School of Art + Art History

Graphic Design/Design & Visual Communications

Graduate Program (MXD) / Overview

video notes: MFA alumnus Rongfei Geng, now at Google, speaks about the design community at UF.

How might we design sustainable and equitable solutions to pressing problems? 

… Create a more equitable future for all people? 
… Preserve the biodiversity of Florida?
… Reimagine health?
… Prepare our coastal communities for climate change?
… Rebuild trust in our institutions? 
… Understand migration and diaspora?

Design is our language. Florida is our laboratory.

Our newest initiative positions Florida as the State of Design. We use Florida as our laboratory to research, identify, and co-design solutions to our most pressing problems. To be relevant and sustainable, we believe these problems must be explored collaboratively and in context. To this end, we are committed to working with people—users, stakeholders, and subject matter experts—in context, working together to design for complexity. The program provides a framework in which we can mobilize resources to address the significant challenges and opportunities facing Florida’s citizens, communities, regions, the state, and beyond by collaborating with people in communities to address problems using design thinking and related methodologies. 

Design better, together. 

By working in partnership with users and other stakeholders (i.e., in a stakeholder ecosystem), we are able to better co-design and implement innovative and sustainable solutions. It is here where we will explore some of our most pressing problems—such as climate change, agriculture, and health—and use design as a catalyst for change and development in Florida and beyond. Through academic and experiential learning, we will help designers and our partners better understand how design might operate within larger social, cultural, and economic systems.

The MXD—MFA in Design & Visual Communications

This program, new in fall 2019, builds on our 20+ year history of excellence in graduate education (acknowledging the MFA in Art (Graphic Design) and our many wonderful alumni). However, this new MFA is more specific and draws on our research expertise and interests. Adding to our program’s long-term emphasis on embracing diverse knowledges, approaches, and experiences to shape research and practice, we are now focused on designing with people in context. This is why we partner with people in Florida, using the state as our laboratory to learn about complexities in and for which we design. This makes designing outcomes that are relevant and sustainable possible. 

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