17 July 2007

Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design launches with pilot Masters programme

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The demise of Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, now two years ago, has lead to the birth of several innovative companies, such as Experientia, CuteCircuit, Fluidtime, Interaction Design Lab, Project Bureau, ToDo, and Zora, as well as an innovative educational start-up in Denmark: the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.

The school was founded by Heather Martin and Simona Maschi, both former Interaction-Ivrea professors. Alie Rose (who supported Experientia partner Jan-Christoph Zoels during the Interaction-Ivrea Applied Dreams workshops) is the school’s project manager. Martin and Maschi are also teaching at the Anne Kirah’s 180º Academy in Denmark.

Here is the launch press release:

Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) is a new initiative happening in Denmark. The aim is to establish a high profile design institute that will encourage a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environment – providing an international setting for new thinking in design and technology. The structure of the institute will incorporate an integrated plan of teaching, research and consulting – all in the same building, at the same time – allowing the different areas to influence each other in their vision and philosophy.

Building on the positive response to our feasibility study and initial activities, Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) is announcing a pilot of its Masters programme. We are looking for 15-20 students from Scandinavia, Europe and around the world to join us in Copenhagen for this pilot programme, starting in January 2008. At CIID, students will learn to apply design and technology to people’s lives and needs through an intense one-year interaction design education lead by experts in the field. This is an opportunity to meet an international network of like-minded people, acquire skills, create a body of design work, and help establish a new educational programme.

We will receive confirmation regarding the funding for this programme in September and the launch of the pilot programme will depend on this. Assuming this is secured, these students will receive sponsorship for this full-time, intensive, experimental version of our proposed two-year Masters course.

Working in a studio environment, students will learn how to design, develop and prototype new ideas for services, products and software – there will be a focus on hands-on learning, giving students the skills to build working prototypes of their ideas. Visiting faculty will lead investigations into a range of topics related to their specific expertise in design, technology and innovation, after which students will engage in a self-directed research project with a CIID or external advisor. A user-centred design process will provide inspiration and grounding and our multi-disciplinary approach will prepare students for careers where innovation crosses product areas within innovative companies and institutions.

The objective of the pilot programme is to prototype CIID’s Masters education with the students and faculty who will be part of it. By running this first year in a resource-light but content-intensive way, we hope to learn how to refine our programme before investing heavily in a long-term structure. We hope that this opportunity will attract an eclectic mix of students and faculty who are excited about creating a new institute. Tentatively, we plan for the pilot year to conclude at the end of 2008. However, if there is enough interest and support it will be extended. In fact, we hope that people involved with the pilot programme will remain part of CIID after the initial year in an educational or research capacity.

More details of the pilot programme can be found at: http://www.ciid.dk/education/.

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