Senior Year

Seniors will use the deep and broad skills and perspectives they’ve gained through the program to define and develop a unique contribution to the world: their senior thesis. Here are some of the classes offered: 

 
 

Fall courses

Internship

Internship (Summer)
This is a practical internship taken between the junior and senior year, facilitated by the program. The goal is immersion in the pragmatic world of interaction design, giving students the opportunity to learn hands-on skills, trade practices, methods, and professionalism. The duration is 10 to 12 weeks and can be fulfilled in a variety of professional spheres centering around interaction design. Credit for the internship is obtained by pre- and post-approval by the program chair.

 
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Topic Studio
This studio course offers students the opportunity to apply and develop their interaction design skills to the specificity of a real-world constellation of project elements, fielded by an external entity: a company, consultancy, or organization. The sponsor participates in the studio, providing information about the particulars of their business, access to stakeholders, and resources for interventions. With this guidance, student groups investigate a particular project domain, identify targeted users, and develop specific, finely honed design solutions. A series of intermediate milestones and design exercises provides process guidance and helps ensure results that will be significant contributions to the sponsor’s project. Studios vary from term to term; past sponsors have included major automakers, telecommunication companies, and computer equipment firms.

 
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Senior Thesis 1
The Senior Thesis allows students to pursue their own distinct interaction design perspectives and begin to take an active role in the shaping of this new design field. They are given the freedom to experiment and explore new possibilities for developing future interactions. Senior Thesis 1 focuses on research, idea generation, and resource development. The progress and results of this course are reviewed and evaluated by peers, professionals, and faculty.

 

Spring Courses

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Topic Studio  
This studio course explores interaction design opportunities in the nonprofit sector. Students analyze a social/business configuration,identify opportunities for design interventions, storyboard narratives of better worlds, prototype systems and artifacts, and develop better designs for connecting communities. The sponsor participates in the studio as client, stakeholder, and codesigner, providing information about the particulars of their goals and resources. A series of intermediate milestones and design exercises provides process guidance and helps ensure results that bring significant contributions to the sponsor’s goals. Studios vary from term to term; past partners have included nonprofits involved in the protection of the environment, animal conservancy, literacy advocacy, and social justice. Each semester’s sponsor will be identified and developed together CCA’s Center for Art and Public Life.

 
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Senior Thesis 2  
The Senior Thesis is the culmination of the student’s personal and collaborative explorations in the field of interaction design. Students bring their personal and professional aesthetic values and craft to the development of their thesis topic. Senior Thesis 2 concentrates on the refinement, execution, and written articulation of the thesis project. The result is reviewed and evaluated by peers, faculty, and professionals, and forms the core of the undergraduate portfolio.