If you want to know what an MFA in Social Design will do for you, take a look at what our alums are doing here. Exciting careers speak louder than anything we can write on this site. (But we’ll keep writing to keep you up with news anyway.) Our alums are working in industry, government, nonprofits and NGOs, at creative consultancies, in education, and as founders of their own enterprises.
Social Design is the creation of new social conditions — in cities, corporate cultures or communities — resulting in increased creativity, equity, social justice, greater resilience, and a healthy connection to nature. It is relevant to every business, government, city, neighborhood and individual. It uses systems design, critical thinking, strategy, game mechanics, social movement design, collective leadership, imagination and beauty to move people to think differently and become more resilient and resourceful themselves. This is what our program is about, what we teach and what our graduates are out in the world doing. To put it more succinctly, it’s the design of systems; and the relationships between people and things instead of only the things themselves.
Here’s how this program is unique:
It’s a balance of the academic and practical. Social design is a practice that can only be mastered by practicing it. This is an experienced-based program. You’ll have a resume before you graduate.
We define design more broadly than you’ll find in other programs, and the curriculum reflects that. You’ll study with a group of pioneering practitioners who have worked in development, healthcare, media, game design, research, business strategy and innovation, and of course, social design.
We live diversity. Students have come from twenty-eight countries and counting. Cross-cultural literacy is one of the skills that employers look for, and it’s a key aspect of the program here. And we offer the heart of New York City, and it simply doesn’t get more diverse or exciting than that. Our lecturers are the most exciting experts in science, business, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, healthcare and some things that have not yet been heard of. Our students are connected to an unmatched network of potential partners by the time they leave school.
Our students join us because it fulfills a deep need that nothing else can — to go out and create change, disrupt the status quo and use their own powers of creativity to bring something to life that has not existed before. They are remarkable people, unpredictable and visionary.
This is a two-year degree. It takes that long because we take the discipline and rigor seriously. If you do too, please browse the site, then talk to students, faculty and alums to learn about our program.