School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design
In our global knowledge economy, ideas flow fast and far, creating extraordinarily elaborate systems of human connection. As designers, we facilitate understanding through devising objects, environments and innovative platforms for interaction.
In AMPD’s Department of Design, students actively explore and expand the boundaries of design in managing and communicating complex bodies of information for meaningful human experiences in our increasingly visual world. Grounded in an understanding of the designer’s specialized knowledge, methods and skills, students learn to recognize complex problems as being comprised of systems of social, cultural and technological networks. By identifying points of entry for design intervention, students acquire the agency to define their role as inventor, author, curator, entrepreneur, advocate and social innovator in the rapidly expanding world of design opportunities.
York’s Bachelor of Design (BDes Specialized Honours) program recognizes that design is by nature an interdisciplinary endeavor. York Design draws strength from its home in a robust research university, offering students exposure and collaborative opportunities in areas such as business, engineering, technology, health and more broadly, the sciences, social sciences and humanities. Students in the Department of Design pursue creative solutions to real-world problems involving users, their contexts and interactions; design for immersive experiences and intelligent technologies; the discovery of new knowledge through the visual presentation of complex information.
Design studio courses are kept very small to foster intimate, intensive learning. Through a comprehensive design curriculum, students may choose to focus their studies along one of three pathways: visual communication, information design, interaction design, all of which are augmented by design studies that consider history, futures and professional practices of design. From working with sensors and 3D information to user interfaces for mobile devices to creating branding experiences for the 21stCentury, students have the opportunity and resources to meaningfully personalize their design education within a real-world context.
The Fabrication Lab maintains industry standard output and production equipment for Design students to make their ideas take form. High-end photographic, audio and visual equipment enables experimentation with a range of media formats. Design studio facilities are dedicated for design student use 24/7.
Experiential educational opportunities include professional placement in an active design studio during the summer between years three and four. Students may pursue design study abroad for up to one full year. Talks by professional designers, workshops with renowned design educators and visits from industry leaders augment York Design students’ exposure to various modes of design practice.
York Design students graduate as design leaders, equipped with the knowledge and skills required to excel in the profession. Our undergraduates are highly sought-after both locally and internationally for employment in design studios, technology-based companies and large corporations. Alumni hold positions in a wide range of international companies including Facebook, Google, Wikimedia, Amazon, IDEO, Barney’s New York, Visionairemagazine, LinkedIn, W Network, Wieden+Kennedy, The New York Times Magazine, The Toronto Star, Pentagram, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bruce Mau Design (BMD). Alumni have also become successful entrepreneurs, employing newer generations of York Design alumni throughout the GTA and beyond.
*The York/Sheridan Program in Design is phasing out through 2022. Since 2019, students entering York’s Bachelor of Design program are experiencing an exciting new curriculum. York Design will be able to accept internal and external transfer students and second degree students in fall 2021.