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IE School of Architecture and Design launches the world’s first MBArch with the collaboration of award winning UNStudio

MBArch | IE School of Architecture and Design

Ben van Berkel and Martha Thorne sign the collaboration agreement between UNStudio and IE School of Architecture and Design

IE University’s Master in Business for Architecture and Design is a leading global program that trains professionals with the skills and knowledge they need in management, entrepreneurship and innovation.


IE School of Architecture and Design is the first higher education institution in the world to offer a Master in Business for Architecture and Design (MBArch). The program encompasses the experience accumulated through the school’s more than a decade of educational leadership at the intersection of design and management. The MBArch2020 starts this February, with students from 19 countries. The new master blends online sessions, face-to-face periods in Madrid and Amsterdam, as well as a professional post-graduation trip to London to meet with industry leaders.

One of the main objectives of the school is to educate architects and designers to acquire knowledge and understanding of other fields in order to be effective across industries. Facing complex global challenges, higher education needs to empower architects and designers to fulfill new and expanded roles. “Today, our impact as built environment professionals increasingly depends on leading through action, collaboration and multidisciplinarity,” explains Jerónimo van Schendel, Director of the new program.

Believing that professionals in the field can make a unique and substantial contribution to academia and together enhance and explore new roles related to the built environment, MBArch has established a design-entrepreneurship collaboration agreement with the renowned architecture firm UNStudio. This firm, led by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, has created UNSense, an innovative start-up enterprise combining architecture and technology. Through this collaborative agreement, both parties will benefit in the areas of design entrepreneurship, teaching and research.

“We believe that the key to ‘future-proofing the future’ is knowledge. For the last decade, we have focused on expanding our understanding of trends and practice in architecture and beyond.”

Ben van Berkel – Founder and Principal architect of UNStudio

UNStudio and UNSense will actively participate in the development of IE’s Venture Discovery Workshops, along with teaching activities. The Venture Lab, a fundamental component of the program, is a real-world entrepreneurship exercise that allows students to develop a start-up business within the classroom and pitch this to business angels as they would in their professional lives.

“I can’t think of any other firm as forward-thinking and ideal for this collaboration. UNStudio and UNSense are exemplary in reorienting the profession to make real, positive impacts in our communities and cities.”

Martha Thorne – Dean of IE School of Architecture and Design