The focus of the first year of study is threefold—on design as subject matter, on criticism as a literary genre and on the range of tools with which to practice design criticism. The second year offers the opportunity for specialization both in subject matter and format. Students participate in medium-specific workshops devoted to topics such as producing a radio program or documentary, curating an exhibition, or editing a magazine or blog. They then research and develop a large-scale thesis project that must include a substantial written component, and which may be realized in any format.

The program culminates in an annual public conference, conceived and organized by graduating students, in which they present papers based on their theses, alongside professional design critics and thinkers. Students are required to complete and present the thesis research, which must be reviewed and approved by the thesis committee and the department chair, in order to be eligible for degree conferral.

Degree candidates must successfully complete 64 credits, including all required courses, with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0. A residency of two academic years is required.

First-year Fall Courses

Day Time Course Instructor
Monday 5:00 pm Urban Curation Karrie Jacobs
Tuesday 6:30 pm Lecture Series Various
Wednesday 4:00 pm Design History Russell Flinchum
Thursday 2:00 pm The Art of the Interview Adam H. Levy
Thursday 5:00 pm Reporting Tools Robin Pogrebin

First-year Spring Courses

Day Time Course Instructor
Tuesday 6:30 pm Lecture Series II Various
Wednesday 9:00 am Researching Design Steven Heller
Thursday 1:00 pm Criticism Lab/Thesis Development/Cultural Theory Alice Twemlow and Andrea Codrington
Thursday 5:00 p.m. Radio and Podcast Workshop Leital Molad and Kurt Andersen
Friday 3:00 pm Reading Design Akiko Busch

Second-year Fall Courses

Day Time Course Instructor
Monday 4:00 pm Typologies Phil Patton
Monday 5:00 pm Critical Thinking Murray Moss
Tuesday 3:00 pm Thesis Consultation Andrea Codrington Lippke
Tuesday 6:30 pm Lecture Series III Various
Wednesday 6:00 pm Online Publishing Elizabeth Spiers/
Chappell Ellison
Thursday 5:00 pm Video Essays Adam H. Levy

Second-year Spring Courses

Day Time Course Instructor
Tuesday 3:00 pm Design Criticism Conference Lab Alice Twemlow
Tuesday 6:30 pm Lecture Series IV Various
Wednesday 5:00 pm Exhibition Collection and Curation Paola Antonelli
Thursday 1:00 pm The Design Book Workshop Karen Stein
Thursday 4:00 pm Thesis Writing Andrea Codrington Lippke
Thursday 4:00 pm Applied Thesis Production Alice Twemlow


The Formation of the…

Clement Edson Armi

Sometimes We Do It Right

Ada Louise Huxtable
agee - evans 3


James Agee

A Cautious Prometheus?

Bruno Latour

A New Page

Nicholson Baker

The Art of Donald McGill

George Orwell
Henry Ford-Model T

My Life and Work

Henry Ford

Against Interpretation

Susan Sontag
John Ruskin

Railway Stations

John Ruskin

The Lamp of Beauty

John Ruskin

The Long Goodbye

Raymond Chandler

Industrial Design and…

Reyner Banham

Clip Art

Nicholson Baker