Interaction Design

MFA Interaction Design Hero 2015

Graduates of the Interaction Design program will create richly interactive products and services that enhance meaning and expand possibilities in people’s daily lives.

Interaction Design brings together students of design, art and technology who have a strong portfolio in concepts, work process, aesthetic execution and passion for serving human needs through interactive experiences.

Your studies at CCS will be grounded in human-centered design practices that will prepare you for the changing nature of work and collaboration in the 21st century. Through the College’s unique curriculum, you will develop deep systems literacy – a timeless framework for understanding rapidly changing technology platforms and economic, market and social challenges. You will become adept with models of interaction and conversation that sharpen your insights and enable you to increase choice for all of your users. You will learn how value creation has evolved in today’s networked, information-driven global economy and how to innovate through design.

Upon graduation, you will be qualified to work inside of tech companies and design firms, from established players to startups. You will know how to design websites and apps for the delight of the experience and effectiveness in achieving users’ goals. You might design a professional online network for consultants who want to work together flexibly, and enhance their skills and reputations along the way. You might prototype a mobile app for small businesses that need real-time alerts and coordinated schedules to keep productivity high and costs low. Or you might invent entirely new experiences for sharing rides in a self-driving car.

The College’s unique program balances research, systems modeling and making, teaching you how to step beyond the limits of today’s technology and market demands to shape desired futures through design. For your career, you can choose where you want to contribute: from designing products to coding prototypes to running product strategy or a combination. You will have the skills to persuade and influence your co-workers, who will be experts in technology, marketing and business, by understanding their language and working as their peer. You will have an appreciation for the challenges of innovation and for what is required to start your own enterprise.

Entrance Standards

The proficiency requirements specific to the Interaction Design program are as follows:

  • The MFA program in Interaction Design seeks students prepared for the maturity and discipline required to succeed in an intensive, multi-year commitment to become prepared for a fulfilling and long career. In general terms, candidate’s submissions will be reviewed for clarity of intent, organization, and process. Required attributes include critical thinking combined with creativity. Point-of-view about interaction design specifically and self-awareness as to career aspirations, which may not be fully formed, are also desirable.
  • Portfolios may display experience from a range of domains, including but not limited to interaction design, product design, industrial design, software design, and graphic design; however, they must reflect one or more of the following:
    • Design skills: conceptual organization, disciplined process, and strong aesthetics
    • Systems skills: holistic viewpoints and systemic modeling in order to understand complex situations and needs, and to design for their improvement
    • Making skills: evidence of craft, whether in physical materials, software interfaces, or human interactions, including iteration, refinement, and convergence toward explicit design goals.
    • Because of the demands of interaction designers in today’s work contexts, added consideration will  be given to applicants who possess one or more of the following optional skills:
      • Professional experience with design or implementation teams in any of the domains mentioned above
      • Empathy for social, economic, and global challenges, including but not limited to energy, natural resources, income disparity, and social justice
      • Implementation of web, app, or other general coding skills for front-end, back-end, platforms, cloud, and APIs
      • Proficiency in toolsets for 2D, 3D, animation, and prototyping of all kinds.

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    Contact Us

    MFA Interaction Design Department
    T. 313.664.1475
    F. 313.664.1490

    Department Chair
    Paul Pangaro