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Design Innovation

Master of Design

The MDes program prepares graduates to lead organizational and social transformation at corporations, nonprofits, educational institutions, and entrepreneurial ventures.

As a student in the Design Innovation program, you will immerse yourself in coursework that blends design and business thinking as you prepare to join the next generation of innovators.

Classes consist of approximately 60% design and 40% business content, bringing quantitative business metrics to the designer’s qualitative problem-solving process. This holistic, human-centric program emphasizes four key skill areas: empathy, analysis, contextual understanding, and communication.

Through interdisciplinary work, you will learn how to:

  • identify and define a problem
  • develop actionable solutions
  • make strategic business decisions
  • implement effective leadership skills for mobilizing and motivating teams

In addition to learning from core MassArt faculty, Design Innovation students take courses with talented and visionary professionals serving as visiting lecturers. Classes are co-taught by design and business professors in a fully integrated, collaborative teaching model.

Graduates of the Design Innovation program enter the workforce as service designers, experience designers, design strategists, and innovation leaders. These hybrid design and business professionals are positioned to influence growing industry areas both nationally and internationally, offering a distinctly different kind of leadership to the marketplace.

MDes Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Design Innovation MDes program are expected to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes.

  • Design and develop experience design, service design and cross-disciplinary design projects
  • Develop empathy and understanding relating to client/constituency needs and to the creation of solutions that resonate with them
  • Ability to systematically deconstruct and analyze problems, synthesize findings, and come to creative solutions applicable to business and design
  • Understand the role of design in culture and commerce
  • Develop the contextual language of business and design, and gain business skills relative to the creative economy
  • Gain communication skills relative to leadership, business, and multiple audiences
  • Develop awareness and understanding of the diverse cultural, historical, and experiential issues expressed and inherent in one’s design practice and in the discipline of design
  • Develop the aesthetic sensitivity, technical competence, awareness and analytical thought necessary to design solutions for social, economic, environmental and global challenges
  • Team leadership and understanding of how to motivate interdisciplinary teams, and collaboration skills
  • Ability to verbally and visually present work in a professional manner
  • Hands-on graphic visualization, technical drawing, model making and prototype development
MDes Bootcamp

Every fall, MDES Bootcamp convenes students and faculty for intensive training and team-building exercises, solving design challenges together.

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621 Huntington Ave,
Boston, MA 02115

(617) 879-7000