MFA in Applied Craft + Design
Connecting design thinking to design doing, the MFA in Applied Craft + Design program is grounded in hands-on making, entrepreneurial strategies, and social and environmental engagement.
With a curriculum focused on the development of a strong artistic voice, the realization of work for a specific community or client, and entrepreneurism that connects making a living with making a difference, the MFA in Applied Craft and Design is the only graduate program of its kind.
Combining a mentor-based approach with an exceptional visiting artists program, students work one-on-one with nationally and internationally recognized designers, makers, and scholars in a self-directed curriculum that challenges them to bring to life the full strength of their ideas and skills.
Encouraging a cross-disciplinary studio environment in which the workshop is a lab to collaboratively explore design and making processes, the mentor-based MFA in Applied Craft and Design welcomes students from a wide range of creative backgrounds to make original work with an applied purpose.
Recent MFA AC+D Graduate, Molly Ryan, was awarded a scholarship to go to Anderson Ranch this summer!
This summer, second year MFA AC+D student, Eli West, will be running the Meadow Arts Place second annual exhibition and residency program in Denver, Colorado!
Kara Cassidy Hall, a current AC+D second-year, is spending time this summer as an artist-in-resident at East Creek Art, a center for ceramics education!
This summer AC+D second year, Linda Heidvogel, has spent a portion of the summer in Joshua Tree, CA, as Yucca Valley Material Labs as their first intern!!
Recent AC+D Graduate, Brittany Rudolf, will soon be embarking on a month-long Wide Open Studios trip with Signal Fire to expand her studio practice into the great outdoors!
I was especially drawn to the program's focus on "thinking through making" as I've always been able to think best when I'm making things.
Every fall the program kicks off with a two-week Design Build project in with a community group. Design Build 2012 resulted in a public bike repair shop and community hub. From day one, incoming students learn to practice effective communication and gain familiarity with studio workshops and tools to establish a strong foundation for the rest of their graduate experience.More Opportunities
In 2009, the MFA in Applied Craft + Design was founded jointly by Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Art and Craft. It was and remains an innovative program, the first of its kind, that embraces design thinking with the hand…with an entrepreneurial bent. The launch of the program followed comprehensive feasibility studies by an MFA Task Force of OCAC and PNCA faculty members. The OCAC/PNCA MFA program accepted 15 students in its first year. JP Reuer, architect and founding member of DesignBox, was the founding chair. Award winning artist Heidi Schwegler, followed as chair until 2018 when she left to launch the Yucca Valley Material Lab.
From 2009 to 2019 the program was headquartered in the Bison Building in NE Portland. In 2019, the program moved to PNCA’s Glass Building at 2139 N Kerby.
In 2019 Oregon College of Art and Craft closed, and the MFA in Applied Craft and Design is now housed solely among the eight graduate programs of the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at PNCA.