Foundation Course in Design

Foundation Courses - Madrid

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The Foundation Course in Design takes a tour of the main disciplines of design and communication. It is a foundation that is aimed at people who want to start their studies in the areas of product design, interior design, graphic design and fashion design. Through the year, all artistic, visual, conceptual, technical and projectual facets are covered through workshops, dealing with all the core subjects needed for the professional practice of design and project culture.

The course has a theoretical and practical structure, so that, around a projectual core, revolve the other key subjects for creative work. This methodology allows for applied learning, and learning by designing, the DNA of our Total Designers.

In addition, each workshop on each of the design disciplines is managed by working professionals, leading our students through the different creative processes associated with a product in a very realistic way, with the collaboration of real companies.

The Total Design One Year Course is taught in both English and Spanish

The IED Madrid is a space for training, research and innovation where students work on creative and multidisciplinary projects, forming part of teams at companies. The academic year culminates with a project in the form of a competition. In this case it will be for the firm Tetra Pak and Glenfiddich. In previous editions, students have worked with companies such as MUJI, HOSS Intropia, Skunkfunk, VANS, Hendricks, Alvarno, Baruc Corazón, and The Art Company.

Professional Opportunities

As it is a foundation course, the One Year Total Design course offers the basic fundamentals of Graphic, Fashion, Interiors and Product Design. This course will contribute knowledge to embark on the following career opportunities:

  • Collaborate with design studios in all areas: product, fashion, graphic and interior design.

  • Work in multidisciplinary design teams during the phases of ideation, communication and creation of concepts.

  • Collaborate in the product management of products, using artisanal production or self-production.

  • Be a part of a design team working on displays, visual merchandising and stage design.

  • Work with teams focusing on fashion and accessories design.

  • Collaborate with audiovisual communication and identity development studios. 

  • Credits
  • Start date
    September 2020
  • Duration
    1 year
  • Attendance
  • Language

The teaching methodology used on the course is essentially practical. The theoretical contents are acquired in an applied way, on the basis of a dynamic of experimentation and active participation. In this way, in parallel to theory and practice, experimentation and design workshops are developed.

The course is divided into large teaching blocks which enable students to use the key tools of design, whilst they get to know and connect with its four main fields: product, fashion, interior and graphic.

1. Design and Creativity

Theoretical-practical understanding of the foundations and reference points of design, colour, visual and structural language, the perception of space and objects... through a range of subjects which develop students’ capacity to devise, analyse and be creative, such as Foundations of Design, Theory and History of Art and Colour.  

2. Projects

Over the course, a number of projects and workshops are developed within each of the disciplines of design (product, fashion, interior and graphic), in such a way that students can come into contact with all of them. In these projects, students apply and integrate the knowledge acquired in other subjects. These spaces are directed by renowned professionals, so students have the chance to go through the different creative processes in a much more realistic way.

3. Communication

Communication is the most important tool to convey an idea and explain a project. During this course, students are also introduced to basic communication tools such as Drawing, Communication and Digital Technology. 

The course contents are organized into the seven areas of knowledge that reflect the CASE commitment of the IED Design School: Cultural, Environmental, Social and Economic commitment, which naturally introduce the concepts of sustainability and entrepreneurship.

These areas are:


We understand IED Designers as agents for change around them, as ambassadors of design. To do so, the Cultural Area, as a pillar of our CASE Commitment, trains IED designers in humanistic contents that promote a complex analytical view.


When promoting a design and trying to convince customers, a good communication strategy is as important as creativity and innovation, and as technical and sustainable development. This area prepares the IED Designer to prepare and communicate his or her work from the very first year. Also, we help them create a portfolio which becomes the IED passport for our designers in the professional realm.


This is the backbone of our project. The School of Design at the IED Madrid uses the methodology of Learning by Designing to train IED Designers and this is the approach that underlies all projects and sets the tone of the training. Within this area, there are two separate spaces: academic projects and possible collaborations with institutions projects, businesses and competitions, to name just a few, all of which contribute to the students’ portfolio.

Science and Technology

The IED Designer also develops his or her capacity for innovation in the use and application of materials in their design. In addition, the School of Design at the IED Madrid promotes the training of students in the latest digital tools, such as Virtual Reality, and the most innovative technology, through its FabLab.

Representation techniques

This area enables students in expression techniques for application in the design process and project communication.


As another of the key foundations of the CASE Commitment, the Companies area trains IED Designers in Strategic Design, honing their entrepreneurial capacity from day one, working on methodologies of creativity and innovation applied to new business models.


We train IED Designers to face each design from an environmentally sustainable perspective, teaching them design strategies that are naturally incorporated into the design process.