Why are there no

25 Feb 2009 - 12:59pm
5 years ago
4 replies
217 reads
Chris Paul
2009

When I did my MFA in design at Yale, I did freelance work to help with the bills, etc. I will say, for my personality and way of working, keeping a foot in the "working world" during grad school was critical. It provided an essential perspective school didn't and an outlet to explore what I was learning and experiencing to real client/customer challenges. In this way, it dramatically enhanced my education. I sympathize with the argument advocating for dedicated focus on school, but that wasn't the path I chose and I think it served me well.

- chris

-----Original Message-----
>From: "j. eric townsend" <jet at flatline.net>
>Sent: Feb 25, 2009 12:42 PM
>To: discuss at ixda.org
>Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Why are there no "Executive MFA / IxD" programs? (response to RPI online HCI program phase out)
>
>(No research here, just my personal experience/opinion....)
>
>I worked my way through college for my first undergrad degree (BA
>Journalism/CS, took me 7 years) and tried to work while going to school
>for my second degree (BFA ID). I finally gave in and took unpaid leave
>to get a Master's, and I'm very glad I went this route. I'm getting so
>much more out of classes now that I can focus %100 of my time and energy
>on learning/trying/doing instead of having work interruptions and
>continual context shifts.
>
>Also, I've taken classes with people in the MFA Interaction Design
>program at CMU, and I think part of the value is that you focus on
>nothing but school and research for two years. I know that some of the
>students keep part-time jobs, but I honestly believe they're missing out
>on some important experiences in the studio when they're not doing
>assignments.
>
>IMHO, if you have the choice of not working and living on loans and
>getting the degree in 2 years, do it. Having the mental freedom to
>think wide and deep is worth it in the long run.
>
>Phil Chung wrote:
>> Interesting, I didn't know online HCI grad programs even existed.
>>
>> On a related note, I do wish that a premier design school (e.g. RISD, Art Center, SVA, New School, CMU) would step up and address the need for online / part-time IxD "executive MFA" program for practitioners, along the executive MBA model with a mix of online learning and on campus sessions. Forgive me if I've overlooked an existing program, but it seems (just based on this discussion list) that there is a significant demand for this option, particularly with the current economic pressures. Employed designers could leverage company sponsorship to work towards their "executive MFA" using online materials with infrequent on campus (2-3 all weekend sessions per semester) crits / intensive workshops to address the need for face-to-face interaction. It seems like the field has matured to a point where programs like this should exist, does it not?
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ________________________________
>> From: Becky Reed <breed at healthwise.org>
>> To: sharon <sharongreenfield at gmail.com>; IxDA <discuss at ixda.org>
>> Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 11:45:52 AM
>> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute phasing out online HCI program
>>
>> I wonder how much of it goes back to findability and information architecture (but I can be a little biased thinking most problems come back to these things).
>>
>> Placement in search engine isn't really high (and didn't even seem them for "online hci program" and the like) and then the description provided seemed accidental and had an odd subdomained URL that didn't give you the university's name or program in it.
>>
>> When you go to the program site you arrive at from some of the more obscure search terms, I didn't see a mention of format (online vs oncampus). There was a link for "working professionals". Mmmm...here's the mention: "live on-campus and, by electronic means". I guess in the months I spent searching for an online program I never Googled for "masters program HCI electronic means".
>>
>> In my experience, disambiguating on-campus only programs from distance ones was a challenge. Trying to winnow them down via search engine alone was impossible and even as noted above...it was kind of a treasure hunt on their program sites.
>>
>> I went with an barely online Human Factors program through U of Idaho last year and would have certainly looked at Rensselaer's HCI program as I could have taken it "by electronic means".
>>
>> Becky
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of sharon
>> Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 4:23 PM
>> To: IxDA
>> Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute phasing out online HCI program
>>
>> Why is noone interested in this program?
>> There are only two online HCI programs to my knowledge - Rensselaer's
>> and Brigham Young University.
>> RPI's name has cachet and prestige. I know some nuclear engineers who
>> graduated from RPI - smart school for smart people.
>>
>> I think they are phasing the online HCI program out because they
>> didn't have enough applicants.
>> Does no one have an interest in working while getting a degree remotely?
>>
>> Just checking the temperature here...
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>>
>>
>>
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>
>
>--
>J. Eric "jet" Townsend, CMU Master of Tangible Interaction Design '09
>
>design: www.allartburns.org; hacking: www.flatline.net; HF: KG6ZVQ
>PGP: 0xD0D8C2E8 AC9B 0A23 C61A 1B4A 27C5 F799 A681 3C11 D0D8 C2E8
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Comments

25 Feb 2009 - 2:21pm
Dave Malouf
2005

I'll be more blunt. B/c design is not business and the pedigogy
requires different methods to do it right: I.e. Studio.

To get the biz connection the better design programs have strong
connections to the corporate world and corporations will sponsor
classes or a set of classes. Here at SCAD we have relationships with
Gulfstream, Coke, JCB, kicker Audio, and a slew of others. The work
I've seen come out of these classes has been amazing. I'm doing 2
sponsored classes next quarter and I'm really excited about it.

There is a Design Mngt. Degree at Pratt which has some Executive MBA
like structures to it. I know that CCA has an interesting program as
well, but I don't know the structure.

SCAD's design mngt. Program is full time.

- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from ixda.org (via iPhone)
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=39218

25 Feb 2009 - 2:32pm
Phil Chung
2007

Dave,

Is it really that different in large corporations and even design firms working with remote clients? We're not talking about BFA programs / inexperienced designers but graduate design education for folks already working in the field (hence "executive"), which is a different niche / demographic. How much more studio experience do these professionals really need? If schools are supposed to train their students for what goes on in the real world (and think at a higher level for grad programs), I'd argue that the executive mba model of distance education with face to face meetings is far more representative in terms of processes / methodology EVEN for design, but I could be wrong.

Phil

________________________________
From: "Dave.ixd at gmail.com" <Dave.ixd at gmail.com>
To: discuss at ixda.org
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 2:21:32 PM
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Why are there no

I'll be more blunt. B/c design is not business and the pedigogy
requires different methods to do it right: I.e. Studio.

To get the biz connection the better design programs have strong
connections to the corporate world and corporations will sponsor
classes or a set of classes. Here at SCAD we have relationships with
Gulfstream, Coke, JCB, kicker Audio, and a slew of others. The work
I've seen come out of these classes has been amazing. I'm doing 2
sponsored classes next quarter and I'm really excited about it.

There is a Design Mngt. Degree at Pratt which has some Executive MBA
like structures to it. I know that CCA has an interesting program as
well, but I don't know the structure.

SCAD's design mngt. Program is full time.

- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from ixda.org (via iPhone)
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=39218

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

25 Feb 2009 - 7:16pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Paul,

I guess I don't know what "Executive IxD" is then. IMHO, once you
hit Director level let alone VP at most corps you really aren't
specializing in any medium or method of design. So what is Executive?
If you want a Masters in IxD, you are going to study DESIGN! and
working in the studio environment is not just about "learning
studio" but is the best way to hone creative skills in a
collaborative working environment. The "reality" you are speaking
of can be accomplished in other ways. I.e. through corporate
sponsorship where the corporations are remote, but actively involved.
Through joint projects with students in other universities are on
other campuses. But I wouldn't want that experience to be the sole
means of working AT ALL.

If you are getting a degree at a master level, the idea is that hell,
you want to master it. This requires daily attention and review and
criticism by peers and mentors alike.

If you want to get a generic design management degree b/c you are
ready to put down the sketch pad and open up the excel and ppt then
the programs mentioned in the other thread are really appropriate and
fine. Some have some E/MBA structure to them, but some are so new that
it does not make sense of them to remote it yet. Remember that MBAs
have been around for well over a 1/2 a century. Their system of
education is well understood. Design Management is pretty new in
comparison.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=39218

25 Feb 2009 - 8:47pm
Chad Jennings
2004

The Institute of Design in Chicago (my alma mater) has Master of
Design Methods which is a nine month "executive master's degree".
http://www.id.iit.edu/312/

<Snip>
The Master of Design Methods (MDM) is a nine month (or 2-3 year part-
time) executive master's degree for exceptional design, management,
engineering and other professionals who wish to acquire robust design
methods and frameworks and to apply design thinking to the development
of products, communications, services, and systems. MDM courses cover
design methods and frameworks in areas like user observation and
research; prototyping of new services, products and businesses;
creating systems of innovation; visualizing alternative futures; and
linking user innovation to organizational strategy.
Qualifications for admission are rigorous, including a minimum of five
years professional experience, with evidence of leadership as a team/
project leader or product manager; recognition of professional work in
the form of awards, publication in professional journals, and letters
of evaluation from peers; and specific examples of achievements in
design or product development/management.

</snip>

Cheers,

Chad

On Feb 25, 2009, at 9:59 AM, Chris wrote:

>> On a related note, I do wish that a premier design school (e.g.
>> RISD, Art Center, SVA, New School, CMU) would step up and address
>> the need for online / part-time IxD "executive MFA" program for
>> practitioners, along the executive MBA model with a mix of online
>> learning and on campus sessions. Forgive me if I've overlooked an
>> existing program, but it seems (just based on this discussion list)
>> that there is a significant demand for this option, particularly
>> with the current economic pressures. Employed designers could
>> leverage company sponsorship to work towards their "executive MFA"
>> using online materials with infrequent on campus (2-3 all weekend
>> sessions per semester) crits / intensive workshops to address the
>> need for face-to-face interaction. It seems like the field has
>> matured to a point where programs like this should exist, does it
>> not?
>

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