Program Head

Ann McDonald, a.mcdonald@northeastern.edu

Design is the practice-based discipline raising important questions about—and providing significant answers to—how we live. Designers are needed when we don’t know what is needed. Designers propose alternative futures and create new choices using design principles and processes to create, compose and construct meaning in diverse knowledge fields. We provide broad understanding of the principles and systems of perception, action and communication. We offer concentrations in the design practices of graphic and information design, interaction design and experience design.

Graphic design makes messages and meaning using visual form and the integration of text and image. It often has a persuasive intention and uses rules of visual composition, form and pattern to enable storytelling or create attention and an ambience for consideration. Information design focuses on visualizing concepts and data to enhance human understanding of complex and vital knowledge. Interaction design focuses on the creation of navigable interfaces and systems that allow audiences to achieve meaningful goals, connecting people to people and people to information and environments. Experience design is a holistic systems approach to human and natural environments for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It seeks to improve the various human contexts in which we eat, sleep, travel, work, play, operate, recuperate, cooperate and enjoy life. As intensive studio programs, these curricula balance design history and theory with studio projects in dynamic, static, virtual and actual media. As active participants in the interpretation and production of information and experience, you have the opportunity to integrate many facets of your university liberal arts education.

This major is offered as BFA in Design with concentration in Graphic and Information Design, BFA in Design with concentration in Interaction Design, BFA in Design with concentration in Experience Design.

Co-op Divisions are YA and ZA.

CAMD Advising strongly recommends that you start the process by meeting with a faculty mentor  in your new major to talk about your interests and goals for the major to make sure it’s the right choice for you.   Once you’re ready to make the change, then it’s time to schedule an appointment with your new Academic Advisor to make the change official and start planning for your next semester and beyond.

 

Current students are required to refer to their degree audit through myNeu or Northeastern University Undergraduate Catalog for requirements.

Any prerequisites should be taken before registering for 2000 level courses and above.

Requirements Course Descriptions

 

Design general learning outcomes 

  1. Apply iterative design processes to create, revise, evaluate, and develop effective prototypes and innovative solutions.
  2. Engage human-centered design research methods and systems thinking to identify and understand values, goals, and intentions of intended audiences as a mode of inquiry, question framing and guide to action.
  3. Develop a high level of craft and technical skills in a relevant range of media and tools and effectively weigh applicability for intended audiences and outcomes
  4. Develop and realize intent, concept and content with awareness of context and consequence.
  5. Implement visual patterns incorporating text, image, diagram including temporal and spatial representations to recognize, categorize, and articulate significant form and meaning
  6. Employ and embody ethical practices, team and cross-disciplinary collaboration, and effective communication and presentation skills.
  7. Apply relevant communication theories and principles and appreciate the pervasive and long-term impact of design decisions on people and societies.

Experience Design concentration learning outcomes

  1. Explore participatory methods of research ethnographic, shadowing and co-creation to better understand values, goals and intentions of diverse audiences.
  2. Synthesize research findings and model existing conditions, relationships, system components, and interactions through visualization, mapping, and prototyping methods to understand and make evident patterns and opportunities.
  3. Propose design solutions in response to research that envision future conditions, encompassing a broad range of design possibilities from innovative objects and spaces to processes, services, interactions, and collaborations.