Master in Design Studies (MDes)

MDes Thesis Review May 2017

MDes Thesis Review May 2017

How do we prepare for challenges that no longer conform to the boundaries of disciplines? The Master in Design Studies (MDes) program challenges students to understand and influence the underlying processes shaping contemporary life. More

Areas of Concentration

If rapidly changing climates, media systems, energy flows, material economies, and migratory populations are the emerging challenges of our time, then the design disciplines offer unique insight on how to navigate these complex, open-ended conditions. Distinct from research in the sciences or humanities, design pedagogy involves highly interactive ways of thinking and learning, through hands-on, cross-disciplinary, multimedia practices that directly engage the technical, material, spatial, ecological, political, economic, thermodynamic and planetary dimensions of cultural life. Seeking to empower the next generation of designers and urbanists, the program utilizes novel and alternative methodologies in a collaborative, immersive environment. Ultimately, MDes at GSD challenges conventional ways of learning—through field work, fabrication, collaboration and dissemination—in a range of labs, seminars, workshops, initiatives, publications, and ongoing projects whose scope and diversity are unmatched by any other design school in the world.

The program consists of three semesters of coursework. Students in each area undertake a core set of courses, followed by research methods and related topical courses, selected from offerings within the GSD or from the many other schools and departments at Harvard. Students may elect to complete the program in three semesters of coursework, or they may extend their research into a fourth semester by pursuing an MDes Thesis Project, conducted independently or in collaboration with their peers and GSD faculty.

Whether it is to establish a research agenda for an academic career, retool for design practice, or enter design from an adjacent discipline, the MDes program is a nimble and flexible program designed to amplify and accelerate the cultivation of novel approaches to design for this century. Please review further information on the program’s areas of concentration and outcome throughout the GSD website. And, if possible, please join us for our Open House events to learn more about each of the programs.

Program Director
John May, Assistant Professor of Architecture

Inside Design Studies

exhibition

PULSUS

The city is an electrifying fray, a maddening web of cacophony that connects every one of us to every one of others. How can we find solace in a world that doesn’t stop? PULSUS is an ambient, interactive, and experimental installation, part of a collaborative…

exhibition dates: SEP 1 – DEC 15, 2017

Allen Sayegh, Curator