Media Design Practices (MDP) is an interdisciplinary design Master of Fine Arts (MFA) preparing designers to question, innovate and lead through design, critical thinking and creative technology.
Designers must bring a daring, critical, and engaged mindset to a world in constant flux. Today’s technological transformations, global inequity, and environmental uncertainty demand new design practices.
Media Design Practices (MDP), which offers the only MFA degree with a STEM designation, prepares designers for this “new now” with an interdisciplinary curriculum that encompasses emerging technologies, critical frameworks and experimental studio practices.
Through prototyping, research and fieldwork, students—who join us from diverse backgrounds and cultures—learn to question the present and envision the future of how technology will impact humans through our rigorous design MFA program.
With award winning pedagogy, experimental making and an acclaimed community of faculty, alums and practitioners, you will shape your design practice to envision new futures and alternate views of the present. Join our MFA program to develop and create new modes of storytelling, installation and research using immersive technologies such as AR/VR + AI Machine Learning, low resolution to high resolution prototyping and, above all, a focus on the humans at the center of any design challenge.
Our students come to us from the worlds of interaction design, product design, fine arts, film, liberal arts, computer science, architecture, engineering. United by a desire to use design thinking to interrogate the structures and infrastructures underlying our social, cultural and digital realities, our alumni go on to become design leaders in every conceivable field: major technology firms, innovative nonprofit organizations, and experimental, independent design practices. Scholarships and financial aid are available.
What You'll Learn
Students work closely with faculty known for their cutting-edge research and multidisciplinary expertise in a variety of fields, including interactive product strategy, digital product design, user-centered design, artificial intelligence, future devices and system design, sustainable fashion, creative technology and social justice-driven research. Under the expert guidance of our instructors, students investigate emerging technologies and develop new methodologies and apply design to global social issues.
The Media Design Practices MFA program is organized around a sequence of studios leading up to the thesis year, each one focusing on different design modes, methods and topics. Recent examples include studios focused on Work and Nature. There is an obvious urgency for humans to re-evaluate our relationships to (and our responses to) our concepts of the working and natural worlds, and our curriculum equips our students to design creative solutions to even the most intractable challenges.
Students work toward competencies in research and multidisciplinary expertise. We provide students with large individual work areas and access to workshops, fabrication spaces and media labs. Faculty and students participate in local and international conferences and exhibitions.
Key Courses that Best Represent the MDP program
Media Design Practices' students are guided by a faculty of design visionaries and thought leaders—from corporate trendsetters to art world outliers—who bring knowledge, experience and rigor into our studios.
ArtCenter offers two- and three-year tracks to graduate with an MFA in Media Design Practices. The three-year option includes additional terms where students learn:
- Critical Worldviews
- Critical Practices
- Creative Technology
- Thesis Studio
Careers in Media Design Practices
Media Design Practices prepares designers to work at in-demand emerging roles and contexts at the exciting intersection of technology, culture and global social change.
- AR/VR Developer
- Brand Identity Strategist
- Content Creator
- Design Consultant
- Design Researcher
- Installation Designer
- Machine Learning Designer
- UI/UX Designer
Our graduates have the agility and skills required to successfully bring design solutions and innovations to diverse organizations—ranging from scientific research labs and futurist think tanks, to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and nonprofits, to leading corporations and design studios.
- Mari Nakano, Design Director, New York City Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity
- Bora Shin, Head of UX, Samsung
- Tina L. Zeng, Interaction Designer, Google
- Adit Dhanushkodi, User Experience Designer, NASA
- Nan Tsai, Product Designer, Meta
- Ana Monroe, Lead Design Strategist, GSA (federal government agency)
- Miranda Jin, Creative Technologist, Apple