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DSI Wen Tang (Class of ’17) Will Present at the IxDC 2016 Conference in China This Summer

MFA Design for Social Innovation

MFA Design for
Social Innovation

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136 W 21st St,
5th Fl.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 592–2205

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Program

Curriculum

Course Descriptions

Communication Design

SIG-5070
Communication Design
Spring semester
Wednesday 2:00 – 5:00
Instructor: Cheryl Heller

In this course, students learn to use verbal and visual communication techniques to engage, persuade, and shift behavior. We approach communication at the systems level, asking how it can be designed – through storytelling, writing, logical argument, and public presentations – to create more intentional outcomes. Students develop their personal voices as well as the ability to work with clients and organizations. The class culminates with a formal presentation project to external clients.

Disruptive Design: Research and Insights

SIG-5350
Disruptive Design: Research and Insights
Fall semester
Tuesday 6:00-9:00
Instructors: Ksenia Pachikov

This course uses the concept of informal economies as a sandbox for urban innovations. The most transformative new ideas often come from the economic fringes. In Uganda, the emergent practice of sente, or using mobile airtime as currency, led to formal mobile money solutions that disrupted telcos and banks. In San Francisco, sharing-economy start-ups like AirBnB and Lyft are disenfranchising the established order to transform service industries. These new models, while in a legal grey zone, have disrupted business and society, and will continue to grow in significance. In this course, students gain a macro perspective in informal economies, learn their properties and principles, study models of urban economic development and innovation accelerators, and experience using ethnographic research methods to identify unique cultural practices in the city of New York.

Environmental Ethics

SIG-5360
Environmental Ethics
Spring semester
Wednesday 2:00-5:00
Instructor: Jaimie Cloud

In this series of workshops, students explore issues at the intersection of sustainability and design, including discussions on economics and quality-of-life indicators, how to distinguish problems from symptoms, and unpacking the operating principles for life on Planet Earth.

Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation

SIG-5030
Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation
Fall semester
Monday 12:00-6:00 Class alternates Mondays
Instructor: Marc Rettig, Hannah du Plessis

In this course, students are introduced to the skills they’ll need to be an actor in the field of social innovation. We’ll complete readings, journal assignments, and group activities while learning about change models, research methods, relationship building, and facilitation techniques. At the end of the course, each student leads a group discussion, drawing on skills explored throughout the semester.

Games for Impact

SIG-5390
Games for Impact
Spring semester
Thursday 6:00-9:00
Instructors: Asi BurakToni Pizza

This course incorporates game theory and analysis with hands-on development of social impact games. Working in teams, students develop game projects from concept to functional prototype, refining projects through several iterations and ending with presentations to a jury of experts.

Global Guest Lecture Series I

SIG-5220
Global Guest Lecture Series I
Fall semester
Wednesday 6:00-9:00
Instructor: Schuyler Brown

This yearlong lecture course exposes students to the lives and ideas of some of the most important people defining social innovation in the world today. Speakers are curated to inspire thinking and dialogue, to explore different career opportunities in social innovation, and to illuminate the way design plays a role in each of them.
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Global Guest Lecture Series II

SIG-5225
Global Guest Lecture Series II
Spring semester
Wednesday 6:00-9:00
Instructor: Schuyler Brown

This yearlong lecture course exposes students to the lives and ideas of some of the most important people defining social innovation in the world today. Speakers are curated to inspire thinking and dialogue, to explore different career opportunities in social innovation, and to illuminate the way design plays a role in each of them.
View Lecture Videos

Global Guest Lecture Series III

SIG-6220
Global Guest Lecture Series III
Fall semester
Wednesday 6:00-9:00
Instructor: Schuyler Brown

This yearlong lecture course exposes students to the lives and ideas of some of the most important people defining social innovation in the world today. Speakers are curated to inspire thinking and dialogue, to explore different career opportunities in social innovation, and to illuminate the way design plays a role in each of them.
View Lecture Videos

Global Guest Lecture Series IV

SIG-6225
Global Guest Lecture Series IV
Spring semester
Wednesday 6:00-9:00
Instructor: Schuyler Brown

This yearlong lecture course exposes students to the lives and ideas of some of the most important people defining social innovation in the world today. Speakers are curated to inspire thinking and dialogue, to explore different career opportunities in social innovation, and to illuminate the way design plays a role in each of them.
View Lecture Videos

Introduction to Thesis

SIG-5440
Introduction to Thesis
Spring semester
Monday 6:00 – 9:00
Instructor: Maggie Breslin, Alison Cornyn

In this course, students research potential thesis topics, testing the viability of each with exercises in problem definition, audience identification, and research techniques. Projects are expected to demonstrate an audience need, articulate a central concept, and develop a metrics with which to measure success. By the end of the semester, students will have a fully vetted thesis topic.

Leadership and Entrepreneurship I

SIG-6060
Leadership and Entrepreneurship I
Fall semester
Thursday 6:00-9:00
Instructor: Karen ProctorJane Englebardt

During this yearlong course, students work in teams to launch start-ups while studying entrepreneurship, collaboration, and business models. We’ll build a range of skills, including techniques to develop customer channels, articulate and test hypotheses, nurture team dynamics, create minimum viable products, understand revenue models, and design with resilience in mind.

Leadership and Entrepreneurship II

SIG-6065
Leadership and Entrepreneurship II
Spring semester
Thursday 6:00-9:00
Instructor: Karen ProctorJane Englebardt

During this yearlong course, students work in teams to launch start-ups while studying entrepreneurship, collaboration, and business models. We’ll build a range of skills, including techniques to develop customer channels, articulate and test hypotheses, nurture team dynamics, create minimum viable products, understand revenue models, and design with resilience in mind.

Mapping and Visualization Design

SIG-5150
Mapping and Visualization Design
Fall semester
Monday 6:00-9:00
Instructor: Jaimie CloudDespina PapadopoulosManoj Fenelon

This course teaches mapping and visualizing skills that facilitate the journey from thinking to making. Through readings, discussions, and weekly “experiments,” students investigate how mapping and modeling techniques can help them build sustainable frameworks for their work. The course aims to help students articulate their thinking, plan and communicate solutions effectively, and develop new models of engagement and action.

Metrics and Data Visualization I

SIG-6170
Metrics and Data Visualization I
Fall semester
Tuesday 6:00-9:00
Instructor: Julie Steele, Jen Lowe

This yearlong course looks at the theory and practice of data visualization. In the fall, the course focuses on data visualization for research, exploring how it helps us pose pointed questions and engage in purposeful discovery. In the spring, students study data visualization for explanation, learning tools and techniques that help us communicate with and influence others. Guest lecturers include data scientists, financial modelers, and corporate social responsibility experts.

Metrics and Data Visualization II

SIG-6175
Metrics and Data Visualization II
Spring semester
Tuesday 6:00-9:00
Instructor: Julie Steele, Jen Lowe

This yearlong course looks at the theory and practice of data visualization. In the fall, the course focuses on data visualization for research, exploring how it helps us pose pointed questions and engage in purposeful discovery. In the spring, students study data visualization for explanation, learning tools and techniques that help us communicate with and influence others. Guest lecturers include data scientists, financial modelers, and corporate social responsibility experts.

Technologies for Designing Change

SIG-5410
Technologies for Designing Change
Spring semester
Tuesday 6:00 – 9:00
Instructors: Claire Lin and Luisa Pereira

In this course, students learn to execute concepts using interaction design. Throughout the semester, we cast a critical eye on the many ways people interact with different technologies – because, while technology enables sophisticated campaigns, products, and services, it is often the early strategic decisions that determine the quality and impact of a designed experience.

Thesis Consultation: Implementation

SIG-6940
Thesis Consultation: Implementation
Spring semester
Monday 6:00-9:00
Instructor: Archie Lee Coates IV, Jeffrey Franklin, Tina Park, Despina Papadopoulos

With the help of faculty advisors, students develop their thesis projects into a form that’s ready to be implemented. A review committee – made up of the program chair, faculty, and outside experts – offers feedback at critical intervals during the semester. Following approval by the thesis board, each student presents their thesis to a public audience.

Thesis Consultation: Research, Writing, Presentation

SIG-6190
Thesis Consultation: Research, Writing, Presentation
Fall semester
Monday 6:00-9:00
Instructor: Tina Park, Despina Papadopoulos, Archie Coates IV, Jeffrey Franklin

With the help of faculty advisors, students conduct research to develop a more thorough understanding of their thesis topic. They design a series of prototypes to test their hypotheses and create presentations to animate their concepts through words, images, and graphics. At the end of the semester, projects are presented to the thesis advisory board for approval.

Understanding Natural and Social Systems

SIG-5120
Understanding Natural and Social Systems
Fall semester
Tuesday 6:00-9:00
Instructor: Lee-Sean Huang, Patricia Dandonoli

This course asks students to think about social and environmental issues in the context of the complex human communities and natural systems in which they exist. We’ll look at the people and places at the heart of issues like climate change, health, national security, and personal identity. Students study communities online and on the ground and analyze the interwoven dynamics of business, non-profit organizations, and public agencies.

136 W 21st St,
5th Fl.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 592–2205

SUBSCRIBE