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MA in Experience Design

  

“The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind - creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers.” - Daniel H. Pink, A Whole New Mind



Collaboratively Reimagining Rural Adolescent Health Experiences. Workshop: Future of Interaction Design. In collaboration with Jatan Sansthan, Udaipur. Image Source: Naveen Bagalkot.


Vision

The vision of the Postgraduate Program in Experience Design at Srishti Manipal is to create balanced practitioners and reflective makers in the field of Experience Design. A balanced practitioner, who delivers effectively and ethically to the demands of the field of Experience Design at present, while continuing their own quest for mastery of the craft of designing for experiences through a self-critical and informed approach of reflection-in-action. A reflective maker, who is equipped with the creative confidence to navigate the inevitable future complexities and uncertainties of this emerging field, challenge status-quo, to not only inform current and future technologies, but also the larger practice through conscious experimentation and knowledge building. The aspiring practitioner-inquirer begins by unpacking the very idea of experience design by asking some very fundamental questions:

  1. What is an experience? And, where is it situated, really?
  2. And, what then are the elements of an experience?
  3. What is design? And, can experiences be designed for, at all?

As the human paradigms shift from the ‘efficient and usable’ to those of ‘well-being and care’, how does one,

  1. Craft for services, systems, interfaces and interactions that are pliable to the needs of those who interact with it?
  2. Understand the intricacies of human-technology interactions i.e. the nuances of the human and non-human somas to encourage complementary relationships?
  3. Speculate, envision and inform future technologies that respect and truly coexist within the ecosystems they are to be in?
  4. Build for complex cultural contexts such as that of India, to create futuristic, yet authentic experiences for its populace?
  5. Design consciously, with cognizance to the environment and impacts on it?


Course Structure

  • Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary studios
  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Lines of Inquiries (Field work, Case Studies, Investigations, individual or Group Projects, Transdisciplinary Research)
  • Theory and Understanding
  • Independent Study
  • Open Elective
  • Practice
  • Exhibitions
  • Culminating Performances of Understanding (Portfolio, Transdisciplinary research, Projects, Colloquium, Capstone/Dissertation)
  • Knowledge Enhancement (ability or skills)


Learning Approach

Learning at the postgraduate level is driven by published lines of inquiries that is enacted through studio based learning, workshops, theoretical reflections and field work. This approach cultivates a creative practice through engagement in diverse contexts, collaborative and participatory approaches leading to knowledge development.

Program learning approaches include:

  1. A theoretical and historical knowledge of philosophies and methods of shaping human experiences with digital technology.
  2. Methods of Hands-on and critical making as means of research and design.
  3. Methods of speculative and participatory creativity and research.
  4. Frameworks and methodologies of ethical perspectives and self-reflexivity while designing for experiences.


Capability Sets

Upon successful completion of the course, graduates will have the capabilities to:

  1. Understand Experiences: Observe and systematically evaluate everyday human activities and develop an empathetic and nuanced understanding of the human, lived experience.
  2. Understand Contexts and be Insightful: Engage with multiple forms of data sourced from multiple stakeholders through participatory methods and synthesize into novel insights that will inform design.
  3. Position self in practice: Discern and align to develop an informed stance on historical, current and emerging trends about the relationship between the embodied and lived experiences and technology through conscious perceiving, questioning, and distinguishing between information from different sources, theories and knowledge forms.
  4. Adopt a multidisciplinary approach: to problem-solving or enhancing experiences and develop divergent and convergent design thinking abilities and make connections, to convert the empathetic insights from research into purposeful and value-laden concepts.
  5. Negotiate complexities at a systems-and-services level: Comprehend and negotiate the complex dynamics and interdependencies between the audience, culture, ecology, business, design and technology through analytical, critical and strategic thinking at a systems-and-services level.
  6. Make to iterate and reflect: with multiple media and materials and technological artifacts for iterative or critical evaluation.
  7. Communicate compellingly: the design process to invite critique and develop a community of stakeholders for the work.
  8. Be Responsible: Be aware of, transparent and ethical in acknowledging and articulating one’s position with respect to the social, cultural, and political implications of technology, and one’s design interventions.


Opportunities

The above-mentioned capability sets could lead to opportunities such as:

  1. Employment in design studios, R&D, product development teams in small and large corporations and start-ups focusing on design research, strategic user experience design, strategic service design, interaction design and user-interface design.
  2. Employment in start-ups, small and medium enterprises, NGOs & social enterprises focusing on both product design and service-system design.
  3. Employment in the Information Technology industry with a focus on user experience, user interface and experience design, and strategic service design.


People


Enquiries

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Disciplines

The program is informed by the following learning disciplines:


Research and Collaboration

The students under this course will have the opportunity to work with the following centers and labs at Srishti Manipal.


 

FAQs

Experience Design focuses on shaping the digital material for enabling better experiences while interacting with, using, and living with a product, service, or a system. Although digital technology is the primary ‘material of play’ for an experience designer, this program is not limited by it. The larger vision is informed by the quest to create opportunities for people to be able to enhance their lived experiences - with and through technologies as the creators, facilitators and mediators of those experiences.

Digital technology is becoming the core of most, if not all, aspects of human experiences. We are living, apparently, in an experience economy. Shaping the complex digital material then takes on a central role to shape experiences that are beneficial, pleasurable, and not harmful. Experience design brings together a deeper knowledge about experiences as well as digital technologies to shape better human experiences.

If you are excited about experiences that we have when using and living with digital products, services and systems, and want to shape these experiences, then the program is suited for you. You are driven by a desire to shape the digital material, in combination, with other socio-material aspects, into something that offers more equitable and accessible experiences. You seek to develop criticality in your approach and do not believe that design or technology alone can solve problems, and they do in fact create more problems than they claim to solve. And you want to yet explore a more humble approach to see what possibilities do lie in taking an experience driven approach to design of digital technology.

Your learning in the program is informed ground up, through first dismantling and understanding experiences, and then moving on to build for experiences in the real, lived world. You will engage with theories, methodologies and approaches that transcend disciplines, and focus on advancing the key skills of recognizing patterns, making connections and applying “whole-brain” thinking which is informed primarily by “doing” and “experiencing”. You will move across disciplinary and trans-disciplinary learning and engagements in-situ, a process of independent practice emerges, forming the abilities to speculate, critically make, discern and align, as well as being ethically responsible. In contrast to the accepted parlance of ‘User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) Design’, as prevalent today, we expect you to push the boundaries of the field of designing experiences for tomorrow. Such a challenging of status-quo is based on a deep understanding of contexts, insightfulness, self-reflexivity and a strong bias for being collaborative and empathetic, and engaging with complexity, and intensive and iterative making.

A postgraduate program in Experience Design is an ideal qualification for those students who wish to pursue a career that entails researching, imagining, planning and engaging with a wide range of stakeholders towards designing just, equitable and accessible experiences with digital systems and infrastructures. The program offers you a platform to develop an individual practice, towards pushing the social, cultural, economic and political status quo about the role digital technology could and should play in shaping our experiences.

You could work in product and service industry and start-ups, join a design firm offering user and design research and experience design services to a range of clientele, or work in the not-for-profit sector designing digital experiences. The program also allows you to apply into a PhD program in a related area.

All admission and fee related information could be viewed on our admissions page.




View Eligibility for Admission, Fee Schedule, Application Form & Other information for this Program >>