October 4, 2013

Call for applications: MFA Media Design Practices

ArtCenter College of Design
Left: 3-D rendering of micro-robotic bees for Robotic Farm, Sarah Needham (MDP/Lab ’13); Right: A Kampala food market, from Reductive Nutrition, Betsy Kalven (MDP/Field ’13), photo: Betsy Kalven.

New ideas arise from the friction between Media Design Practices’ two tracks, Lab + Field, as students approach complex problems from a mix of critical perspectives. Each track orients graduate design students toward the challenges of the future and the changing role of design, albeit in fundamentally different contexts: future-oriented experimentation in Lab, and social justice-oriented impact in Field.

In the Lab Track, students work with emerging ideas from technology, science and culture using design as a mode of critical inquiry in a studio context. External partnersfrom Caltech scientists to Silicon Valley engineersbring expertise, resources, and the latest advances into the studio. Lab track graduates are prepared to assume high performing roles in domains that are future-oriented and whose effects are far-reaching: information and communication technology, foresight units, industry R&D, scientific research labs, communication media, knowledge production, infrastructure and public policy, and entrepreneurial or independent practices.

In the Field Track, students work in a real-world context where social issues, media infrastructure, and communication technology intersect. A collaboration with Designmatters, Art Center’s social impact initiative, the curriculum includes firsthand experience in the fieldin 201214, students spend 12 weeks working out of UNICEF’s Tech4Dev Innovation Lab in Kampala, Uganda. The cross-cultural, real-world experience prepares MDP/Field graduates to play a leadership role in situations of extraordinary complexity, impacting the critical issues of our time, working directly with communities, organizations, institutions, non-profits, NGOs, development agencies, social enterprises, corporations or design consultancies.
The tracks share a commitment to inquiry through design, disciplinary and cultural hybridity, and a belief that critical reflection is at the core of an engaged design practice. With a grounding in media and technology, MDP graduates are ready to take on the networked global future.

Anne Burdick, designer, editor, critic

Core Faculty
Elizabeth Chin, anthropologist
Sean Donahue, media designer, design researcher
Tim Durfee, architect, editor
Ben Hooker, media designer, media artist
Phil van Allen, interaction designer, technologist

Adjuncts and Guest Critics 2012–13
Christina Agapakis, Julian Bleecker, Benjamin Bratton, Leonardo Bravo, Dean Buonomano, CamLab, Elise Co, Andrew Friend, Ilona Gaynor, Iker Gil, Liz Glynn, Pedro Gadanho, Shannon Herbert, Garnet Hertz, Wendy Hsu, Benjamin Judkewitz, Luke Johnson, Norman M. Klein, Jennifer Krasinski, David Leonard, Jane McFadden, Mike Milley, Christopher Morabito, Thea Petchler, Sitraka Rakotoniaina, Jennifer Rider, Richard Saxton, Tim Schwartz, Shin Shimojo, Arden Stern, Yuri Suzuki, Noam Toran, Molly Wright Steenson, Chris Woebken, Rosten Woo, Mimi Zeiger

Degree offered: Master of Fine Arts in Media Design
Students: 42–55
Core Faculty: 5
Adjunct Thesis Advisors: 10
Adjunct Faculty: 18
Guest lecturers per year: 26+
January Average Highs/Lows:  68º / 48º F

More info:
[email protected]

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