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Design for Performance and Interaction - MArch

Course Description

Design for Performance and Interaction is a novel academic field and UCL is one of only very few institutions where it can be studied. The core idea that drives the programme is that the creation of spaces for performance and the creation of performances within them are regarded as symbiotic design activities.

Degree information

Students learn how to use software that simulates performance spaces and the behaviour of people in different conditions. They learn how to manipulate software and physical hardware to create both simulated and actual 1:1 performance space and performances in an architectural context

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of two core theory modules (30 credits), a skills module (30 credits), and three design modules (120 credits). There are no optional modules for this programme.

Core modules
-Introductory Design Workshops (15 credits)
-Contextual Theory: Design for Performance and Interaction (15 credits)
-Skills Portfolio (30 credits)
-Design Thesis Portfolio, Initial Projects (30 credits)
-Design Thesis Portfolio, Final Project (60 credits)
-Design Thesis Written Dissertation (30 credits)

Research project/design project
All students undertake a major design project, the 'Design Thesis Portfolio, Final Project' in combination with an individual research project, culminating in the 'Design Thesis Written Dissertation'.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through design, fabrication and performance tutorials, skills workshops, seminars, lectures, site visits, group working and (optional) field trip. Assessment is via design and skills portfolios, written coursework submissions and verbal presentations.

There is a field trip as an optional part of the programme. Maximum cost to the student is £500.


Careers in physical and virtual interaction design, the design of performance spaces and creation of performative events form one of the most vibrant parts of global design endeavour in the 21st century. They are also the subject of extensive academic research.

Students gain the following skillsets:
-The design and production of well-considered spaces.
-Performances and interactive assemblies.
-Presenting work in a portfolio context.
-The application of analytical and sensing programmes.
-The application of digital and analogue setting and performance techniques.
-The production of an illustrated written research report in an academic context.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The programme teaches students how to place design and performance skills in the context of 1:1 installation and 3D and 4D representation, including collaboration in real-time simulation, networked media spaces, and design for sensory and interactive environments.

Students will gain a working knowledge of sound systems, lighting systems, interactive computation and electronics, behaviour of individuals and crowds, and the equipment and software that is used to track this behaviour.

The programme has been developed together with a network from industry. The development team includes Umbrellium, Bompass and Parr, Jason Bruges Studio, Ciminod Studio, Soundform and Stufish. All have longstanding relationships with The Bartlett.

Visit the Design for Performance and Interaction - MArch page on the University College London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants are also expected to have a strong portfolio of design and/or performance work. Applicants with extensive experience in the field may also be considered.

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Recipient: University College London

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