BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS
Shape new technologies and design solutions for problems that matter and make the world better.
Our Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interaction Design (IxD) focuses on building compelling relationships between people and the systems around them. We focus on design in the context of technology, the designed world and the natural world. Moving beyond screen interfaces, Corcoran IxD is an incubator for design-based problem solving and the development of interactive spaces, products and services. Imagine, prototype and create concepts that ultimately shape people’s everyday interactions with the world.
Our students want to build compelling relationships between people and the systems around them and have demonstrated imagination and drive. The program is for designers who want to:
- Build new mobile experiences that reimagine the way people connect with the services they need
- Make the things we use and the ways we get around more sustainable
- Creatively rethink technology to better connect people and ideas
At the Corcoran, you’ll find yourself embedded in a creative community where designers, artists, photojournalists, musicians and performers connect in the classroom and beyond. You can take advantage of a world-class research institution at the George Washington University to engage in interdisciplinary practices that can expand your vision of what design can do and enhance your capacity to realize your ideas.
WHAT YOU'LL CREATE
At the end of the school year, Corcoran hosts its celebration of art, performance, and scholarship called NEXT. In 2021, Interaction Design B.F.A. students like Hussein Salem shaped new technologies and designed for problems that matter: “By creating an ethical design guide (EDG), I aim to give readers an understanding of unethical design and the ways it affects them every day.”
WHAT YOU'LL STUDY
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interaction Design degree (120 credits) begins with a strong foundation in design principles and digital technologies, then progresses to more specialized courses in interaction design that combine pragmatic skills with high-level thinking and creativity. To prepare our students for this demanding and dynamic field, the Corcoran Interaction Design Program (CIXD) immerses students in applied skills such as interface design, prototype development, and coding, as well as the conceptual processes of project development, leadership, and systems thinking. The Interaction Design BFA is an education in creative technology that situates tech skills in frameworks that activate creativity, equity, and social justice. Each class functions as a laboratory addressing case studies and prepares students to take on current challenges that are important to them and their career trajectories.
Topics include a wide range, such as:
- human centered design
- user research
- design ethics
- systems thinking
- mobile apps
- UX/ UI
- creative coding
- fabrication and prototyping
- information design
Interaction Design prepares students for four specific sectors: The tech and startup space, entrepreneurship and management, policy and public engagement, and the arts and creative media. Intimate classroom settings and detailed, critical feedback provide the conceptual, technological and communication tools to excel as working professionals in design.
The culminating experience of the program is a two-semester thesis project during the final year, which is exhibited at NEXT.
YOUR FIRST YEAR
All first-year BFA students take Corcoran Foundations courses. For two semesters, you are an essential member of a tight-knit group of artists, designers and photographers. You will develop relationships across studio areas and foster multi-disciplinary approaches to making and problem-solving that can sustain a life-long investigative practice. Here you learn to think and communicate like an artist and designer, take risks and challenge your assumptions, while developing the fundamental skills necessary to read and manipulate the complex language of images, forms and cultures that make up the world around you.
BFA + MA IN INTERACTION DESIGN
The BFA in Interaction Design is a design-centered degree where students expand their art and design education with coursework in design and creative technologies. Students in this program also deepen their experience in human-centered design with time spent working in the program’s Engagement Lab. Creative and technical flexibility is a critical part of our design education. You’ll leave the program ready to embark on your career with experience and skill sets across a range of design and creative media.
WHERE YOU'LL GO
Once you complete the program you will be well positioned to pursue careers with the many companies looking for artists and designers with Interaction Design backgrounds, including:
- McKinsey & Company
- financial institutions
PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOMES
Communication Design Skills: Students will be able to create and analyze visual and textual forms of communication to convey ideas and information with a sense of aesthetics, clarity and ethics. Students will be able to employ narrative skills to shape experiences for others.
Design Process: Students will be able to independently and collaboratively brainstorm and design interactive systems, objects, interfaces, services, user flows and multi-modal experiences.
Design Research Process: Students will demonstrate a knowledge of the history of design practices. Students will be able to independently and collaboratively undertake quantitative and qualitative user research as well as research into practical, historical and theoretical questions as a basis for design work.
Innovation: Students will be able to approach the creation of inventive and contextually appropriate solutions using a variety of methods: iteratively research, prototype, develop and analyze design solutions. Students will be able identify systemic challenges and produce original design responses that are reflective of their analytical, critical and creative capabilities and which reflect their creative perspective.
Professional Ethics and Skills: Students will demonstrate an understanding of their responsibility to their clients, audiences and users. They will be able to articulate and clarify needs, structure design challenges, solve problems creatively, and address conflict through the design process.
Evaluate impact of design solutions: Students will be able to approach design solutions with a focus on potential environmental and social impacts over their lifecycle as well as their capacity to contribute to equitable outcomes.
Collaborative problem-solving: Students will understand and practice design as a process that relies upon generating, developing and communicating ideas informed by and responding to their context.
Students will also learn about relevant technologies and establish the capacity to continue to build technical skills as tools change.
Administrative Offices, Flagg Building
500 17th St, NW
Undergraduate/Graduate Advisor, Interaction Design