School of Art + Art History

Graphic Design/Design & Visual Communications

Graduate Program (MXD) / Overview

Video note: Florencia Lathrop Rossi’s pursuit of social design exemplifies our MxD work. Here, she explains her fieldwork experience in Costa Rica.

We encourage prospective students to check out our Instagram and MFA final projects

The MXD is a scholarly program grounded in theory, research, and design writing. We use a horizontal approach to build our capacity to co-design equitable futures with people in context. Learning involves various activities, including reading, writing, making, discussions, questioning, reflections, and experiences. In the studio, we might explore how to 

… create more equitable futures
… preserve biodiversity
… reimagine health
… prepare our coastal communities for climate change
… rebuild trust in our institutions 
… understand migration and diaspora
… ​and other pressing questions 

We benefit from Florida's complexity — using it as our laboratory — to design better together. 

We bring our various perspectives and experiences in communication design to the studio, where we cultivate a reciprocal, participatory, and equitable approach to designing with people. We aim to understand the lenses, positions, and narratives that inform our worldviews, how we view others and ourselves, and how perspectives change through context. By working directly with project partners and engaging users and other stakeholders, we can better co-design and implement innovative and sustainable solutions for real challenges people identify. This way, we explore some of our most pressing problems—racial equity, climate change, agriculture, and health—and use design to catalyze change in Florida and beyond. Through academic and experiential learning, we will help designers and our partners better understand how we might operate within larger social, cultural, and economic systems.

The MXD—MFA in Design & Visual Communications

Adding to our program’s long-term emphasis on embracing diverse knowledges, approaches, and experiences to inform design research and practice, we learn about the complexities in and for which we design. This makes creating outcomes that are relevant and sustainable possible. If you want to apply and advance your design skills in participatory contexts, this program might be just what you want.

We are excited to hear from you. We are always happy to discuss your interests and arrange an on-campus visit. Feel free to email us and download our materials: brochure + postcard set

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