Color & Materials Design

Color and Materials Hero

The Color & Materials Design program prepares graduates to be leaders in the color and materials design field through the practice of research, inquiry and authorship.

The Color & Materials Design (CMD) program will provide students with an environment for creativity, inquiry and investigation, while challenging students to develop advanced abilities to work independently and make artistic, intellectual judgments and professional decisions.

Students will acquire the skills necessary to advance themselves according to their area of specialization and their own career objectives.

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, and then apply that knowledge to develop creative solutions for a range of applications.

Today, being material-minded is an integral part of the design process. Designers are required to understand how materials impact the design process from start to finish. You will conduct in-depth research to explore the latest advances in materials, looking at current and future possibilities in industry and craft applications. How can material innovation influence design and making?

Through the College’s curriculum, you will learn how to engage with color and materials to solve design problems, collaborating within the design team structure to connect ideas and develop narratives that offer creative and exciting concepts.

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

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Contact Us

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

Department Chair 
Sally Erickson Wilson