bdes, interdisciplinary DESIGN

NSCAD offers a unique approach to design education through its interdisciplinary design program which equips students with the skills and knowledge to practice design across many disciplines, which include but are not limited to: graphic, interactive and product design.

Division: Design
Degree: Bachelor of Design
Program: Major in Interdisciplinary Design 

Program Length: 4 years (see Degree Requirements)

Campus: North Block, Fountain Campus

Admission Deadline: March 1 for September; October 1 for January

Design takes a distinctly collaborative, interdisciplinary and process-oriented approach and as such the Bachelor of Design in Interdisciplinary Design degree program explores a range of service- and product-based outcomes that fuse human factors, technology and aesthetics. You will gain a variety of skills including analytical and imaginative thinking, drawing, photography, digital visualization techniques, typography, and an understanding of production processes. By focusing on creative and conceptual skills you will learn to communicate and solve problems across a broad range of media and contexts. You will create logos, information graphics, wayfinding systems, visual identity systems, book design, magazines, websites, information systems, advertisements, tools, furniture and solutions that don’t exist yet. Critical thinking and the expression of imagination are equally important.

Graduates of NSCAD University’s major in interdisciplinary design have successful careers in design firms and advertising agencies. Many advance to become art/creative directors or establish their own design company. A design mindset is also advantageous in fields such as marketing, public relations, the pure and applied sciences, health and public policy.

What Our Interdisciplinary Design Students Can Expect

– The Division of Design offers general studio space to first and second-year students. Third and fourth year students have access to secure 24-hour studios with individual workstations and WIFI Internet. The Multimedia Centre and the Design Printshop are service centers for all design students. Fabrication facilities, including a metal shop, woodshop, and rapid prototyping (3D printer) are available at the Port Campus.

– A faculty of accomplished designers, scholars and educators.

– Graduating interdisciplinary design students plan and install an end-of-year exhibition to launch their work and publish a corresponding catalogue.

Featured Courses

Creativity in Design Practice

Creativity in Design Practice: What is design? This foundation course brings together theory and practice to explore the spectrum of design, that embraces different approaches to designing that are rooted in principles and values. Through thinking, saying, doing and making students are introduced to creative practice from a design perspective.

Digital Illustration

Digital Illustration: In this course, students learn the concepts and practices of digital illustration, combined with hand drawing. Students learn that vector-based software can be a powerful tool in refining and enhancing a strong concept. Emphasis is placed on clean and consistent presentation of their work.

Intercultural Communication and Design

Intercultural Communication and Design: The global reach of design has created the expectation for designers to perform in collaborative, intercultural professional contexts. This course offers a critical exploration of intercultural competence as it intersects with semiotics, user-centred design, and the relationships between research and practice. Through course readings, hands-on projects, and writing, language is reframed as a key tool for ideation, creation, and reflection.

Designing Smart Objects

Almost every modern device that employs electricity – from personal devices like smartphones, to appliances like toasters and washing machines, to automobiles and industrial machinery and worldwide networks – has microcontrollers in common. These tiny computers make inexpensive sophisticated interfaces possible, connecting sensors, LEDs, LCDs to actuators, other microcontrollers and humans. This course introduces designers to the Arduino Integrated Design Environment. Students will learn how to develop programs on Arduino devices, how electricity works and how to connect and orchestrate these functions so that they make sense to users through UI/UX best practices.

Please visit the Academic Calendar for a description of all courses available during your undergraduate studies.

Student Work