The MFA in Design Studies is the first graduate program in design in the Gulf Region.
The program acknowledges that design is a professional discipline that is broadly based and highly collaborative, incorporating the transfer of knowledge across traditional domains to create products and processes of manufacture, environments, forms of communication and the organization of information. Only six students will be accepted into the program each year. Students in the program will receive individual mentorship throughout their course of study.
Ms. Vanstone said, “The degree emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary design practice. The MFA will provide a robust environment for in-depth research, a platform for testing theories and a studio for integrated project development within the region and beyond.” She added that the pioneering program would be implemented in the Fall of 2009.
The program is designed to provide an educational environment where self-directed students with diverse knowledge sets in design and related disciplines collaborate and challenge the definition and development of design problems, processes, and solutions. Students can expand and deepen their abilities and increase their motivation to contribute directly to innovation, education and leadership in design thinking and making. Graduates will have opportunities to approach design on a strategic level to provide a high degree of constructive and sustainable value to the economic, social and cultural contexts of the global community. This MFA track is pending VCU approval.