Design, a central element of NCAD’s curriculum and activities, offers scope for partnership and collaboration with a wide range of disciplines across UCD, including Architecture and Engineering most obviously, but extending to include Business, Computer Science, Information Studies and more. Design brings ideas into form. It brings new ideas and new applications to fruition as products. It is also used to make available data and information. The potential of design thinking both in analyzing and disseminating information is becoming increasingly evident, and hence, the value of a design input to research projects in the human and life sciences is becoming clear.
The UCD + NCAD initiative in the area of design has already given rise to a new masters programme in Interaction design. Led by Emma Creighton, the MA in Interaction Design is a one-year taught masters delivered at NCAD in conjunction with UCD. Covering both the theoretical and practical aspects of interaction design, the course encourages students to design from both a pragmatic and speculative perspective in the creation of experiences, products, services, environments, and systems. Bringing together students from a range of fields including design, art, computer science, social science, and business, the MA prepares graduates to play a leading role in the development of emerging technology in society.
Building on the successful launch of this programme, and the continuing success of the MSc in Medical Device Design, the initiative will now move towards establishing further graduate taught programmes as well as shared modules and CPD offerings. These are being discussed by colleagues in Engineering, Business and Information Design. In addition, there will be a dedicated Design strand within the NCAD + UCD Summer School.
Ireland’s Year of Design 2015 (ID2015) offers an ideal opportunity to consider the central importance of design to the development of Irish society and how leading institutions in education and research can collaborate in this field. The MA in Interaction Design will be publicly launched at an event in March which is part of the upcoming programme for ID2015.