What is Interaction Design?

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The graduate program in Interaction Design is a progressive and inventive degree. Founded in 2009, the program trains students to research, analyze, prototype, and design concepts in their business, social, and cultural contexts in order to shape everyday life. 

Interaction design creates opportunities for people to have experiences, exchanges, interactions — it has the potential to shape and guide behavior. It’s this possibility that makes it the discipline that communicates the pragmatic future. And where we stand in the history of the future is a tremendous opportunity for the design of interactions.

Design used to write the story so the world might see the future. Today, interaction designers are writing the story so the world can participate in it. The MFA program offers the opportunity to design pragmatic and speculative futures, and the connections and latitude to apply those designs in real-world contexts. Students collaborate with classmates, and with local and global partners to inspire critical discussion about interaction design’s role in the pragmatic future. 

Here are just some of the thing students are empowered to do after the program:


Create innovative approaches to human problems.

Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the process to solve complex problems of design. In doing so, they learn design methods that can be applied not only to interaction design, but to any problem where interaction design thinking is meaningful. They learn standard and practiced methods, then slowly make them their own, depending on context and use. As a result, students learn how to identify where their efforts can have impact and contribute new knowledge to a particular audience.


Develop fluency in prototyping and the practical application of visionary ideas.

Students understand existing methods for representing their designs and intent in a collaborative environment. Fundamental to this objective is becoming comfortable with a culture of speed and collaboration to work toward a solution, service, or system, and a prototype as one piece of a larger solution. 


Develop technical proficiency.

Students push beyond their current technical ability — no matter where they started — in order to create devices, installations, systems, and environments that help express their particular point of view.


Create a collaborative studio life and culture of openness.

Students create a culture that translates into the communication of new ideas with colleagues, and in turn, participate in the larger discourse related to the impact they are creating. In doing so, they allow others to contribute to or build upon the foundation they have set. 

We believe that design and technology are immersed in everyday life and thus, the field can be thought of, and pursued, as designing culture. Students foster current and pointed conversations about design in the classroom, in the studio, and in the world. 


Transform entrepreneurial concepts into original products/services.

Students develop the ability to understand and describe the strategic decisions involved in the creation of interactive products and services. 


Play, explore, experiment, imagine.

Students play, explore, experiment, imagine and become comfortable with the practical application of wild ideas.


Join The Class Of 2019

Applications for the next graduating class will open in September 2016.

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