We teach the practice and theory of interaction design—designing products, services, and interactions to change human behavior and improve the world.
Our emphasis is on addressing humanitarian problems. We focus on problems that matter, and students learn to recontextualize design in the space of large-scale "wicked problems."
Founder Jon Kolko is recognized as a thought-leader in developing and advancing the role of interaction design in product development and social entrepreneurship. Our faculty are all world-class working practitioners.
Our program is affordable. Our annual tuition is just $15,000 for our one-year course, which runs 440 course hours. Compare this with other similar graduate programs that cost $60,000, $70,000, or even $80,000.
Our classes sizes are small—10 students a time—providing extensive face-time with professors and the opportunity to form lasting relationships with a growing support network.
We've developed a supportive, collaborative community of alumni to help current students succeed and to help one-another drive impact.
In a word, students who complete our program gain autonomy. This is a sense of entrepreneurial freedom—that your choices are not set or constrained, and that you have concrete skills to shape the world around you. These skills include qualitative research, synthesis and interpretation, sketching, the creation of storyboards and wireframes, entrepreneurial business modeling, service design blueprinting, and complex system diagramming. These skills represent the foundation of a career in product management, design strategy, interaction design, and social entrepreneurship.
More importantly, you'll gain an empathetic process and a unique, empathetic way of thinking about culture and technology. This process is broad, and can be used in corporate and consulting contexts, in startups or small businesses, and even in politics and government.
Design is for everyone, and our students have a variety of backgrounds. Some of our students are already designers, but most aren't. Our typical applicants have experience in marketing, engineering, fine arts, finance, or the service industry. Our program teaches design fundamentals in addition to advanced topics, in a rigorous, intense environment. There is no expectation that our students enter the program as designers; we take care of teaching that.
AC4D is a 440 course-hour program that runs from late August through early May.
Application for 2018-2019 will open on Oct 1, 2017. They are due by Jan 15, 2018.Learn more.
Our one year program costs $15,000. The first payment of $7,500 is due in the summer, prior to classes beginning, and the second payment is in January (at the half-way point).
AC4D is extraordinarily intense, time consuming and difficult. We’ve structured the program to include as much content and rich experience as possible and it requires a strong, formal commitment from students.
Naturally the type of person who likes to know just what to expect out of every day, Maryanne’s latest challenge is about navigating through uncertainty and fully accepting that her future will continue to be shaped by things she cannot predict. From pursuing a career in advertising, she brings with her a belief in the stories that seed action, make emotional connections with people we have never met and give to those we won’t know we have. Often in a media-inspired state of mind, she loves ...
Jacob Rader graduated from AC4D in 2015. Since graduating, he has contracted at top design consultancies such as Big Tomorrow, Carbon 12 Creative, frog Design, and Projekt 202. Most recently, he has returned from a stint designing with Proximity Designs, an award winning social enterprise based on Yangon, Myanmar. I sat down with Jacob recently to…
This week in our design research methods class, we have been trying out participatory design, a research method in which the researcher actively attempts to involve stakeholders in the design process. Our class is just beginning this project, so our job currently is to help our participants define the problem space as well as get…