The Master of Arts in Design program fosters creativity, innovation, responsibility, and intellectual growth by preparing its graduates to meet the challenges pursuant to a successful career within the professional design world. Through collaborative experiences and research-driven coursework, students broaden their understanding of the impact of design on culture and community, thereby promoting responsible leadership and emphasizing ethical engagement and the social implications of design practice. The program is a residency program that builds a culture that engages students in experiential, collaborative learning and invites students to develop a broader understanding of design and its impact on culture and community.
Because this degree offers not only courses unique to itself, but also draws upon graduate seminars offered in KCAD's MFA programs, this degree provides a trans-disciplinary learning experience that offers students a flexible model of course selection targeting specific student interests and strengths. Building upon advanced design research practice, the program encourages consideration of a wide array of artifacts and scholarly approaches.
This program seeks to respond to an interest in graduate study, providing students with the opportunity and resources to advance their design practice, engaging them in critical conversation and scholarship with students from a variety of master programs within the college. The successful candidate will have established themselves professionally prior to entering the Master of Arts in Design program. Professional experience may include professional internships; work, military or non-profit experience; community service, or other career-related activities.
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This course will introduce students to the writing of key scholars associated with the emergent field of Visual Studies. Additionally, this course will also include material from cognitive science on the mechanics of sight, theories of "mind," and perception.
The course will require students to read and discuss key texts that formulate different approaches to critiquing visual culture in the modern and contemporary periods (c. 1850 to the present). The course will require students to complete critical reviews and research projects.
This course will provide a forum for the completion of the master’s capstone project, which is comprised of either research of original documents and source material, field research and / or the application of methods learned in the Research and Methods seminar to a topic of design culture.
The capstone requirement is designed to encourage and require the integration of all course work and the creation of a contribution to the field of Design. Capstone work must be of professional quality and exhibit mastery of the knowledge and skills gained in this program.
This course examines the strategic points at which the philosophical branches of Aesthetics and Ethics intersect. Students will consider a range of problematic cultural artifacts and images as filtered through Platonic, Deontological, Utilitarian, Pragmatic, Care-ethical, and other key philosophical thought projects.
This course will focus on diverse methodological approaches and research processes that will lead to the development of an appropriate research question for the capstone project.
The concept of Design Communication Management is developed by examining communication systems within design and innovation processes that involve research, analysis, synthesis, and implementation as related to product/problem formulation and their interrelationships with the organizational systems of organizational learning, financial process, and formulation and their interrelationships with the organizational systems of organizational learning, financial process, and customer systems.
Leadership by Design is developed by exploring elements common to leaders and organizations in which innovation success is achieved through structuring the interrelationships between design processes, design communications, consumer-centric design thinking, and organization systems and using research, analysis, synthesis, and implementation to foster a creative culture throughout the organization.
Download the catalog for the most recent course listings and prerequisites.