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Announcing the Summer Intensive in Interaction Design

This July, spend your evenings in a deep exploration of interaction design at the School of Visual Arts. In addition to evening courses, the summer intensive includes tours of the most energized New York studios. Bringing together designers and doers through hands-on work and theory-based lectures, the intensive allows flexibility for students to focus on one track or all three by unifying the program with a single theme.

Not everyone can afford the time and the cost of a full graduate program. In fact, it’s not for everyone. Some of us seek collaboration with those we wouldn’t meet otherwise. The surprising collaboration with those you wouldn’t work with otherwise, design with otherwise, brainstorm with otherwise, learn from otherwise. You find yourself, side by side with doers and makers, deep in subjects you’d only been deep under or poring over.

The MFA in Interaction Design was founded to be as much about invention as it is about the everyday. It requires students to be intimately attentive to human behavior and to think more holistically about the products and services they create. It explores the strategic role of interaction design in shaping everyday life, and intends to increase the relevancy of design to business and society so designers can make a difference. The definition of “difference” is something only students know—a personal exploration only they can do.

Course Descriptions

Practice of Interaction Design
Instructor: Carla Diana
Tuesdays, July 5-26, 6:00-9:00PM
This course will explore the relationship among people, objects, and information through the field of interaction design. Beginning with an examination of case studies, students will gain a sense of the breadth of interaction design practice. In a series of hands-on, studio-based exercises, students will gain exposure to critical parts of the design process while learning specific methods for human-centered concept exploration and the development of product behaviors. The course will culminate in a final project that incorporates major principles of interaction design and fits within the context of a larger, track-independent theme.
Leaving the Screen: Introduction to Programming for Interactive/Reactive Systems
Instructor: Zach Gage
Wednesdays, July 6-27, 6:00-9:00PM
This course will be a gentle but thorough introduction to code, and how students can use computation to build new systems for interaction that move away from the screen and into physical space. It is taught using openFrameworks (, a cross-platform c++ library for creative coding, but also looks at other toolkits and frameworks that helps the creative process and how different systems are connected. We’ll cover the building blocks of code, computational logic, and object-orientated programming, then start putting those pieces to work with systems of computer vision, signal processing, and interfacing with physical devices. In the latter half of the course, participants work to code creative and expressive prototypes based on these approaches.

In addition to the technical side, students weave through examples of the aesthetic and practical applications of the medium, looking for sources of inspiration and challenging our notion of what is possible. Students are recommended to have some familiarity with code (i.e., know what a variable and a function is), but beginners, who are prepared to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty, are totally welcome.

Elements of Communication Design
Instructor: Chris Thomas
Thursdays, July 8-28, except, the July 21 class will take place on Monday, July 18, 6:00-9:00PM
This course will introduce, over four weeks, many of the fundamental elements of clear communication design. It will begin with an overview of typographic standards and best practices, followed by an examination and application of grid systems. Week three will focus on information design and the tools for visually communicating data. Week four will integrate these fundamentals into a final class-based assignment that works with the larger theme for the program.

More information and registration

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