Design Major to be introduced in Fall 2020

Amy Nankin, News Editor

A new design major will be introduced to the undergraduate study body beginning fall 2020. The new major is housed in the School of Architecture, but students of all disciplines will be able to declare the major. Many of the core requirements for the major are already being offered, and students who plan on declaring the major in the fall are encouraged to begin taking the courses this spring. 

Faculty began  discussing the idea for the major roughly five years ago and launched two major-specific courses last year: Introduction to Design and Introduction to Creative Thinking. There is currently a six-course digital design minor offered to students, but otherwise there is no option for students to choose design as their discipline.

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BADes major sign

“We saw a need across the university to offer design to students who weren’t necessarily interested in being architects but were interested in design,” Marianna Desmarais, professor of practice in the School of Architecture, said. 

The major has a 33-credit requirement, but students choosing to concentrate in social innovation and entrepreneurship, historical preservation, or design and sustainable real estate will be required to take 36 credits. The major has three pre-requisite courses, four core classes, a senior capstone seminar and flexibility for students to take electives in either the chosen concentration or other approved courses. 

“There’s plenty of room, and it’s really advisable with the Bachelors in Design to do a double major, and then this way of working allows us to look at problems in need of solutions in different areas which becomes the prompt and then the students would apply design process, too, and it would culminate in a solution that is presented via 2D or 3D rules,” Desmarais said. “We’re seeing a lot of interest from students across campus. For instance, tools of visualization are really useful in a lot of disciplines, especially public health and business school.”

While the new major is housed in the School of Architecture, only the Introduction to Architecture course will have both architecture and design students together. The other courses are specific to design students, and the goal of the major is to incorporate both graphic and object design with concentrations to link design and architecture to other disciplines. 

“We think it’s the way of the future, and there are a lot of different industries and careers where creative thinking is a career, and the economy is really looking for people who have these skills,” Desmarias said. 

Faculty members in the School of Architecture are hopeful about the major’s success and have goals of continued expansion for the program. 

“We’re seeing a lot of interest, which is exciting, and advising has said that they’re seeing a lot of interest, so this could be a pretty robust part of the school and we certainly are looking at some different concentration areas,” Desmarias said. “Having these design skills will make graduating students in this major sought out after out in the world. Everything needs a creative director.”

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