Design

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At the College of Design, NC State University, the mission of the Doctoral Programs in Design (comprising both the Ph.D. and D.Des. programs) is to improve the human condition through design research and scholarship. This mission is built in equal parts on the recognition of a fertile common ground among the design disciplines and on the need for specificity and depth within them.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Design program values a broad range of research interests. The aim of the Ph.D. in Design is to prepare students holding previous degrees in design disciplines to conduct research in the areas of: design for health and well-being; design for learning; design for sustainability; design and technology; design and the urban context; design methods; and design history and criticism.

The Doctor of Design (D.Des.) program provides distance-education opportunities for established design professionals to conduct original investigations using design practices, cases, and methods. D.Des. students pursue practice-based design research in support of professions creating the artifacts, communications, environments, and organizing systems of the future.

Both programs provide a forum for connecting design research to the needs of society, by promoting the application of new knowledge in design and addressing design impacts on larger systems.

Admission Requirements

For admission to both the Ph.D. and D.Des. programs, submit official transcripts from each earned undergraduate and graduate degrees (required); three letters of reference; TOEFL scores (for international students); residency statement (US residents only); College of Design personal data form; statement of research intent; and portfolio. GRE scores are required for all Ph.D. applicants. If reasoning and writing ability is clearly demonstrated through previous graduate degrees, or professional or academic work products and impact, D.Des. applicants may ask for a waiver of GRE scores.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Both programs of study require a minimum of 54 credit hours of graduate work beyond the Master’s degree.

Faculty

Full Professors

  • Robin Fran Abrams
  • Thomas M. Barrie
  • Kofi Malik Boone
  • Chandra D. Cox
  • Denise M. Crisp
  • Margaret Elen Deming
  • Andrew Alan Fox
  • David Brian Hill
  • Mark Elison Hoversten
  • Sharon Melissa Bennett Joines
  • Tsailu Liu
  • Robin C. Moore
  • Wayne Place
  • J. Mark Scearce
  • Gavin Paul Smith

Associate Professors

  • Deepti Adlakha
  • Tania Leigh Allen
  • Helen Saunders Armstrong
  • Timothy W. Buie
  • Soolyeon Cho
  • George Elvin
  • Patrick J. Fitzgerald
  • Russell Alan Flinchum
  • Carolina Gill
  • Dana Kathleen Gulling
  • Derek Allen Ham
  • Jianxin Hu
  • Bryan Bell Jr.
  • Bryan W. Laffitte
  • Deborah K. Littlejohn
  • Fernando H. Magallanes
  • Patricia E Morgado
  • Sara Glee Queen
  • Kathleen Callahan Rieder
  • Kristen J. Schaffer

Assistant Professors

  • Todd Michael Berreth
  • Burak Erdim
  • Lesley-Ann Melanie Noel
  • Celen Pasalar
  • Matthew O. Peterson
  • Traci Rose Rider
  • Kelly Ann Umstead

Emeritus Faculty

  • Eugene H Bressler
  • Meredith Joy Davis
  • Haig Khachatoorian
  • Arthur R Rice
  • Paul Tesar

Practice/Research/Teaching Professors

  • Nilda Graciela Cosco
  • Emily Ryan McCoy
  • Marshall E. Purnell

Courses

D 592  Special Topics in Design  (1-6 credit hours)  

Topics of current interest in the College of Design. Used to develop new courses.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

D 684  Teaching Design at the College Level  (3 credit hours)  

Preparation for college level teaching in the design disciplines. Discussion of the history of design education, curriculum development, pedagogical strategies, assessment, and teaching and research demands on college design faculty. Meets partial requirements for the university Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching. Restricted to students enrolled in College of Design masters and doctoral programs.

Typically offered in Spring only

DDN 685  Master's Supervised Teaching  (1-3 credit hours)  

Teaching experience under the mentorship of faculty who assist the student in planning for the teaching assignment, observe and provide feedback to the student during the teaching assignment, and evaluate the student upon completion of the assignment.

Prerequisite: Master's Student

Typically offered in Fall only

DDN 696  Summer Thesis Res  (1 credit hours)  
DDN 701  Research Methods in Design  (3 credit hours)  

Survey of research methods in the field of design including overall systems of inquiry, criteria for assessing quality, strategies and tactics. Strengths and weaknesses of various research designs. Experimental and quasi-experimental research, correlational research, qualitative research strategies, simulation and modeling research, action research and design intervention, case study, and combined strategies.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Spring only

DDN 702  Research Paradigms in Design  (3 credit hours)  

Overview of contributions and limitations of various theoretical perspectives that inform the field of design inquiry. Knowledge and theory construction. Nature, scope, and merits of scientific approach. Criticism of the scientific approach and examination of alternative approaches utilized in design research and practice. Linking philosophy, research, and action/practice/application.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing

Typically offered in Fall only

DDN 740  Introduction to Practice-Based Design Research  (3 credit hours)  

This course presents an introduction and overview of interdisciplinary research theories, strategies, and methods as applied to issues in professional practice of design. Special emphasis is placed on the roles, values, and specific methods related to design practice, including (not limited to) case study analysis and evaluation; design typology; engaged research; research and development (e.g. prototyping); and design process. Course content is adaptable to student needs and interests. Restricted to Doctor of Design (D.Des) students; other advanced post-professional design students may enroll with permission of instructor. Although course content and instruction is predominantly online, the course requires one week of face-to-face intensive on-campus instruction and other activities before Fall term begins (TBA).

Restriction: Doctor of Design Students or other advanced students (PhD or other DDes programs off campus) may be enrolled by permission of instructor only.

Typically offered in Fall only

DDN 741  Case Study Analysis in Design  (3 credit hours)  

The case study method addresses the importance of learning how to learn as an essential element of professional growth as well as a means toward building a culture of reflective design practice. Case studies provide orientation and perspective on the complexity of design practice, both for novices and seasoned professionals. When closely examined, lessons learned from design processes and decision-making provide opportunities to build a body of professional knowledge. Course content is adaptable to student needs and interests. Restricted to Doctor of Design (D.Des) students; other advanced post-professional design students may enroll with permission of instructor. Although course content and instruction is predominantly online, the Fall course requires one week of face-to-face intensive on-campus instruction and other activities prior to the start of Fall term. The Spring course requires one week of face-to-face intensive on-campus instruction and other activities during Spring term (TBA).

Corequisite: DDN 740

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

DDN 771  Design as Cognitive Artifact  (3 credit hours)  

Relationship between theories of human cognition and design. Analysis and critique of design objects as cognitive artifacts and extension, transformation, or diminishing of human thought by their form and content. A critical examination of cognitive, linguistic and social science theories shaping design.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student, Design Majors, Corequisite: DDN 830 or 831

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

DDN 772  Design as Cultural Artifact  (3 credit hours)  

Recent theories in various disciplines concerning a cultural understanding of graphic design. Theories of mass and popular culture, critiques of creativity and authorial intentionality, influences of interpretive criticism, theories of consumption and issues of cultural representation. Emphasis on adaptation of these theories to an understanding of the cultural significance of graphic design. Non-majors by permission only.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student, Design Majors, Corequisite: DDN 830 or 831

Typically offered in Fall only

DDN 773  New Information Environments  (3 credit hours)  

Changing role of design in new information environments. Implications of new technology on social construction of meaning, impact of electronic media on culture and cognition, and differences in designing artifacts and designing interactions.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student, Design Majors, Corequisite: DDN 830 or 831

Typically offered in Spring only

DDN 779  Human Use of the Urban Landscape  (3 credit hours)  

Techniques for documenting and analyzing user needs at cite planning scale. Methods of integrating user needs into design programming in design and redesign projects. Community participation methods. Examples of best practice in design of user-intensive settings in residential, health, education and recreation. Principles of Universal Design. Fieldwork-oriented.

Typically offered in Spring only

DDN 795  Special Topics  (3-6 credit hours)  

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

DDN 809  Dissertation Colloquium  (1 credit hours)  

Prerequisite: Doctoral student in Design

Typically offered in Spring only

DDN 810  Special Topics  (1-6 credit hours)  
DDN 830  Independent Study  (1-3 credit hours)  

Typically offered in Fall and Spring

DDN 890  Doctoral Preliminary Examination  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students who are preparing for and taking written and/or oral preliminary exams.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student in Design

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

DDN 893  Doctoral Supervised Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Instruction in research and research under the mentorship of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student in Design

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

DDN 895  Doctoral Dissertation Research  (1-9 credit hours)  

Dissertation research.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student in Design

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer

DDN 896  Summer Dissertation Research  (1 credit hours)  

For graduate students whose programs of work specify no formal course work during a summer session and who will be devoting full time to thesis research.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student in Design

Typically offered in Summer only

DDN 899  Doctoral Dissertation Preparation  (1-9 credit hours)  

For students who have completed all credit hour, full-time enrollment, preliminary examination, and residency requirements for the doctoral degree, and are writing and defending their dissertations.

Prerequisite: Doctoral student in Design

Typically offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer