“Venkatraman is a partner at Copenhagen Institute for Interaction Design (CIID), an institution that harbors a one-year Masters degree program in interaction design as well as a research center and consultancy. He helped initiate the Institute with Simona Maschi and fellow designers Heather Martin and Alie Rose in 2006. The school’s pilot year began in September 2008, in partnership with the Danish Design School (DKDS). Already, he mentioned, students from the venerable institution next door – a school famous for producing portfolios of stylish and functional cutlery, furniture and other hard goods — have started perking their ears up about this evolving interactive approach to their field.”
The interaction design programme teaches students to apply technology to everyday life, through the design of software, products, and services. We believe in a hands-on and user-centered approach to interaction design. Students learn the programming and electronics skills needed to work with technology as a design medium. They conduct user-research and experience prototyping to provide real-world grounding for their concepts. Frequent work in multi-disciplinary teams encourages peer-to-peer learning. A diverse selection of visiting faculty exposes students to a range of expertise.
Next year’s interaction design programme builds on the structure of the pilot year. The twelve month programme is divided into three tiers: foundations, investigations, and the thesis. The foundations are short workshops that provides students with the skills they need throughout the year. The investigations give students the opportunity to pursue in-depth projects around a particular design brief. The thesis provides students with an opportunity to explore an area of their choosing, combining design work with reflection and knowledge generation. Additionally, students will participate in innovation projects: collaborations with industry on briefs of mutual interest.
As an education concerned with the broad potential of design and technology, the interaction design programme is looking for a wide diversity of students. We welcome applicants from all over the world and from any background. You should be curious and creative; enthusiastic about design and working in a cross-disciplinary environment. Whether you’re currently studying or working, you should be interested in the connections between education and interaction design practice. As this is a new programme, we’re seeking students with an interest in helping to shape the education and curriculum. We plan to have a class of approximately 25 students.
Deadline: Applications must be received by April 1st, 2009.
In alphabetical order:
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/.
The organisers “believe in people-driven innovation, enabling [their] students to understand innovation from the point of view of everyday people. Accepting this fact, 180°academy turns the traditional approach to innovation [which is technology-driven] around.”
The academy combines “theory with practice in a cross-disciplinary programme allowing students to understand the innovation process as a whole” and covers “topics as diverse as ethnography, competitive analysis, ideation, prototyping, branding, business plans and patenting, to name a few.”
The objective is “to educate top talent in large and small companies worldwide to innovate holistically – internally within their organisation’s different departments and externally by meeting the needs and aspirations of the people they are innovating for.”
The 180º Academy offers three part-time programmes which are designed for working individuals: the flagship nine-module Master Practitioner Programme, the three-module Executive Programme for executives, and a smaller six-module Insight Programme for mid-sized and small companies.
The acting dean is Anne Kirah, former senior design anthropologist at Microsoft (see my recent interview with her). Other professors are Richard Pascale (associate fellow, Oxford University) and Lars Thøger Christensen (professor, Department of Marketing, University of Southern Denmark). The faculty also includes the following visiting professors, consultants and associate professors: Teng-Kee Tan (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), Kirsten Becker (University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Uday Dandavate (SonicRim, USA), Simona Maschi (Milan Polytechnic and former associate professor at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea), Heather Martin (also former associate professor at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea) and Pia Betton (Framework Identity, Berlin).
“The aim is to create a high profile design institute, which is small but dynamic and which interfaces with academia and industry. The institute will become an international setting for new thinking in design and technology in Copenhagen. The institute will encourage multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary learning, teaching and consulting in Interaction Design. We imagine that people both from the academic and the industrial world will come to Copenhagen to work with us on innovative products, services and technology for the future. The institute aims to become an international centre of excellence in interaction design and innovation by 2010. The uniqueness of the institute is that it will incorporate an integrated plan of teaching, research and consulting – all in the same building, at the same time allowing them to influence each other in their vision and philosophy.”
(via pasta and vinegar)
For the past 10 years, Simona Maschi has designed future scenarios and experiences for people’s everyday life. She is interested in new design solutions that are attractive to people and that motivate companies towards a more sustainable future. Simona is also a Lecturer at the Politecnico University in Milan and she has studied and worked in Europe and USA.
Click here to see the interview. Just select the video by clicking the picture of Simona Maschi.