MFA in Collaborative Design
Design Ecologies, Systems Thinking, and Cultural Entrepreneurship
- Peter Schoonmaker, Program Chair
Applications for Fall admittance to this program will be reviewed beginning February 1, 2014. Applications will continue to be accepted until the class is filled.
PNCA’s MFA in Collaborative Design fosters creative practices that require collaborative, experimental and interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving. Using design thinking and methodologies, students cultivate an entrepreneurial and critical approach to meaningfully address the emerging challenges of the 21st century.
This distinctive program draws on the city of Portland and the wider Pacific Northwest expanse as a living learning lab of innovative and sustainable business, government, and community practices. Students work with mentors in dynamic teams to assemble and maintain networks of people, places and artifacts (referred to as design ecologies), engaging in iterative design solutions as they respond to project briefs containing environmental, social and technological challenges. The program is enhanced by a number of visiting artists, designers, and scholars, including recent visits by Kevin Carroll, John Fregonese, and Jonah Lehrer, among others.
Video by Gia Goodrich MFA ‘11
Teams examine ‘wicked’ problems, such as resource depletion, emerging technologies, climate change and global demographic shifts, consistently taking into account the concerns and needs of a diverse range of human and non-human stakeholders. Social and environmental responsibility are vital components of the program, and students are expected to create work and pursue research that directly addresses these issues.
Students graduate from this 60-credit, two-year program with a robust portfolio of projects demonstrating competency to tackle diverse design challenges in as many different kinds of team settings. They are seasoned to thoughtfully consider and act in today’s complex and highly interconnected world, developing the skills needed to deliver form and leadership using a variety of media, facilitation strategies, and systems approaches.
What Kinds of Students Will Be Interested?
This MFA is intended for students of varying backgrounds, including, but not limited to art, design, engineering, science, journalism, and policy who wish to learn and engage in expanded design practices which include collaboration, working across disciplines, and being an advocate for particular communities. Applicants will be passionate about making a significant impact and understanding its effect on the local, regional, and international challenges of tomorrow.
Upon successful completion of this degree, graduates will be prepared to pursue entrepreneurial ventures, careers in design, policy making and consulting, artistic practices, and other occupations that embrace collaborative creative problem solving, in addition to opportunities in higher education.
PNCA seeks highly motivated students from a variety of disciplines and professional backgrounds to apply for this unique Master’s program.
A visual gimpse into PNCA’s MFA in Collaborative Design. Click the images for more information.
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