So the Master of Design in Integrative Design is a two year graduate program where we have teams of designers and career changers who come together to work on social “wicked” problems. It forms a pro bono design firm of sorts to work with partners, stakeholders and constituents. It’s a multi dimensional collaboration, and that’s an expectation. We’re looking for people who have some industry experience, but are looking to change their career path, and they want to specifically focus on social “wicked” problems. It’s not really a client relationship. We talk about partners, stakeholders, and constituents. So a partner will be who we’re working, tightly embedded with, who owns the problem. Stakeholders are maybe a more distributed model of people who have some skin in the game but not necessarily have ownership of it. And then our constituents are gonna be those people who are impacted and affected by it. And we really have to come at things from all of those perspectives. The ideal partner is someone who’s open to explore alongside us. So it’s crucial to have a diversity of points of view, different disciplinary backgrounds, and to have people with different expertise to make sure the downstream consequences are not gonna become wicked problems in and of themselves. The first part of the program is a deep discovery. We’re gonna embed ourselves within the remit that we’re working on. We’re gonna get from the inside out, and only then will we have the insights that are necessary to be able to take action. So I think the opportunity here at University of Michigan is that you can think of any topic, any subject matter that you can possibly think of, and there is an expert here. We are part of a top tier Research I university, and so we are actively trying to engage and to cross pollinate with those other disciplines. I mean, 25% of the credits in the program are actually taken outside the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design, so we’re really looking at how do we integrate knowledge, talent, human resources, and physical resources across the university, so that we can actually have a larger and more lasting impact. Through the process of bringing the partners onboard and actually some of our methods, that’s how the knowledge transfer happens. And I think in the end, we end up with an amazing opportunity to have access to the sort of knowledge and experience that I don’t think we could get anywhere else.

U-M Stamps MDes in Integrative Design
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