Integrated Design

Fall Semester - Year 1

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE CREDITS
GRD-601 DESIGN GRADUATE STUDIO I 3
GRD-605 DATA VISUALIZATION 3
DGR-611 CONTEXTUAL DESIGN RESEARCH I 3
DGR-613 GRADUATE SEMINAR I 3
STUDIO ELECTIVE 3
TOTAL CREDITS: 15

Winter Semester - Year 1

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE CREDITS
GRD-602 DESIGN GRADUATE STUDIO II 3
GRD-606 INTERACTION DESIGN II 3
DGR-612 CONTEXTUAL DESIGN RESEARCH II 3
DGR-717 BUSINESS PRACTICES II 3
STUDIO ELECTIVE 3
TOTAL CREDITS: 15

Fall Semester - Year 2

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE CREDITS
GRD-701 DESIGN GRADUATE STUDIO III 3
DGR-614 GRADUATE SEMINAR II 3
DGR-711 GRADUATE THESIS I 6
DGR-718 BUSINESS PRACTICES II 3
TOTAL CREDITS: 15

Winter Semester - Year 2

COURSE NUMBER COURSE TITLE CREDITS
GRD-702 DESIGN GRADUATE STUDIO IV 3
DGR-712 GRADUATE THESIS II 6
DGR-719 BUSINESS PRACTICES III 3
STUDIO ELECTIVE 3
TOTAL CREDITS: 15

First Year

Fall

Design Graduate Studio I: Scenario Design

The design projects assigned in Design Graduate Studio I, II, III and IV share the same structure, but differ in their complexity and duration. Students are assigned formally structured design projects, requiring a substantive research phase (augmented by the Contextual Design Research class), a prototype or concept development phase, followed by a concept/design refinement phase, finishing with design presentation phases.  Topics will be relevant to today's ever-changing cultural and technological societies.

Studio I often focuses on Scenario Design where students are introduced to elements of future thinking.

Students are asked to think about strategic questions in terms of dilemmas [not problems].

Students learn how to deal with situations where there are no clearly preferable outcomes, how to get a sense of the different possible responses, and how to make intelligent choices among them.

Data Visualization

This course will introduce the fundamental concepts, methods, and practices of data visualization design. Data visualization is an emerging field requiring technical skill, design aptitude, and interdisciplinary thought. Students will work both individually and in teams to explore the data visualization design development process, and communicate data effectively through visual narrative. The purpose of this class is to equip students with a new range of skills that will facilitate deep engagement of diverse audiences through a design thinking process, to visually display the results of their research, analysis and create powerful tools for brainstorming.

Contextual Design Research I: Business, Customer & User Research Methods

This course provides students the knowledge and tools necessary to conduct thorough and effective research to inform their design work. Additionally the course aims to provide a context within which to critically appraise their own design work and the design work of others. The course introduces students to both quantitative and qualitative research methods, with an emphasis being on ethnographic, observational processes applied to design and new product development. The relevance of methods such as secondary, observational techniques and experiential methodologies are investigated through case study analysis and hands-on team-based field research assignments. Research methods applied to branding strategies are also covered.

Graduate Seminar I

Graduate Seminar 1 brings together first year students from different disciplines within the CCS graduate program to learn about and discuss key contemporary issues influencing the design professional. This Seminar requires extensive reading, research, and short, fast-paced assignments set in the various workshops. Students participate in individual and group presentations in the Seminar. Additionally, students will attend lectures and workshops with visiting artists, designers, as well as related industry and academic leaders. Graduate Seminar 1 serves to advance both the investigative and critical writing skills of students. Creative process, social and global context, sustainability, and ethics will be some of the themes addressed, within a colloquial format.

Elective

Studio Electives I offer opportunities for graduate students to select studio courses from CCS’s wide-ranging undergraduate programs, either to pursue personal creative interests, gain studio experience related to an intended thesis direction or augment basic skills. Students will make their selection in consultation with their graduate advisor(s).

Winter

Design Graduate Studio II: Service Design

The design projects assigned in Design Graduate Studio I, II, III and IV share the same structure, but differ in their complexity and duration. Topics will be relevant to today's ever-changing cultural and technological societies.

Studio I often focuses on Service Design, a distinct form of Design Thinking.

The design of services, or service design, is an interdisciplinary approach that combines a variety of methods and tools. It is a systematic design approach for the management of people, infrastructure, communication, and objects of a service.

Understanding deeply the interactions between people, their motivations, and their behaviors students will design services in a broad range of channels. Students will learn how to co-create with providers and users, map out service touch-points consistently, and design the best possible user experience.

Contextual Design Research II:

Using primary research in relationship to a current a single socio-economic trend students will develop and execute a research plan.

Interaction Design II: Interactive Design Dynamics

Interaction Design II builds on the knowledge gained in Interaction Design I. The class calls upon students to use the research, development, and executional expertise learned in Interaction Design I to work on an assignment for a specific client. Students learn how to study a client’s current situation, opportunities, challenges, and needs and conduct research with multiple stakeholders and potential users. Research findings will be translated into critical business and user requirements. Taking this information, students will design high-level interactive experiences that are founded on a rigorous, defensible design rationale. The class will proceed in phases, from discovery and ideation to final presentation to clients.

Business Practice I

This course examines how businesses can effectively convey the value of their products and services to the marketplace. Through a robust brand management framework, students will explore how marketing strategies can be developed to cultivate and manage profitable customer relationships. A series of workshops and group and individual projects will allow students to identify market needs, ideate potential solutions, conceptualize new products and services, formulate a market launch plan and develop strategies to manage their portfolio in the context of market competition. Contemporary examples of marketing theory and practice will be discussed and critiqued.

Elective

Studio Electives I offer opportunities for graduate students to select studio courses from CCS’s wide-ranging undergraduate programs, either to pursue personal creative interests, gain studio experience related to an intended thesis direction or augment basic skills. Students will make their selection in consultation with their graduate advisor(s).

Second Year

Fall

Design Graduate Studio III: Complex Process Synthesis and Integration

The design projects assigned in Design Graduate Studio I, II, III and IV share the same structure, but differ in their complexity and duration. Topics will be relevant to today's ever-changing cultural and technological societies.

Studio III provides students with assignments that ask them to engage in integrative thinking and the practice of interdisciplinary thinking.

Student’s individual efforts will be centered on one area of inquiry.

Learning how to synthesize the multidisciplinary examination by comparing and contrasting frameworks, methodologies, predictions, and evidence, they will identify common ground. Using the analytical framework of the integrated design discipline they will look for insights from other disciplines, and integrate the alternative perspectives into a new coherent, more inclusive design framework.

Graduate Seminar II

Graduate Seminar II builds on the knowledge gained in Seminar I, asking students to apply concepts learned in the first class to a local case study. Whereas Seminar I was relatively structured, Seminar II calls upon students to exercise greater autonomy, working in small groups to perform independent directed research and report back to the class for discussion and analysis. Where Seminar I provided a foundation of global thinking, Seminar II presupposes that students will use that information to act locally. Seminar II takes the local community, i.e., Detroit, as its subject, but the expertise gained, in terms of conducting research and negotiating its various components, is intended to be applicable to future projects that students will be called upon to undertake, both as they finish the degree program and then as they pursue their own design practice in other locales.

 

 

Design Graduate Thesis I

The Design Graduate Thesis I and II curriculum is designed to help students synthesize external factors – such as technology, global and environmental issues and trends, including social change – and translate them into a form that is meaningful in a business setting to create relevant design solutions.

“Relevant” in this context requires that students’ design solutions resonate with an identified market segment from all design and functional standpoints. Design Graduate Thesis I and II are studio courses where each student will be required to create a body of work that is the culmination of his/her graduate study experience. Students are required to follow a design development path that commences with an extensive and rigorous research phase in Thesis I.

Business Practices II: Design Innovator's Toolkit

Leveraging the strategic marketing from BP I students will begin to form and vet a compelling business case starting with the value for each market segment and establish whether their product has meaningful value.   

Winter

Graduate Studio IV: Design for Social Innovation

This class will guide students to the designer role as social innovator. Understanding the complexities of social systems and the approaches used when designing for social innovation they will learn how to listen to others, connect with people, immerse themselves in the context to understand the whole system. They will master how to connect all data to the future they want to see emerge, co-create with feedback from stakeholders and co-evolve the new in ecosystems.

Business Practices II: The Strategic Entrepreneur

This class will explore the major strategic management topics related to organizational strategy, either through the creation of a new business venture as an entrepreneur or as an intrapreneur within an existing organization.

Across the term, using business cases as examples, students will work to acquire the theories, terminology, and operational knowledge necessary to translate their business ideas into an executable business plan. Leveraging the skills from Business Practices I and II, the students will analyze their research to date on market size, market entry risk, and the key differentiating features necessary to make their Thesis project product or service a success. Additionally, students will assess the strategic impact of that project to not only the organization, but also the market, industry, and global economy.

Design Graduate Thesis II

Graduate Thesis II continues the work begun in Graduate Thesis I and it is the capstone of the MFA in Design program. Students will expand on the proposal and development phases of their project to complete the execution and refinement and final presentation and installation of their thesis work. Students will work independently with consultation from advisors to execute a portfolio of deliverables in preparation for final thesis review and graduation. The deliverables consist of a written and bound document that articulates the business context and supporting research related to the project, a studio-based design artifact (singular or multiple) in a 2D, 3D, and/or digital form as appropriate, a final oral and visual thesis presentation to the Graduate Thesis Review Committee, and a thesis exhibit at the Graduate Thesis Exhibition.