Media Design Matters: designing in critical, real-world situations where media & technology intersect with social issues & public policy.

ABOUT
CURRICULUM
THE MDM PROJECT
APPLY

CONTACT

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For updates and inquiries, please send your name and email address to:
mdp.matters at artcenter.edu

INVENTION + EXPERIENCE

The MDM curriculum builds upon the successful integration of design and social engagement found in Art Center’s Designmatters Initiative and the designerly research methods pioneered in the MDP’s Superstudio (2001-08).

In Superstudio, students worked on an interdisciplinary team in an applied context. The curriculum generated new approaches to design innovation through community engagement and design research.

Designmatters was founded in 2001 to focus on art and design
education with a social impact agenda. Designmatters has worked with international development agencies, government, and leading industry and helped Art Center gain Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) affiliation with the United Nations. In collaboration with many different departments, Designmatters has become a model for design education as a catalyst for social innovation.

UNIQUE STRUCTURE

The curriculum spans four consecutive 14-week terms. Each cohort begins in May and graduates in August of the following year.

  • Term 1: seminar and studio courses prepare students for the MDM project;
  • Terms 2 and 3: MDM Project — students work as a team both in the studio and in the field;
  • Term 4: each student develops their own response to the MDM project according to individual interests and career goals.
4-TERM CURRICULUM STRUCTURE
1 SU 2 FA 3 SP 4 SU
Independent
work
MDM PROJECT
team-based
Independent
or team-based
Introductory
courses
Design research,
community
engagement
Design
interventions,
field tests
Synthesis,
analysis,
invention,
knowledge
Exposure to approaches,
issues, ethics, theories, best practices, role
of design, public
policy, social media
in people's lives,
the politics of communication
and technology; design research methods,
participatory design

 

Conducting
field research;
designing in context;
gathering and
interpreting data;
turning observations
into actionable
outcomes
Design and
deploy experimental
design interventions;
how to document
outcomes;
interpret outcomes,
iterate; working
with stakeholders,
people, organizations
Crafting an inquiry
driven design
practice: as a researcher,
social designer, entrepreneur,
etc.; measuring
social impact;
strategies for effective
documentation
and knowledge sharing
for different
audiences

For more information on all of the Media Design Program's tracks and paths, visit the MDP website.