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Master of Design in Interaction Design by ijk77032

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Master of Design in
Interaction Design
School of Design, College of Fine Arts

                          2   Background
                          4   Program Description
                          5   Graduate Requirements
                          6   Elements of the Curriculum
                          7   Course Descriptions
                         10   Key Faculty
                         12   Environments
                         13   Recent Visitors
                         14   Sample Thesis Project Titles & Where Our Alumni Work
                         15   Equal Opportunity Assurance
                         16   Tuition, Housing & Financial Aid
                         17   What Next?
    In 1989 the Department of Design offered a pioneering course in human-
    computer interface (HCI) design. It was pioneering not only because it
    was the first of its kind at Carnegie Mellon, but because it was one of the
    first HCI courses in the world to reside in a design department.

    What emerged from this course and related work was a new model for
    the development of human-computer interfaces. The old model accepted
    the fact that systems engineers designed the entire interface: the system
    architecture, the programming, how data was to appear on the screen,
    and how the user would interact (communicate) with the system. While
    intentions were noble, the results were problematic. A key assumption
    was that the user population resembled programmers: men and women
    who worked at computers and wrote computer code for hours each day.
    The fallacy quickly became evident. There was a recognition that other
    fields of knowledge had to contribute to the conception, visual and verbal
    communication, narrative, and user observation and evaluation, among
    others. There also grew a recognition that a more complete understand-
    ing of the communities for whom these systems were being developed
    was needed, leading to an adoption of more ethnographic methods for
    observation and analysis. In short, the focus began to shift from empha-
    sizing technology as the driving influence to designing for interaction,
    with an eye to the human experience of interacting with the artifact,
    system or service.

    The boundaries between hardware and software, device and interac-
    tion, 2D/3D/4D have blurred considerably and will only continue to blur
    and blend. The new product development model is one of collaborative
    design, with individuals representing various fields of knowledge working
    together on the planning, conception, design, and implementation of
    products that fill human needs and desires. This new model – multidisci-

plinary, collaborative, and human-centered, with a concern for psycho-
logical, social, and cultural factors on the one hand and technical and
economic factors on the other – has gained wide acceptance in business
and academic sectors. Not only is it the model for human-computer
interface design, but for the entire scope of product development in
service of human-to-human interaction; in short, interaction design.

The Master of Design in Interaction Design is a two-year professional
program for students who wish to explore designing for interaction.
While there will continue to exist a need for computer interfaces, we
recognize the emergence of smaller and mobile computing devices,
and new contexts for interaction. Ubiquitous computing, mobility and
changing lifestyles, and service design are recent topics of exploration.
They join our traditional areas of focus: effective human-computer
communication, visualization and navigation through information
spaces, time-based information design and collaborative design
practice among various disciplines and across distances. The program
provides a balanced integration of theory, practice, and production, in
both seminar and studio courses. There is a balance of collaborative
work and individual expression, with sponsored projects from clients
such as Microsoft, Motorola, Samsung Electronics, IBM Research, and
the U.S. Postal System. The program’s goal is to prepare students for
advanced levels of professional employment in the growing field of
interaction design.

    Program Description
    In the first year, all students participate in core seminar and studio courses. The seminars
    provide the intellectual foundation of the program, with readings in communication theory
    and interaction design, and careful analysis of a wide range of examples of communication
    and interaction design. The studio courses provide practical experience through individual and
    group projects and in planning and designing human-computer interfaces, while introducing
    students to the concepts, methods, techniques and tools of the field. In addition, students take
    other courses that broaden their preparation for advanced work in areas such as psychology,
    computer science, information management, or areas of traditional design such as typography
    and information design.

    In the second year, the focus shifts to individual or team exploration through a written thesis
    and a thesis project. Both are developed in a two-semester sequence of work with an advisor,
    and possible opportunities for practical experience with sponsoring corporations, campus
    research centers, or nonprofit institutions.

Graduation Requirements
The Master of Design in Interaction Design is a two-year program. A minimum total of 180 units
(equal to 60 credits) are required for graduation. Each semester, full-time students normally
take four courses. In the second year, students will be required to propose, plan, develop, and
complete a studio thesis project that demonstrates mastery of interaction design. Students
must also submit a written thesis essay which may be directly related to the subject of the studio
project, or may explore a different set of themes related to the general goals of the program.

Summer internships are strongly encouraged and we inform students of available positions
nationwide. It is the student’s responsibility to follow through with applications and interviews.
Past internships have been from coast to coast and abroad.

                                Elements of
                                the Curriculum
                                The following schematic represents the sequence of the curriculum,
                                including specific required courses.

                                   Design Seminar
       Fall Semester – Year 1       Design            Design            Basic            Computing
                                    Seminar I         Studio I          Interaction      in Design

                                   Design Seminar
    Spring Semester – Year 1        Design            Design            Research         Elective
                                    Seminar II        Studio II         Methods

       Fall Semester – Year 2       Thesis
                                   Design Seminar     Thesis            Elective         Elective
                                    Essay             Project

                                   Design Seminar
    Spring Semester – Year 2        Thesis            Thesis            Elective         Elective
                                    Essay             Project

Course Descriptions

Graduate Design Seminar I: Approaches to Communication Design
This course explores the foundations of communication and interaction design in contemporary
culture with special emphasis on the traditions of verbal and visual communication that have
begun to merge in new approaches in theory and practice. We examine the methods and prin-
ciples of rhetoric, semiotics, and other disciplines that help to explain the relationship between
words and images and provide important themes to guide the practice of communication design.
The course will rely on extensive readings and analysis of concrete examples of communication
design. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in Graduate Design Studio I or approval of instructor.

Graduate Design Seminar II: Fundamental Information Structures in
Communication Design
This course explores a range of topics covered by the term interaction design. Through readings,
visitor presentations and discussions, we delve into principles of traditional and digital design,
design processes and methodologies, and models for the description of interaction design. Recent
topics have included new evaluative methods, knowledge-based design systems, wearable devices,
sustainable design, emotion and interaction. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in Graduate
Design Studio II or approval of instructor.

Graduate Design Studio I: Visualizing Complex
Information Spaces
This course explores visualizing the content and structure of complex data. The effective integration
of words, images, sound and motion at the service of communicating complex information is the
core of this semester’s work. Understanding the differences between static paper-based methods
and dynamic digitally-based methods will inform our discussions and critiques. Theories of com-
munication, learning, and human-centered design and evaluation, presented and discussed in
the graduate seminar course, will inform the design process as students work independently and
collaboratively on projects. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in Graduate Design Seminar I or
approval of instructor.

    Graduate Design Studio II: Graduate Design Project
    An extension of Graduate Design Studio I, with special emphasis on
    applying the principles of Studio I and the seminars to a semester-long
    team project. The focus is on the research, strategic thinking and design
    process which leads to planning and development of communications
    systems or services. Often this is an externally-sponsored project that
    involves teamwork, collaboration, and client interaction – critical skills
    for any designer. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in Graduate Design
    Seminar II or approval of instructor.

    Basic Interaction
    A digital interface helps people take advantage of powerful electronic
    tools like computers, PDAs, and other devices so they can make and do
    things. This course is comprised of projects which highlight the role that
    visual interface designers play in the multi-disciplinary attempt to bridge
    the gap between functionality (things) and usability (humans) and to
    introduce students to some of the unique challenges of designing within
    the realm of a digital, interactive medium. The course also introduces
    the physical dimension as another aspect of the interaction that needs
    to be considered and designed. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in
    Graduate Design Seminar I or approval of instructor.

    Introduction to Computing in Design
    This digital studio/seminar course introduces fundamentals of computing
    that are important for designing digital media. Initially, basic concepts of
    the computing environment such as display technologies, input/output
    devices, networks, and software are introduced. Students are then intro-
    duced to various computational concepts through hands-on program-
    ming exercises. Recent programs include Java, Flash, and Action Script.
    No prior programming experience is required. Prerequisite: concurrent
    registration in Graduate Design Seminar I or approval of instructor.

Research Methods: Human-Centered Design
This course will present an opportunity to examine and discover research methods currently
employed by the design professions, and to understand the conceptual foundation of research
methodology. Methods may include basic statistics, scales and measures, archival research,
surveys, questionnaires and interviews, observational methods and ethnographic studies,
contextual inquiry and usability testing, participatory techniques and workshops, and the role of
visual description within the design research process as expressed and analyzed through draw-
ing, collage, modeling, photography, and diagramming. The course will equip students with the
necessary tools to determine appropriate methods for specific design research needs, how to
find supporting resources, and the ability to critically evaluate existing research.

Thesis Essay & Project I & II
At the close of the first year, each student proposes a written thesis topic and a studio thesis proj-
ect to be carried out in the second year. Projects may be individual or collaborative. Students also
identify one or more faculty members to serve as theses advisors, who will monitor progress on
the essay and project throughout the year. Over the second academic year, students carry out the
reading, exploration, and networking required to plan, research, and deliver a written thesis and
a thesis project. Students present their papers and projects for public review and critique in the
middle and at the end of each semester. Prerequisite: advanced standing in the graduate program
and concurrent registration in both courses.

Elective Courses
Elective courses enable students to pursue their specific interests in shaping their educational
experience at Carnegie Mellon, as well as overcome deficiencies in their design or writing prepa-
ration. With faculty advice, these courses may be selected from Design and other departments
throughout the university. For example, students may wish to take a course in Organizational
Behavior from the Tepper School, a course in Time, Motion, and Communication from the School
of Design, or a course in Technology in American Society from the History Department.

     Key Faculty
     Eric Anderson
     industrial design, visualization
     M.S., Ohio State University. Associate Professor, Design

     Mark Baskinger
     interaction and product design, communication design
     M.F.A., University of Illinois. Assistant Professor, Design

     Daniel Boyarski
     typography, dynamic information design, interaction design
     M.F.A., Indiana University; post-graduate work, Allgemeine Gewerbeschule Basel, Switzerland.
     Professor, Design

     Wayne C. Chung
     industrial design, research methods, appropriate innovation
     M.I.D., University of the Arts. Associate Professor, Design

     Shelley Evenson
     interaction design theory & practice, visual models, design for service
     B.S., The Ohio State University. Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Design

     Jodi Forlizzi
     interaction design & research methods
     M.Des., PhD., Carnegie Mellon University. Associate Professor, HCII & Design

     Bruce Hanington
     research methods, human factors, industrial design
     M.E.Des., University of Calgary. Associate Professor and Chair, Industrial Design Program, Design

     Suguru Ishizaki
     design theory & methodology, computational design, design pedagogy
     Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Associate Professor, English

Mark Mentzer
drawing, color, visualization
B.F.A., Carnegie Mellon University. Professor, Design

Karen Moyer
mapping/diagramming, color, information design
B.F.A., Philadelphia College of Art and Design. Adjunct Associate Professor, Design

Christine Neuwirth
on-line information design & rhetorical theory
Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University. Professor, English & Computer Science

Stacie Rohrbach
dynamic information design, typography
M.G.D., North Carolina State University. Assistant Professor, Design

Steve Stadelmeier
industrial design and human factors
M.S., Cornell University. Associate Professor and Co-Director, MPD Program, Design

John Zimmerman
interaction design and interactive television
M.Des., Carnegie Mellon University. Associate Professor, HCII and Design

     Graduate Facilities
     Graduate students in this program work and study in reserved studio
     spaces. Students are given the latest software for word processing, page
     layout, imaging, and motion graphics work. Input and output hardware
     include scanners, black and white and color printers of various sizes;
     also available are higher-end workstations, video editing suites and a
     sound studio in the College of Fine Arts multimedia studio. All students
     have access to the internet through the university’s connection.

     With safe neighborhoods, a low cost of living, and an abundance of
     educational and cultural activities, Pittsburgh was recently named
     Places Rated Almanac’s most livable city. The Golden Triangle, down-
     town at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, is the
     heart of the business district, encompassing fine stores, restaurants,
     and theaters for the performing arts. Pittsburgh is also the home of
     major league teams like the Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The neigh-
     borhoods around Carnegie Mellon boast international restaurants,
     coffee houses, shops, alternative and mainstream cinema, galleries
     and the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History.

     Carnegie Mellon
     In the tradition of its founders, Andrew Carnegie and Andrew and
     Rachel Mellon, Carnegie Mellon today encourages students to pur-
     sue excellence in all disciplines, from robotics to music. The result is
     nationally acclaimed programs in design, drama, rhetoric, psychology,
     business, and computer science, among many other disciplines. The
     Carnegie Mellon community thrives on the energy of 4,600 graduate
     students, 5,700 undergraduates, and 1,400 faculty members, repre-
     senting a host of academic and extracurricular interests.

Recent Visitors
Sang-Soo Ahn, Hongik University,                Paolo Malabuyo, Microsoft
   Seoul, Korea                                 Chaz Maviyane-Davies, The Maviyane-Project,
Elaine Ann, Kaisor Innovation, Hong Kong            Zimbabwe
Freddy Anzures, Apple, San Francisco            Bill Moggridge, IDEO, Palo Alto
Will Bardel, Mijksenaar Arup Wayfinding,        Patricia Moore, MooreDesign, Phoenix
   New York City                                Tom Newhouse, Newhouse Design,
John Beck, Gist Design, Pittsburgh                  Grand Rapids
Mary Jo Bitner, Arizona State University,       Lira Nikolovska, MIT, Boston
   Tempe                                        Ingo Offermanns, Hamburg, Germany
Maggie Breslin, Mayo Clinic, Rochester          Kees Overbeeke, tu/Eindhoven,
Matthew Carter, Carter & Cone, Boston               the Netherlands
Scott Charon, Herman Miller, Grand Rapids       Rick Robinson, Continuum, Boston
Peter Cho, UCLA, Los Angeles                    Susan Rockrise, Intel, San Francisco
Jan Corremans, Antwerp, Belgium                 Ruedi Ruegg, Designalltag, Zurich,
Chris Downs, live|work, London                      Switzerland
Hugh Dubberly, Dubberly Design,                 Dan Saffer, Adaptive Path, San Francisco
   San Francisco                                John SanGiovanni, Microsoft
Daniel Fallman, Umea University, Sweden         Liz Sanders, MakeTools, Columbus
Richard Foque, Antwerp, Belgium                 Nina Serpiello, IDEO, San Francisco
Ben Fry, MIT, Boston                            Brad Smith, Doblin Group, Chicago
Harvey Gottlieb, Jellyvision, Chicago           Scott Summit, Summit Group, San Francisco
Harold Hambrose, Electronic Ink, Philadelphia   Studio EG, San Francisco
Edith Harman, New Balance, Boston               Anne Taylor, National Federation of the Blind,
Terry Irwin, Terry Irwin Design, Scotland           Baltimore
Cai Jun, Tsinghua University, Beijing           Jakob Trollback, Trollback + Company,
Lorraine Justice, Hong Kong Polytechnic             New York
Tom Key, 2nd Road, Sydney, Australia            Andreas Tschachtli, St Gallen, Switzerland
Oliver King, Engine, London                     Fernanda B. Viegas, IBM, New York
Kun Pyo Lee, KAIST, Korea                       Tucker Viemeister, Rockwell Group, New York
Octavio Lubrano, Nike, Portland                 Laura Vinchesi, Vinchesi Studio, New York
Morten Lund, LundKenner, Copenhagen             Martin Wattenberg, IBM, New York
Victor Lo, Gold Peak Industries, Hong Kong      Brad Weed, Microsoft, Washington

     Sample Thesis Project
     Titles & Where Our
     Alumni Work
     Sample Thesis Essay & Project Titles
     Graphing Complicated Legal Cases
     Information Visualization: Thousand Words in a Line Versus Thousand Words in Space
     Collaboration Exploration: Building a Shared Image of the City
     Transforming Patient Care in the E.R.
     Personalization & Design
     Collectivity vs. Connectivity: Designing for Increased Social Agency
     Designing for Values
     The Many Hands Project: Connecting Those in Need After Disasters

     Alumni From This Program Are Working At
     Microsoft, Redmond WA as a Product Designer
     Inmedius, Pittsburgh PA as an Interaction Designer
     ITT Industries, Rochester NY as an Image Information Engineer
     GIST Design, Pittsburgh PA as a Founder and Design Director
     Smart Design, San Francisco CA as an Interaction Designer
     Adaptive Path, San Francisco CA as a Sr. Interaction Designer
     Motorola, Chicago IL as an UI Designer
     Method, San Francisco CA as a Sr. Interaction Designer
     Kaizor Innovation, Hong Kong as a Director
     Google, San Francisco CA as an UI Designer
     Frog Design, San Francisco CA as a Sr. Design Analyst

Equal Opportunity
Carnegie Mellon University does not discriminate in admissions, employment, or administration
of its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or impairment, in
violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972
and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or other federal, state, or local laws or execu-
tive orders.

In addition, Carnegie Mellon University does not discriminate in admissions, employment, or
administration of its programs on the basis of religion, creed, ancestry, belief, age, veteran status,
sexual orientation in violation of federal, state, or local laws or executive orders. However, in the
judgement of the Carnegie Mellon Human Relations Commission, the Department of Defense
policy of “Don’t Ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue” excludes openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual students
from receiving ROTC scholarships or serving in the military. Nevertheless, all ROTC classes on this
campus are available to all students.

Inquiries concerning application of these statements should be directed to the provost, Carnegie
Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, telephone (412) 268-6684, or the
Vice President for Enrollment, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA
15213, telephone (412) 268-2056.

     Tuition, Housing
     & Financial Aid
     Full-time graduate tuition for the 2009-2010 academic year is $32,000.
     Full-time study is defined as taking at least 36 units.

     The Carnegie Mellon Housing Office can help new students find apart-
     ments within walking distance to campus or near the CMU shuttle bus
     route. Visit

     Financial Aid
     For full-time students, we provide partial financial assistance in exchange
     for six hours of work per week in roles such as TA or RA. Your statement
     of intent and past professional and/or teaching experience will help in
     determining what job you will be assigned. You can learn about other
     financial aid options from

What Next?
Professor Shelley Evenson is the Graduate Program Director. She will be glad to meet with you or
discuss the program by telephone or email. For more information, please contact:

Director of Graduate Studies
School of Design, MMCH 110
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
412.268.2828 PHONE
412.268.3088 FAX


      Interaction Design
Carnegie Mellon | School of Design

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