidisciplinary curriculum, combining design, humanities, technology and management, through Design Thinking and Design Doing, where students craft innovative solutions based on design methodology and extensive hands-on practice.


2. What are some of the exciting jobs graduates can look forward to?

Precisely, job roles which requires the skills and competences advocated by SkillsFuture and WSG in preparation of the Smart Nation:

Head of Design / Head of innovation/ Project leader Experience Designer / Service Designer/ Interaction Designer/ Intelligent Object Designer/ Immersive Designer (Augmented/Virtual Reality) / IoT projects Manager/ Urban Innovation Lead and the list goes on.


3. Can you list just 5 unique selling points that sets the STRATE-SIM programme apart from traditional Design programmes offered elsewhere?

a. Coming up with conducive and liveable – yet simple – solutions in increasingly complex environments and systems is one of the most daunting challenges facing our society today. Strate’s Design mix addresses and tackles complexity with a unique methodology. For instance, we embrace systemic dynamics with practical problem-solving pedagogy. This is central to our programme as only designers are the relevant aggregators whenever projects involve complexity.

b. 15 projects are to be completed within the span of two years providing graduates very hands-on experience beyond textbook theories. What’s more, all the projects and workshops are sponsored and mentored by the industry with real-case projects.

c. Applicable and indispensable to future trends of a new digital economy for a liveable digital economy

d. Focus on human experience. All projects are human experience driven and may utilize technologies for that purpose, not the other way around.

e. Exposure to innovation labs. We currently collaborate through partnerships with several Innovation Labs in Singapore. In France, Strate is clearly part of the Innovation eco-system from academia to incubators, from research labs to corporations. Just last week we signed a three-year agreement with Korian, the European leader of Homes for Elderly People. The agreement allows insights and access to explore how Design can impact the well-being of the silver generation, a major challenge faced both in Singapore and Europe.


4. In terms of design, what can Singaporean students learn from the French design education?

We are extremely impressed and inspired by Singapore’s Design-driven ambition and achievements. This course draws the same ideology expressed by PM Lee’s speech at the launch of the Smart nation initiative; “Smartness” is not a measure of how advanced or complex the technology being adopted is, but how well a society uses technology to solve its problems and address existential challenges. Citizens are at the heart of our Smart Nation vision, not technology”.

At Strate, we are the children of the 18th Century of Enlightenments, an intellectual, cultural, social and philosophical movement, fostering values such as rationalism, Knowledge and Science for all, (religious) tolerance, freedom and (social) equality. That clearly transpires through our syllabi, pedagogy, with blocks of modules dedicated to Humanities, a key to a higher level of adoption of a solution crafted by a designer.

Also, a French Design Education embeds French aesthetical and artistic influence. Our motto and credo for the School: Make the World + Simple + Fair + Beautiful!


5. What are key/exciting highlights of the programme that you want to share with the audience?

The programme is filled with endless exciting milestones throughout its span of two years. I am particularly excited about the 5-month Interschool project where students from Science and Management institutions work together with Strate Design students on a brief from the industry. This meaningful collaboration further provides students with exclusive on ground exposures beyond their classrooms and challenges their minds to solve real life industry issues.

Applications are now open for prospective students. Click here to find out more.