Master in Design Studies (MDes)

<em>Living Conservation</em> by Mary Catherine Miller (MDes '17)

Living Conservation by Mary Catherine Miller (MDes '17)

How do we prepare for challenges that no longer conform to the boundaries of disciplines? The Master in Design Studies (MDes) program challenges students to understand and influence the underlying processes shaping contemporary life. More

Areas of Concentration

Design and design research matter in new ways today. If rapidly changing climates, energy flows, material economies, and migratory populations are the emerging challenges of our time, then the design disciplines offer unique insight on how to navigate these complex, open-ended conditions.

Distinct from research in the sciences or humanities, design research involves highly interactive ways of thinking and learning, through hands-on, cross-disciplinary, multimedia practices that directly engage the technical, material, spatial, ecological, political, economic, thermodynamic and planetary dimensions of design. Seeking to empower the next generation of designers and urbanists, the program utilizes a set of novel and alternative methodologies in a collaborative, immersive, and multimedia environment. Ultimately, MDes at GSD challenges conventional ways of learning—through field work, fabrication, collaboration and dissemination—in a range of labs, seminars, workshops, initiatives, publications, and ongoing projects whose scope and diversity are unmatched by any other design school in the world.

The program consists of three semesters of coursework. Students in each area undertake a core set of courses including a discursive proseminar in the first semester, followed by research methods and related topical courses in the second semester. During their second semester students elect to complete the program in three semesters, culminating in a final Qualifying Paper, or they may elect to extend their research into a fourth semester with an “Open Project” final design research endeavor, conducted independently or in collaboration with their peers and GSD faculty. Whether it is to establish a research agenda for an academic career, retool for design practice, or enter design from an adjacent discipline, the MDes program is a nimble and flexible program designed to amplify and accelerate the cultivation of novel approaches to design for this century. Please review further information on the program’s areas of concentration and outcome throughout the GSD website. And, if possible, please join us for our Open House events to learn more about each of the programs.

Program Director
John May, Design Critic in Architecture

Inside Design Studies

exhibition

PULSUS

The city is an electrifying fray, a maddening web of cacophony that connects every one of us to every one of others. How can we find solace in a world that doesn’t stop? PULSUS is an ambient, interactive, and experimental installation, part of a collaborative…

exhibition dates: SEP 1 – DEC 15, 2017

Allen Sayegh, Curator