The Master in Interaction Design, launching in 2017, is a “1+1” year full-time master programme (approximately equivalent to an Italian laurea magistrale), designed to prepare designers for this role. Located in H-Digital Design School, it is stimulated by the innovative startup culture of H-Farm, 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 - Equivalent to Italian Laurea Magistrale
- Duration: 1+1 years full-time
- 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. Good command of written and spoken English
During the programme students identify their personal strengths to prepare them for work in this fast-developing field. Graduates 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. 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.
The first year (Year 1) offers an immersive panorama of the fast-moving field 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 (Year 2), 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 H-Farm Education 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?
Its alumni will be prepared to begin a design-driven startup or work in interaction agencies or in-house design studios. Some may move into design teaching or research. Others will be ready, as their careers develop, 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. Gillian and Philip report that almost all of their alumni from their last Interaction Design programme, at Iuav University of Venice, moved swiftly into satisfying posts in interaction, experience and related design fields.
What is unusual 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 unusual is the programme’s emphasis on the cultural and social potential of interaction design: its 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 good 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 April 19, 2017