The Design for Emerging Technologies program supports a unique, student-directed design education that encourages both reflection of past and contemporary processes, as well as an ability to imagine possible futures.

SAIC's Design for Emerging Technologies program offers a challenging curriculum that is rooted in the belief that future designers need to be thinking designers. A collaboration between two departments—Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (AIADO) and Art and Technology Studies (ATS)—the program trains students in new, interdisciplinary design endeavors such as human/computer interface design, physical interaction design, information architecture, physical computing, software-based optimization and analysis, and design for embedded control and robotic activation.

Most MFA students in Design for Emerging Technologies come from traditional design disciplines such as architecture, interior architecture, industrial design, and interior design, as well as from industry, practice, and the creative arts. Deep investigations in the studio context are required, emphasizing the notion that the art of thinking and making translate into explorations that are useful beyond the traditional realms of design. This philosophical approach enables SAIC to launch future individual voices able to lead in changing the field from the inside out—connecting past traditions with future possibilities.

World-Class Faculty and Facilities

Students in the Design for Emerging Technologies program study with renowned faculty who work in the critical foundations of new technologies and their design implications. Faculty research includes the use of simulation techniques, parametric and computation-based modeling, the interaction of electronic and physical forms of modeling, rapid prototyping, robotics, networked embedded microcontrollers, and high-level interaction scripting languages. The MFA program's interdisciplinary foundation also allows students to select from graduate advisors across SAIC who represent myriad disciplines, approaches, and intellectual positions.

In addition to working with renowned faculty, you have full use of the department's state-of-the art equipment and facilities.

Graduate Projects

The cornerstone of SAIC's graduate studio program is its focus on tutorially guided studio practice. Each semester in addition to selecting from graduate advisors in the department, you will select from more than 100 graduate faculty advisors at SAIC, representing myriad disciplines, approaches, and intellectual positions. Ultimately, it is the student's work that drives the choice of advisor, and both disciplinary and interdisciplinary work is supported and advanced. Faculty from the academic programs in Art History, Arts Administration and Policy, Art Education, and Visual and Critical Studies also serve as graduate advisors, providing yet more expertise in support of SAIC Graduate Projects.

Critique Week

Critique Week, one of the principle means of assessment each semester, is a week-long schedule of critiques during which classes are suspended and the entire faculty and invited visiting artists and designers assemble into panels that conduct intensive studio critiques with all studio and writing graduate students.

Fall semester critiques are organized by department, with panels representing the discipline. They provide you an opportunity to have your work evaluated by the department, look at your work from a disciplinary point of view, and reinforce the expectations for your graduate study.

Spring semester critiques are interdisciplinary, with panel members of faculty, visiting artists, and peers from across SAIC departments. Interdisciplinary critiques in the spring semesters allow for a broader range of responses to the work, and are intended to assess the success of your work for a more general, yet highly informed, audience.

Studio critiques are required of every full-time graduate student pursuing an MFA in Studio or Writing degree. Typically, SAIC graduate students have at least four critique panels throughout their studies at SAIC, augmenting biweekly tutorials with their graduate advisors.

Interested in learning more?

Continue to explore the Design for Emerging Technologies department website to learn more about our curricular offerings, faculty, students, alumni and more or schedule a tour.

Interested in learning more about how you can apply?

Visit the graduate admissions website or contact the graduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or