Master of Design in Designed Objects School
MDDO School Chicago
Master of Design in Designed Objects Program
MDDO Program
Master of Design in Designed Objects Course

The Master of Design (MDes) in Designed Objects provides students with a critical ability to translate compelling ideas into meaningful objects and environments while challenging the boundaries of the field of design itself.   

The graduate program in Designed Objects is a two-year, 66-credit, carefully sequenced, course-based curriculum for students who seek immersion in the critical and technical skills specific to the practice of object design. Providing a creative and intellectual context in which the nature and potential of designed things can be closely examined, the MDes in Designed Objects program is focused on the critical and experimental rethinking of the given norms of objects and products. The program encourages deep exploration into the relationships between objects, ideas, users, and contexts. Students are free to pursue commercial, responsible, critical, speculative, or experimental projects, products, and systems.

Defining the Next Designer

The role of the designer is to examine closely and reimagine the entire range of physical things used to facilitate and mediate our daily lives. Borrowing critically from product design, systems design, furniture design, and interaction design, the MDDO program envisions designers as agentive, social citizens who maintain an expansive understanding of the object: product/system, practical/speculative, analog/digital, microscopic/monumental, hand-crafted/industrial, and localized/galactic.

The department's faculty members share a belief that future designers need to be thinking designers, practitioners willing to explore unknown territory and engage problems not yet defined. By engaging open platforms for rigorous thinking and making, the department encourages students to challenge the fluid borderline that outlines design, opening the profession to unexpected possibilities.

MDes versus MFA

In contrast to the MDes, the two-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Designed Objects is for students with previous experience in the field of 3D design, such as furniture and lighting design, ceramic design, jewelry design, product design, etc. The tutorial structure of the MFA in Desgined Objects allows students to pursue independent projects while working with advisors one-on-one each semester.

For more information about this degree, visit the admissions requirements or the curriculum requirements web pages. Or, learn more about the AIADO department and its resources and facilities.

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