The heart of the program is the mastering of three fields crucial to the future of design: Making, Structures, and Narratives.
Shorter, more intensive courses, mixed with a "no grades" policy translates into maximum risk and an optimized use of time, attention, and resources.
In the program, students don't have to choose between tracks. They are all combined, strategically placed across the 2-year experience.
Students investigate multiple dimensions of physical design practice, its processes, and tools. We deepen the connection to craft, and explore the fascinating potential of technology on artifacts. We ground making in both the personal delight of the maker, and the commercial, production, and experiential possibilities that happen with scale.
Located on steps away from Products of Design is the new Visible Futures Lab (VFL)—a mix of a woodworking and machine shop, rapid prototyping lab, electronics lab, sewing & soft lab, and gallery, all in one space. The VLF is a state-of-the-art Maker Space featuring the latest tools for digital fabrication (see complete list of equipment here).
Students learn about the information and business structures that make effective design possible: research, systems thinking, strategy, user experience and interaction/information design. Students gain a capacity to put design in experiential, social, business and economic contexts.
Design demands stories. At every step, the story of the design and its animating ideas must be made compelling through drawing, graphic representation, videography, history, writing, and point of view. Students explore the storytelling dimension of design necessary throughout the design process—from idea to market.
FIRST YEAR COURSES
The first year experience is grounded in project-based work—both through semester-long courses as well as five-week studio intensives—providing a rapid immersion in making, research, strategy, storytelling and entrepreneurship, sharpening skill sets and fortifying critical thinking. Provocative speakers and inspiring field trips introduce real-world inspiration that expands the definition of “designer.”
Year 1 Fall
Making Studio [ + read full description]
Studio Intensive: Affirming Artifacts [ + ]
Systems, Scale and Consequence [ + ]
Design for Sustainability and Resilience [ + ]
Design Research and Integration [ + ]
3D Product Design [ + ]
Mark Making and the Graphic Narrative [ + ]
Integrated Sustainability 1 [+]
Lecture Series and Studio Visits [ + ]
Seminar [ + ]
Year 1 Spring
Smart Objects [ + ]
Studio Intensive: Material Futures [ + ]
Studio Intensive: Design Performance [ + ]
Business Structures [ + ]
Framing User Experiences [ + ]
Design Narratives: Video Storytelling [ + ]
Design Narratives: Design Histories [ + ]
Design Narratives: Point of View [ + ]
Studio Intensive: Deconstruction and Reconstruction [ + ]
Studio Intensive: Intervention Interaction [ + ]
Integrated Sustainability 2 [+]
Lecture Series and Studio Visits II [ + ]
Seminar II [ + ]
SECOND YEAR COURSES
The second year focuses on business structures, environmental stewardship, design metrics, strategy, and delight, culminating in a year–long thesis project that combines previous learning and individual passion. Interwoven with this purposeful, change–making work, students develop the personal, creative and business connections to enable their professional success. Students leave with comprehensive documentation, robust fluencies, and signature work.