Interaction Design; three female students look over project with lights

Interaction Design

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:

 

Ian Svenonius on street at night

 Students present early user research for a design collaboration exploring the potential for schools to serve as healthcare access locations with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

 

Tara Donovan leaning against wall beside sculpture

Students review original documentation from a 1978 Chicago field survey at the Library of Congress.

This is part of a project that studies the digital uses of the materials within the American Folklife Center Field Documentation Projects.

Students are developing analysis, scholarship, and creative work using the project’s field notes, photographs, recordings, ephemera and logs.

 

WHAT YOU'LL STUDY

Considerations of the social and environmental impact of interaction design are a fundamental component of our program and are critical to the future of the field. Students have the opportunity to develop their design practice in a real-world context by partnering with community organizations through our program’s innovative Engagement Lab. This curricular component enables students to embrace a human-centered collaborative approach to design.

The degree is built around the same strong core that engages students in critical thinking and problem-solving to reimagine how people interact with physical and digital environments. The curriculum focuses on key skills such as creative coding, prototyping, visualization, human-centered collaborative design and user research.

A student presents in front of a project screen

Female student drawing at easel

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, 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.

For a PC:

Hardware:

  • 8 GB memory (RAM) or more is recommended.
  • 600 MB disk space.
  • OpenGL 4.1 capable video card is recommended.

4 GB Video RAM recommended.

Operating Systems:

  • Windows 10, 8.1, or 7 SP1

Adobe Creative Suite (provided to all GW students)

For a MAC:

Hardware:

  • Apple Mac
  • 8 GB memory (RAM) or more is recommended.
  • 2 GB disk space.
  • NVIDIA or AMD graphics processor is recommended.

Operating systems:

  • macOS 10.14.5 (Mojave)
  • macOS 10.13.6 (High Sierra)

Adobe Creative Suite (provided to all GW students)

 

Read more

 

 

Where you'll go

 

WHERE YOU'LL GO

A woman manipulates a digital map via toggle switches

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:

  • Apple
  • Google
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Microsoft
  • NBC
  • 3M
  • Disney
  • 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.

 

 

CONTACTS

Administrative Offices, Flagg Building
500 17th St, NW 
[email protected]
202-994-0242

Program Administrator
[email protected] 

Program Head
Catherine Anderson
[email protected]

Undergraduate/Graduate Advisor, Interaction Design
Kevin Patton
[email protected]