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COLOR & MATERIALS DESIGN

The Color & Materials Design MFA Program prepares students for a career in Color, Materials, and Finish (CMF) Design.
a colored background with various sample materials placed on top
Yvonne (Heajoo) Lee, 2021
BIOmix
various brightly colored tiles atop a white table

Emily Marquette, 2021
“Encounter”

The curriculum invites students to discover a culture and mindset where forward-thinking innovative color and materials practices can thrive.

Using the classifications of colors, materials and finishes students learn to create meaning between products and experiences and their user or audience. Graduates of the College’s MFA program in Color and Materials Design work in both the physical and digital spaces to advance ideas through research, hands-on experimentation and use of state-of-the-art facilities.

Often working in collaborations through experiential learning, students work to develop narratives that offer creative concepts and design executions. As they learn how to look for patterns-in-market, culture and geographic regions, they gain insight into people’s needs and behaviors.

 

In the CCS Color & Materials Design program, students explore the latest advances in materials, and their color and finish applications, through hands-on experimentation and use of state-of-the-art prototyping facilities. Using this knowledge to solve design problems, students collaborate within the design team structure to develop narratives that offer creative concept and design executions. As they learn how to look for patterns—in markets, cultures, and geographic regions—they gain insight into consumer behaviors.

Both a technical and aesthetic understanding of CMF design is applied in the studio courses across a range of applications and domains., ultimately this approach enables students to advance in their careers according to their own interests and objectives.

CAREER CHOICES

CMF Designer
Color and Trim Designer
Color Designer
Materials Designer 
Trend Strategist
Color and Materials Mastering Designer
Materials Development Specialist

When CCS launched the MFA Program in Color and Materials Design in 2014 is was the first and remains the only graduate program in the United States dedicated to this relatively young design practice.

Our location in Michigan with the highest concentration of industrial design jobs in the United States ( US Bureau of Labor Statistics) enables access to excellent design talent,as well as experiential learning resources across the region.

students working with blocks of colorful materials

We look for work that demonstrates:

  • A strong interest in color, materials and finish [CMF] design in conjunction with providing insight into your individual work
  • The use of CMF design to make aesthetic selections that express the functional and emotional attributes of products, artifacts or experiences
  • Both research and making practices e.g. hand skills including drawing, model-making and prototyping, evidence of construction and making
  • Good organization and design in presenting ideas and concepts
  • Engagement with sustainability and human-centered design methods in developing relevant ideas
  • Material based innovation
  • Portfolios should show use of Adobe Creative Suite, specifically Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and additionally other rendering software if those skills are established.

lime, purple, turquoise, white and black material board

Lin Yuru (Gigi), CMF Tray, 3M Sponsored Studio: Detroit Spaces 2020

The curriculum invites students to discover new and innovative color and material research to create meaning between products and experiences and their user or audience. Graduates of the College’s MFA program in Color & Materials Design program work in both physical and digital spaces to advance ideas through color and materials innovation, technology, and storytelling.

We have welcomed students from a broad range of disciplines, including Product or Industrial Design, the Fine Arts and Art Practice, Craft and Material Studies, Interior Design, Entertainment Arts or Animation Design, Furniture Design, Communication or Graphic Design, Transportation Design, Architecture, Textile Design or Fiber. Often, students in the two-year full or part-time program seek to build their skills across a wider area, incorporating CMF design into their existing knowledge base.

colorful plastic cylinders

Joseph Cardenas, Digital Color Study

Featured Alumni

'18

Sepideh Shahrokh

Color & Materials Designer
Faurecia

'18

Emma Dawda

Creative Designer - GMC Color & Trim
General Motors

'16

Stacy Evans

Senior CMF Designer
Electrolux

'17

Hee Won Jeon

Color & Materials Designer
HP

'20

Chance Lauver

Component Graphic Designer
Ford Motor Company

'17

Fan Huang

Ind. Designer - CMF & Decorative Product
Kohler Co.

'17

Alexa Ulbrich

Color & Material Designer
Ford Motor Company

'19

Brianna Williams

CMF Designer
Newell Brands

JOIN THE EVOLUTION

CCS prepares students to enter a global economy in which creativity shapes better communities and societies. Here, creative minds can both explore and thrive. There is nothing like it anywhere in the world.