USC Roski School of Art and Design Launches MFA in Design Program

the USC Roski School of Art and Design announced the launch of a two-year program MFA in Design program that will enroll its first class this fall.

The program will focus on experimental design, social practices and teaching methods. Students will have a myriad of interdisciplinary study opportunities through elective courses offered at USC schools.

The two-year studio program will be housed in the At Mateo’s complex in the downtown Los Angeles arts district, said Erica Muhl, USC Roski Dean.

Open this summer, the 15,000 square foot campus will offer an open-concept design studio, creative space, classrooms, and conference and collaboration spaces, all equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and technology to attract a new generation of designers.

The space will include a Designer in Residence studio, offering students and a select audience an in-depth dive into the creative processes of leading designers from around the world.

USC continues to fit into the amazing city of which we are a part.

Michel Quick

“USC continues to become part of the extraordinary city of which we are a part,” said Provost Michael Quick. “Roski’s new facility puts our creative community right in the heart of Los Angeles’ vibrant art scene for a learning experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else.

“Not only will we greatly benefit from our location in the vibrant Arts District, but we will have future scholars working extensively with the city around them,” Quick said.

“Our program, located at the center of one of the most diverse, dynamic and influential cities in the world – and an undisputed capital of arts and culture – will not only train practicing designers, but also academics, thinkers , bold teachers and visionaries who will apply strategy design to the world’s most intractable problems,” Muhl said.

Apps for the program are now accepted.

Maximize the studio experience

Led by the Vice Dean of Design Haven Lin KirkThe USC Roski MFA in Design seeks a diverse group of students who have a comprehensive undergraduate education or work experience in the field.

The goal of the program is to maximize each student’s individual studio experience with an instructional model focused on critical dialogue. Students will work with USC Roski faculty, as well as a broader community of professional designers, artists, historians, critics, curators, and cultural creators who participate in the Visiting Designer and Designer in Residence.

Students can also take courses that trace the intellectual histories and theories of global art and design practices from USC’s renowned Critical Studies faculty.

In addition to regular studio visits and discussions with professors and visiting professionals, the program includes:

Creators in Residence Forum: This provides MFA students with the opportunity to engage with visiting designers, artists, scholars, curators, historians, and critics.

Design Studio Co-Lab: This provides students with a critical examination of contextual issues, theories, movements and ideas that are relevant to contemporary design practice, including advanced instruction, analytical tools and design techniques related to the collaborative process.

Seminars on contemporary design issues and design theory: These include a survey of visual communication and human-centered design, an overview of design practice and the history of design fields, an introduction to key language and concepts, and discussions of the creative methods used over time and in contemporary design practice.

Design pedagogy: This is for designers seeking careers in higher education and offers insight into the design process and process thinking as it relates to education; technology-based education; and solving visual problems as part of an educational practice.

Field internship experience: This is an experiential opportunity that matches the interests of an individual design student with a design firm or freelance designer sponsoring the student for a minimum of 150 hours of hands-on training and/or experience in the field.

Global art and design: This capitalizes on broader USC initiatives that promote global thinking across all disciplines. USC Roski’s graduate programs offer a series of two seminars on the histories, theories, and practices of global art and design.

In addition to classroom and studio instruction, the program provides annual opportunities for study and research via trips to the United States, Asia, or Europe. These programs offer a changing perspective on the discipline and are an important alternative to learning in Los Angeles.

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Abdul J. Gaspar