The Master of Design: Design Innovation Program at Massachusetts College of Art and Design integrates deep expertise in design practice with business discipline in a broad-based curriculum that uses market challenges and social initiatives as the context for learning. The program is a full-time, two-year (60 credit hours) interdisciplinary program intended for those who want to lead the design and planning of new products, services, environments, systems and organizations. Emphasizing four key skill areas (empathy, analysis, contextual understanding, and communication), the curriculum is designed to teach students how to effectively define and solve a problem, and to impart critical leadership skills for mobilizing and motivating teams toward successful outcomes. Graduates of the MDes program will be poised to lead in organizational and social transformation, as design strategists and innovation leaders in corporations, nonprofits, educational institutions, or entrepreneurial ventures. The College will enroll the first class of students for the fall 2016 semester.

Curriculum

The MDes curriculum applies a human-centric, holistic, and iterative approach to blending design and business thinking. Classes are co-taught by design and business professors in a fully integrated, collaborative teaching model. The program is one of the only hybrid design and business programs offered by an art and design college. The MDes curriculum at MassArt consists of approximately 60% design and 40% business content. The program was established to bring quantitative business metrics to the designer’s qualitative problem solving process within the context of an art and design college, as opposed to a business school bringing design thinking into its structure.


First Year

Fall Credits
Off-site Retreat 1
Experience Design Lab 1 (Team Project Studio) 3
Storytelling Studio (Individual Studio) 3
Design Innovation Lab (Team taught studio) 3
Managerial Accounting for Designers 3
Open Studio Elective 3
total credits 16
Spring Credits
Experience Design Lab II 3
Integration Lab A (Individual Studio) 3
Business Models and Stakeholders 3
Marketing and Brand Development 3
Open Studio Elective 3
total credits 15

Second Year

Fall Credits
Experience Design Lab II (Team Project Studio) 3
Integration Lab B (Team Studio) 3
Thesis Project I 3
Business Plan “Sustainability” 3
Off-site Retreat 1
Open Studio Elective 3
total credits 16
Spring Credits
Leadership Design Lab II (Team Project Studio) 3
Integration Lab C (Team Studio) 3
Thesis Project II 3
Organizational Behavior 3
Thesis Defense 1
total credits 13

"I am confident that the MDES curriculum will yield future leaders in the field and I look forward to working with them."

Amy Cueva | co-founder and chief experience officer, mad*pow

FAQs

The most important attribute for applicants to the Master of Design: Design Innovation program is that they possess a strong desire to innovate.

James M. Read, Program Director

Who should apply?

Prospective students are individuals who want to lead the design and planning of new products, services, and environments. Those who want to lead in organizational and social transformation should apply for the Master of Design: Design Innovation (MDes) program. This hybrid program is for individuals with either design backgrounds or business backgrounds, and the curriculum is structured to provide supplemental training for individuals who may be lacking a particular skill set. The most important attribute for applicants to the MDes program is that they possess a strong desire to innovate.

How long will it take me to complete the program? Can I enroll part-time?

The MDes curriculum is 60 credit hours, meant to be completed full-time over two years. Part-time participation is not an option at this time.

What kinds of positions will I be qualified for after graduation?

Graduates of the program will be qualified for employment as design strategists and innovation leaders within many domains such as design consulting firms, corporations, nonprofits, educational institutions, or entrepreneurial ventures.

How does this program differ from other MDes programs?

The MDes curriculum applies a human-centric, holistic, and iterative approach to blending design and business thinking. Classes are co-taught by design and business professors in a fully integrated, collaborative teaching model. The program is one of the only hybrid design and business programs offered by an art and design college. The MDes curriculum at MassArt consists of approximately 60% design and 40% business course work.

How do I apply?

Visit this link.

Who can I contact to learn more?

Email Lauren O'Neill (loneill@massart.edu), Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions, or call (617) 879-7203.


Visit MassArt at a Graduate Portfolio Day


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New York City, NY

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San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Art Institute

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Chicago, IL

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

faculty

James Read

Degrees: MFA, Rochester Institute of Technology - Industrial Design Major and Computer Graphics Minor; BFA, Maryland Institute College of Art - Studio Art Major and Art History Minor

Website: jmread.com


With over thirty years of design experience, James has been a practicing designer since 1984. Currently providing design consulting services through JMRead, LLC, his professional work ranges from architectural furnishings, juvenile products, and eyewear to sporting goods products.

Judith Anderson

Degrees: MA, Royal College of Art/ Diploma, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine - Industrial Design Engineering; BS, Carnegie Mellon University - Mechanical Engineering/ Engineering and Public Policy


Judith began her design career in 1983 at GE as a mechanical design engineer followed by several years providing design consultancy services in London, UK. Her current focus is on curriculum development and creating collaborative and cross-discipline opportunities for students. Judith is building innovative relationships throughout the art, business, medical and academic communities. Her professional work as founder of a.Concepts range from sport/ fitness gear, health care, lighting, home furnishings, and design for social justice.

Lars Fischer

Degrees: BFA, University of Michigan; MBA, Suffolk University

Website: redfishpd.com


Lars has been a practicing designer since 1988. Currently providing design consulting services as Principal Owner of Redfish Product Development LLC. His professional work ranges from medical products, juvenile products, sporting goods products, laboratory products, military, consumer and aviation.

Heather Reavey

Degrees: BID, Industrial Design, Syracuse College of Visual and Performing Arts, Syracuse University


Heather has dedicated her career to strategy and innovation: doing it, leading it, and teaching it. She began her profession as an Envisioner at Continuum, a global innovation consultancy. Today she is a Senior Vice President of Practice Innovation there, leading the future of Practices, Process, and People. She also continues to consult with market leaders such as Procter and Gamble, The World Bank, LG, Tetra Pak, AmerisourceBergen, and American Express identifying differentiating ideas and designing human-centered solutions that help them win.

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