Combine design and business to solve today's most pressing problems.
From healthcare to retail, technology to transportation, social issues to issues of economy — any complex thing is bound to be, well, complicated.
But no matter what industry or inequity the problem stems from, design thinking gives us a place to start uncovering answers. The way design methodologies creatively frame and solve problems is the key to dismantling and decoding them.
Integrative Design blends many new ways of thinking — design thinking, systems thinking, future thinking, to name a few — with new ways of designing — experience design, strategic design, service design, business design — while keeping holistic, human values front and center.
Integrative Design offers a competitive advantage in many fields, including business, engineering, healthcare, and education. Thus, students in the CCAD MDes program work directly with sponsoring organizations from across the spectrum that currently face a specific challenge that Integrative Design can help fix.
Together, the MDes candidates collaborate to find that solution, whether it be prototyping a new product or service, overhauling how patients or customers navigate a billing system or creating a program that helps communities address social change so all its members can reach their full potential.
We also focus heavily on providing leadership opportunities so students have the experience and confidence to bring Integrative Design’s innovation potential to myriad challenges and similarly transform their careers in the process. MDes students are invited to manage a design team, facilitate a strategic design workshop, participate in speaking opportunities, or spearhead a brainstorming session with other organizations.
The MDes program structure: a four-semester build
Our hands-on, experiential learning curriculum is spread out through four semesters. Each semester builds on the last one, widening students’ circle of knowledge with increased complexity of the Integrative Design approach. Throughout these topic-focused semesters, MDes candidates collaborate on real-world commercial, cultural, and community-based projects.
First Semester: Self
Real World Project I: solve a difficult problem in a saturated market
Explore how your individual background can contribute to driving innovation and what needs your field has that could be solved by Integrative Design; learn about the theories of Integrative Design and its potential to drive change; and apply what you’ve learned to a real business problem brought on by a saturated market.
Second Semester: Ecosystems
Real World Project II: solve a technology-driven, complex problem
Study, perform, and devise best practices of strategic research, which is the framework for deeply understanding any ecosystem in which you’ll work. Learn how to effectively uncover a market’s nuances, the context and the people your solution would serve (clients, users, and stakeholders), and the connections and interdependencies of a problem. You’ll learn how to apply this knowledge to generate a systemic vision from which businesses and organizations can foresee their opportunities and scenarios of value -- and from which you can create a new solution.
Third Semester: Complexity
Real World Project III: solve a human-centered, complex problem
Whether you want to design a new product-service experience or architect an organizational change, learn how to apply creativity to break down complex business and societal problems; scale integration of that solution for local, global, or universal reach; and manage risk and uncertainty as you prepare to bring a solution to life.
Fourth Semester: Implementation
Real World Project IV: Thesis
Learn how to lead the process of implementing a solution so that it is viable, reliable, and desirable; learn how to provide the strategic and business tools to spot and implement future scenarios of value; and learn and create tools to measure your solution’s impact.
The final thesis project is a capstone course during which you’ll be responsible for all phases of the design process, from initial development to final solution: Seek out and develop your own project for a real client from either the for-profit or non-profit space; consult with clients; organize teams; and oversee process, deliverables, and final solutions.
MDes program outcomes
Transformation is key -- for the organizations we help and the MDes candidates themselves.
Not only do CCAD Master of Design in Integrative Design graduates have the skills and confidence to stand out in their desired profession, they’ll be able to apply the Integrative Design framework across industries, across communities, across the world.
Graduates are able to effectively tackle challenges, galvanize their teams, and make a meaningful impact using this unique strategic process and the intangible creative skillset that comes with it. They’re the organizational leaders, cultural catalysts, and innovators of tomorrow.
The CCAD difference
Our real-world, project-based curriculum equips students with the skills to excel at a wide range of design and management roles and plugs them into Columbus’ uniquely connected network. The MDes practicums are collaborative studio-based projects through the CCAD MindMarket, a learning lab that connects students with industry and non-profit partners who are looking for creative and innovative solutions.
More information is available for your consideration in our Grad Studies Guidebook, or join us on campus for an information session to learn more.
Learn more about Columbus
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.