The Master in Interaction Design, launching in 2017, is a “1+1” year full-time master programme, designed to prepare designers for careers in interaction and user experience design. It is taught in H-FARM’s Digital Design School within the innovative startup culture of Italy’s premier tech accelerator. The programme’s directors are two of the most important names in this field, Gillian Crampton Smith and Philip Tabor.
- Start: October 2017
- Level: Master - approximately equivalent to the Italian laurea magistrale
- Duration: 1 or 2 years full-time
- Awards given: Graduate Diploma in Interaction Design after 1 year, Master after 2 years
- Language: English - Students may write reports etc. in English or Italian
- Student intake: International
- Prerequisites: Normally Bachelor or equivalent experience in a design discipline, but other forms of experience are considered. Sufficient command of written and spoken English
During the programme students identify their personal strengths to prepare them for work in the fast-developing fields of interaction and experience design.
The first year offers an immersive panorama of interaction and experience design. It centres around design projects, mostly done in collaborative groups, about the interaction between people and products, systems or services. The projects are supported by skills workshops in design and technology, and contextual and business studies.
The second year usually preceded by a summer internship, allows students to develop a specialism they feel passionate about. It centres around a thesis on an individually-chosen experimental design or research project, which may be associated with an existing startup, industrial company, or public service.
Where is the programme based?
In H-Campus, an area of countryside in north-east Italy which also includes most of H-FARM’s startup activities. The locality, Roncade, is about 35 km (20 miles) from the ‘floating city’ of Venice, and 18 km (11 miles) from Venice airport. Nearby are also the historic cities of Padua, Treviso, Verona and Vicenza.
What careers does the programme prepare its students for?
Alumni might go on to join interaction design agencies or in-house design studios; to work in research labs and/or teaching; or to found a design-driven startup. As their careers develop, they will be ready to undertake design strategy roles. Companies large and small increasingly recognize the essential importance of digital technology and design thinking in their products and services. The programme’s directors report that almost all the students who graduated from their last programme in Italy found good jobs soon after graduation, many in important design studios or technology companies in Italy and abroad.
What is special about this programme?
Many things. First, its location in H-FARM Education, the revolutionary educational project which focuses on digital innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, an international outlook, and learning by doing. Related to this is the programme’s close relationship with the H-FARM tech accelerator. This gives unparalleled access to a working community which includes the founders of the emerging startups and the managers and CEOs of large companies. Also special is the programme’s emphasis on the cultural and social potential of interaction and experience design: the potential to create new ways of seeing and acting in the world – just as arts like architecture, fashion, film and poetry give meaning to everyday life and to being part of society. Design is a ‘useful art’ but it’s not only about function.
Can I join if I don’t speak English?
Sorry, no. Instruction is in English. So a satisfactory level of spoken and written English is essential. But expert fluency is unnecessary, and essays etc. written by students may be in either English or Italian.
Can I join if I have never written a computer program?
Yes. Interaction designers do not need to be experts in coding (computer programming) and electronics, but they need to at least understand the basic ideas. So the programme includes basic teaching in these fields. The programme focuses, however, on the ‘design’ aspect of interaction and experience design.
Can I join if I have no experience of designing?
Yes. The programme teaches and develops your ability to think and act as a designer, not only as an interaction designer. So an undergraduate degree in a design subject (like graphic, product or fashion design) is an advantage. But we welcome applications from people with other kinds of experience: computer, media, business studies etc.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated June 15, 2017