The Master DESIGN FOR DEVELOPMENT (MDfD) is an exclusive proposal of Higher Education (First and Second Level Specialising Master’s Course) aimed to meet the growing demand for design experts capable of facing the challenging contexts of the Global South by bringing knowledge and skills that focus on the governability and quality of urban and regional development and also to adquire necessary tools to work within major agencies and organizations.
The Master is promoted by the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies of Politecnico di Milano with the participation of renowned experts from the world of International Cooperation, Profession and Research, and with the support of an extensive network of Partners including Multilateral organisations, Foundations and national and international NGOs.
A multidisciplinary and design-oriented approach in which architecture, planning and heritage protection are all parts of the same approach which aims to promote effective strategies for urban and regional development, both in environmental and social terms.
A “learning-by-doing” approach, in which the theoretical course components are combined with design studios (444 hours), a 2 weeks international on the ground design workshop and at least 350 hours of internship in Italy or abroad or project work.
The impacts of globalisation on cities and regions are creating huge socio-spatial imbalances, environmental emergencies and complex urban management problems, particularly in the regions of the Global South and in countries with emerging economies. Operating in these places requires innovative professional skills to be expressly developed to be able to face the challenges of inclusive, sustainable urban development and seize the opportunities offered by transformations to improve physical and social contexts (“make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” – United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Goal 11).
MDfD has been devised to meet these demands in the firm belief that the design disciplines can play a leading role in these new urbanisation processes. Indeed, there is ever growing demand from all sides for design experts capable of navigating the challenging contexts of the Global South by bringing skills and expertise that focus on the governability and quality of urban and regional development.
With this in mind, MDfD sets out to train professionals with an international outlook capable of tackling the most difficult challenges posed by contemporary urban development with skill and creativity, based on an approach that blends research, design and innovation. These new professionals will be offered a broad overview of design at a variety of scales, in which architecture, planning and heritage protection are all aspects of the same approach to design which aims to develop effective strategies for defending and developing the regions in which they operate in environmental and social terms.
The aim of the programme is to produce professionals/consultants in the area of development-related spatial issues who can seek employment at the supranational, national or local scale, whether in the public, private or third sector.
A wide range of job opportunities at the supranational, national or local scale, whether in the public, private or third sector, are supported by the involvement in the programme of the main stakeholders dealing with urban development in the Global South. In particular:
- as consultants or project managers in international organizations that develop global and multi-sectoral programs for inclusive and sustainable urban development (e.g. UN-Habitat, the United Nations Program for Human Settlements to address issues of urban growth; Cities Alliance-Cities without slums, a global partnership fighting urban poverty and promoting the role of cities, etc.)
- as project manager and experts in the programs and projects developed by the system of international cooperation, including public, private and non-profit organizations (e.g. AICS, Italian Agency for Development Cooperation; Foundations, NGOs, etc.)
- as professionals (architects, urban planners, engineers) competent in design and planning in contexts of social and territorial fragility, not exclusively located in the Global South.