An Expanded Model of Design Education
The Design Program at the University of San Francisco integrates coursework in graphic design, digital media design, and environmental design into a dynamic interdisciplinary studio concentration. The well-educated designer of today must be able to work comfortably across a broad range of media and demonstrate proficiency with the design of messages, interfaces, and public spaces. We believe that the university is the ideal place to foster this “expanded” model of design practice because it encourages our students to conduct independent research as well as collaborate with students from other disciplines.
By practicing design in an expanded field, our students gain comprehensive experience with a wide range of process-oriented skills, including conceptual development, visual rhetoric, formal experimentation, and critical thinking. We teach our courses in state-of-the-art computer labs, where students gain fluency with advanced production methods and digital technologies. Though we encourage our students to express their personal interests in their project work, we are equally committed to having them engage with the various demographics of the larger community by working with non-profit and other community-based groups. Advanced courses in the program provide students with opportunities for such work, both locally and internationally, the goal being for them to identify the issues that concern them most and to create design solutions that respond to the pressing needs of a rapidly changing global culture.
Because we value a diverse student body, and because we uphold the value of a strong liberal arts foundation, we welcome into our program students with curiosity about the world and the desire to develop critically, conceptually, and technically, even if they have no previous art or design experience. We are confident that all of our graduating students will leave with a body of knowledge and skills that will serve them well as graduate students, professional practitioners, design educators, or community leaders.
Design Beyond the Classroom
AIGA @ USF is the official student chapter of AIGA on the University of San Francisco
campus. AIGA is the nation-wide professional association for
design. AIGA @ USF is open
to all students interested in pursing ideas in
design beyond the classroom. Through this organization, members gain
resources needed to move into the professional design world by participating in workshops,
field trips, lectures, exhibitions, and other events both on campus as well as within larger communities in San Francisco and
throughout the country. Members
gain design skills as well as building leadership and communication skills that
will be valuable as they move into the design profession.
The Graphics Center is a unique student-run organization and business that does
design work for clubs, faculty, and departments on campus. Students who
work at the "GC "are paid for their work and gain valuable experience in working
with clients, printers, and in a small design firm setting. Students work on design projects
ranging from posters, flyers, and banners to T-shirts, booklets, brochures, and
Graphics Center services, including design and posting on campus, are free to
all recognized Associated Students of the University of San Francisco (ASUSF)
clubs and organizations. For
more on the Graphics Center, visit their website: www.usfca.edu/graphics_center.