Today finishes my first week in the newly formed Master of Tangible Interaction Design program at Carnegie Mellon. It’s a really interesting concept for a degree — take technologists and designers and teach them the other’s trade in the classroom, then have them spend lots of time in studio implementing what they’re learning in those classes. This isn’t a revolutionary new idea but a variation on something being done at a number of schools.
My background is in technology so almost all the classes I’m taking are design oriented: Document Design and Basic Interaction Design this semester; color theory and another design class next semester. On top of those classes, I’ll spend most of my waking hours in studio trying to implement what I’m learning in the design classes. (Thus the reason I took a leave from work: there’s just no way I could hold down a job and do this much school.)
To be honest, I wish it were a two-year program. I’d love to spend a year in design classes then follow that with another year just working on studio/thesis. Before coming to mTID, however, I did complete the first year of the undergraduate Design program at CMU. Similar to other design schools, the first year is an intensive studio focused on 2d and 3d design fundamentals that doesn’t worry about the line between industrial design and communication design. Many students come in convinced they want to do one but switch to the other by the end of the first year. Me, I realized that I wanted to study design in some way that included ID, CD, interaction design and computation. Along came mTID so here I am.
I couldn’t have gotten here on my own, so…
Thanks to the Carnegie Mellon faculty who taught me how to draw more than stick figures, how to think about form and typography from a new point of view, and that design is bigger than posters and toasters.
Thanks also to the Design Class of 2010. First year studio was insanely great and you all helped me learn something about what I want out of design and what design wants from me.
Most importantly, thanks to Drue and all of our friends who have supported (and tolerated :-) me through the messy process that got me here.