Interaction Design

Plastic dolls connected by wires

Graduates of the Interaction Design program will create richly interactive products, environments and services that enhance meaning and expand possibilities in people’s daily lives.

Students in MFA Interaction Design at CCS undertake creative practice at the intersection of technology and design. You will learn how to sketch, hack, tinker and prototype with hardware and software and come to view code as a creative medium. You will create practical and critical interactions and experiences for humans with objects, spaces and interfaces.

Your studies at CCS will be grounded in experimental, speculative and applied design practices that will prepare you for the changing nature of work and collaboration in the 21st century. You will have access to CCS’s world- class studios and technical resources, allowing you to further your own skills and knowledge through hands-on experience with new and emerging technologies and prototyping methods. Through critical inquiry and design provocations you will sharpen your insights and become adept with models of interaction and communication.

Upon graduation, you will be equipped to work inside of tech companies and design firms, from established players to startups. Or you might decide to go it alone! You might design a professional online network for consultants who want to work together flexibly and enhance their skills and reputations along the way. You might prototype a mobile app for small businesses that need real-time alerts and coordinated schedules to keep productivity high and costs low. Or you might invent entirely new experiences for sharing rides in a self-driving car.

This unique program balances research, modeling and making, teaching you how to step beyond the limits of today’s technology and market demands to shape desired futures through design. For your career, you can choose where you want to contribute: from designing products to coding prototypes to running product strategy or a combination. You will have the skills to persuade and influence your co-workers, who will be experts in technology, marketing and business, by understanding their language and working as their peer. You will have an appreciation for the challenges of innovation and for what is required to start your own enterprise.

Interaction Design is currently a STEM-designated program. International students completing this program qualify to apply for the STEM OPT (optional practical training) Extension.

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements specific to the Interaction Design program are as follows:

  • Applicants to the program typically have an undergraduate degree in the visual arts, design or architecture and are usually interviewed with a portfolio of creative work. We also want to hear from applicants with a background in computing, technology, electronic engineering or psychology. Even if you don’t have a typical portfolio, you must demonstrate experience in making, whether evidenced in physical materials, software interfaces or human interactions, including iteration, refinement and convergence toward explicit design goals.
  • You will need proficiency in toolsets for 2D, 3D, animation and prototyping of all kinds.
  • You will be open-minded, with an empathy for social, economic and global challenges. You will welcome the opportunity to operate outside of your comfort zone and open to learning through experimentation and creative inquiry.

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    Contact Us

    MFA Interaction Design Department
    T. 313.664.1475
    F. 313.664.1490

    Interim Chair
    Matthew Raupp