Master of Design in Integrative Design

CCAD Master of Design in INTEGRATIVE Design – Where Creativity Meets Strategy

Businesses and organizations are striving to solve challenges that are not just difficult, but complex. Tackling today’s challenges strategically takes a holistic and human-centric approach called “integrative design”. This type of strategic process includes deep collaboration across the verticals of an organization, iterative prototyping, and a design-like mindset.

CCAD recognizes that organizational leaders of today and tomorrow need to possess this kind of strategic design experience. Our Master of Design in integrative Design program was developed to meet the needs of this growing discipline. Students in the CCAD program get the opportunity to work with sponsoring organizations that want to use a strategic design approach to usher in change. It may be new products or services, how people navigate a system, or how communities address social issues. Our program is a hands-on, experiential learning curriculum meant to help our students stand out in their desired professions due to their ability to tackle challenges, galvanize their teams and make a meaningful impact using this unique strategic process.


You are a conceptual thinker, and you’re able to see the big picture. You enjoy collaboration across disciplines and appreciate diverse thinking. You are interested in the complexity of everyday events and systems. You like invention and the innovation process. You enjoy tackling complex challenges and solving difficult problems. You see yourself as a leader – or becoming one – and the people you work with recognize an innate potential in you for career growth. You can see yourself standing out among your colleagues in much of what you do. You want to make the world better. You are a strategic designer!

You can get even more information in our Grad Studies Guidebook or join us on campus for an information session.


CCAD’s real-world, project-based approach to integrative design equips grads with the skills to excel at many design and management roles. Our grads have applied the skills they built at CCAD to a variety of positions and fields.

Brand manager
Creative director
Design consultant
Design researcher
Design strategist
Environmental designer
Design manager
Service designer
Social designer

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Course information

Check out the Master of Design courses in the major flier.

M. Des Program Course Descriptions

Design Integration Studio I & II GRID5001& 5002 - 6 credits

The core studios assist students with the development and understanding of their design projects through critique, discussion, presentations, and charrettes. Concurrent with the Design Projects, the Integration Studio offers opportunities for reflection and practice in building teams, collaboration, experimentation, and synthesis. Must be taken in conjunction with Design Projects.

Design Thinking and Methodology GRID5802 - 3 credits

This course will introduce students to a human-centered approach to collaborative innovation and responsive problem solving. Students will learn history of and present applications for design thinking through case studies drawn from commercial, educational, and social sectors. The course culminates in participatory workshops that familiarize students with critical issues in planning and facilitating design thinking in contemporary organizations.

Design Integration Studio III & IV GRID6001 & 6002 - 6 credits

The advanced studios assist students with managing and understanding their Design Projects practicums through critique, discussion, case studies, readings, and charrettes. Particular emphasis is placed on collaboration, building teams, facilitation, synthesis, conflict resolution, and managing creativity. Must be taken in conjunction with Design Projects.

Design Projects GRID5105 & 5106, GRID6000 - 18 credits

These practicums place students in collaborative studio-based projects through the CCAD MindMarket. Students will work on commercial, cultural, and community-based projects, putting their previous design experience into practice while further cultivating collaborative approaches to solving problems in interdisciplinary or trans-disciplinary methods. Must be taken in conjunction with Design Integration Studios.

Leadership and Complexity GRID 5803 - 3 credits

Complex leadership redirects the emphasis away from the individual as leader and toward a more systematic interdisciplinary strategy. This course actively engages students in developing the adaptive leadership skills needed to thrive in complex and changing environments. This includes how to diagnose, interrupt, and innovate to foster individual creativity, collective engagement, and creative community within ambiguous, risky and dynamic atmospheres.

Thesis Project GRID6070 - 6 credits

In this capstone project course, students will be responsible for all phases of the design process – from initial development to final solution. They seek out and develop their own projects for real clients from either the for-profit or non-profit space. Students consult with clients, organize teams, and oversee process, deliverables, and final solutions.

Research, Creation, and Development GRID6003 - 3 credits

Students in this course will practice how, what, and when to develop research for real-world design scenarios and solutions. They will then develop and formally present their research methods and findings. The appropriateness of specific research methods and strategies, and the understanding of their applications will be practiced and emphasized.

Communications & Advocacy GRID5804 - 3 credits

This course provides students with the tools to facilitate constructive dialogue within creative teams and with external partners. The ability to advocate for good design solutions within organizations and communities is stressed. Narrative techniques, marshaling and mastering an argument and negotiation skills are explored.

Business Foundations for Design GRID5801 - 3 credits

The material in this course will assist design leaders with considering financial information as part of complex decision-making. By understanding the financial behind business decisions, students will be better able to manage fiscal tensions within a successful design business. This course is designed to prepare future leaders to comprehend, analyze, and develop such financial information and consider it within a relevant design context.

Planning, Sustainability and Ethics GRID5805 - 3 credits

This course stresses strategic planning as vital to success of any enterprise. Planning is viewed in an expanded sense that fosters values, sustainability and ethical behavior. The development of goals, identifying constituents, measuring success, and establishing a feedback system for continuous improvement are emphasized.


  • Department Head of Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Assistant Professor
Matthew Mohr is an Associate Professor at Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD).
  • Associate Professor
  • Chair of Interior Design
  • Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor Delano Ellis, Industrial Design, Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD).
  • Adjunct Instructor
Tom Gattis is the Dean of the School of Design Arts at Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD).
  • Dean, School of Design Arts
  • Assistant Professor
  • Chair of Master of Design in Integrative Design
  • Adjunct Instructor
  • Adjunct Instructor

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