Marks and Milestones

January marks a fresh start for many, but for the MFA Interaction Design program, it marks a milestone in our development. We’re receiving our first round of applications January 15 — just under two weeks away. I’m delighted at the prospect of reviewing the first candidates for the MFA in Interaction Design program’s inagural class this fall. In the meantime, the department is busy with some upcoming events.

Online, Elsewhere

This past fall, we had the opportunity to work with the venerable Airbag Industries on crafting a new department website. Working on the design with Greg Storey and Ethan Marcotte, Ethan on programming, and Ryan Irelan on development was a treat, as we’ve been a fan of the interactive work they do, as well as their insights on design and development, for quite some time. The site uses the identity developed by The Heads of State. As a platform, it has served as a critical communication tool for the department on topics from curriculum, to critical questions for prospective students, to information on events and lectures.

SVA’s MFA Interaction Design website; Screenshot from Airbag Industries’ portfolio

Upcoming Lectures

Some eighty or so enthusiasts of interaction design have been attending the intimate Dot Dot Dot Lectures in New York City, the MFA Interaction Design lecture series — a venture we started in November. The series is meant for broad explorations of interaction design, business, and aesthetic inspiration. Practitioners and thought leaders give short, 10-minute talks in an informal setting.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

“The Urbanists”
New forms of public space are emerging. Through an exploration of new definitions of urban environments, our four lecturers will examine the time when public space is more personal, ubiquitous computing is allowing cities to have an impact on users’ experiences, and the design of services can truly be vibrant and meaningful. As inhabitants of a city, these things are often invisible in the way we craft experiences. Learn from four practitioners how to be more aware and discerning of their presence around us.

Featured Speakers:

  • Rachel Abrams, Creative Director, Turnstone Consulting LLC, and forthcoming faculty member, MFA Interaction Design
  • Adam Greenfield, head of design direction at Nokia and author of the forthcoming The City Is Here For You To Use
  • Phil Kline, American composer
  • Soo-in Yang, Founder and principal of The Living, adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture

More details and RSVP for this event

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

“The Modularists”
The insight required to craft modular systems requires designers to think through several variations of form and function — often beyond the original intent of an object, product, or service. How much does the design of discrete modules affect the integrity of the larger system? Should designers expect to wield control over any part of a user experience of modular systems? Four guest lecturers will examine a range of projects and trends in modular design, culminating in a discussion of the role of modularity among a group who value putting the power to create in the hands of everyone.

Featured Speakers:

  • Nick Bilton, Designer, User Interface Specialist, Technologist, Journalist, Hardware Hacker, Researcher
  • Brendan Dawes, Magnetic North
  • Jeff Hoefs; littleBits, Smart Design

More details and RSVP for this event

Past, Future

Over the past couple months, recent speakers have included Gary Hustwit, Jason Severs, Principal Designer, frog design; Clive Thompson, Contributing Writer for New York Times Magazine and columnist for Wired magazine; Elisabeth M. De Morentin, Illinois Institute of Technology, Institute of Design; Tom Bodkin, design director, New York Times; Jake Barton, founder and principal, Local Projects; Andrew Sloat, graphic designer and videomaker; and Christopher Fahey, founding partner, Behavior; forthcoming faculty, MFA Interaction Design.

If you find yourself in New York City, please join us for an upcoming lecture!