Color & Materials Design

students at a table sorting through colors and materials

The Color & Materials Design program prepares graduates to be leaders in the color and materials design field through an immersive experience based in research and applied through studio practice.

Today, the application of color, materials, and finishes is integral to the design process, cutting across the entire field of design, from the most common everyday objects to the most complex systems and environments. Designers are required to understand how color, materials, and finishes impact the design process from start to finish, as well as their role as aesthetic and functional differentiators in the marketplace. In the CCS Color & Materials Design program, you will conduct in-depth research to explore the latest advances in materials, and their color and finish applications, looking at current and future possibilities in industry and craft.

Through the College’s curriculum, you will learn how to engage with color, materials, and finishes to solve design problems, collaborating within the design team structure to connect ideas and develop narratives that offer creative and exciting concepts and design executions. You will conduct extensive research on consumer trends, looking at different product sectors, insights, competitors and the market, and learn how to look for patterns – in markets, cultures and geographic regions – gaining insight into consumer behaviors. You will learn how to truly see color and understand how it behaves technically and aesthetically, and then apply that knowledge in the studio to develop creative solutions for a range of applications.

Stressing original research and design solutions that contribute to the body of knowledge in color, materials, and finishes, the program offers students the opportunity to acquire the expertise necessary to advance themselves according to their area of specialization and their own interests and career objectives

We have welcomed students from a broad range of disciplines including:

  • The Fine Arts, Interior Design, Furniture Design, Communication or Graphic Design, Product or Industrial Design, Transportation Design, Architecture, Textile Design, or Fiber
  • Portfolios that reflect an understanding of the research and design process, an attention to detail and quality, and a well-developed design aesthetic
  • Computer proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite, including:
    • Photoshop
    • Illustrator
    • InDesign

Recent Jobs and Internships

Students in Color & Materials Design have been hired for positions and participated in internships with the following companies.

Teague Logo

Toyota Calty Logo

Hewlett Packard Logo

Kohler Logo

Nike Swish


American Trim Logo

General Motors Logo

Faurecia Logo

Schneller Aviation Logo

Global Team Blue Logo

Adidas Logo

Newell Logo

Detroit Tile Company Logo

Rivian Logo

Nissan Logo

Haartz Logo

Qoros Logo

Uber Logo

Follow us on Instagram!

Contact Us

MFA Color & Materials Design Department
T. 313.664.1475
F. 313.664.1490

Department Chair 
Sally Erickson Wilson