The Master of Design at York offers students an exceptional opportunity to hone and refine their skills as design leaders and innovators, developing and substantially expanding their creative potential. The two-year experience begins with coursework and culminates in a thesis project that reflects each student's personal direction for design practice.
Seven Core Courses to be completed by the end of the second term:
This seminar provides an overview of key theories and themes that form the foundation of contemporary critical design studies. Drawing on theories from a broad range of disciplines, it employs close readings of selected texts and works to explore design as a product, a practice, and a mode of social communication. Specific topics may vary with the instructor.
This course introduces students to a range of methodologies and strategies used to conduct research in graphic design. Students will be exposed to the relationship that exists between research as a practice-based activity and research as scholarly inquiry and will have the opportunity to engage in the research process through studio work, papers and presentations.
This studio course offers students opportunities to explore problems in graphic design, visual communication, information and interaction design. By emphasizing critical inquiry as a primary means for learning we will be setting the groundwork for the graduate thesis. Through making, reflection, collaboration, and critique, we will explore the underlying principles synthesizing theory and practice as necessary partners in design. We will look at the designer's role in the process of revealing and making meaning-as a mediator, and as an author, producer, integrating content and form across projects as visual expressions of the individual thesis investigation.
This course expands upon the advanced concepts introduced in Design Studio 1 GS/MDES 5108 (3.0) and offers students the opportunity to pursue issues with greater depth with an emphasis on more independently motivated exploration. Students work with a faculty member, producing design work with full supporting process documentation. Projects may be individual and/or collaborative. Students work with a faculty member, producing design work with full supporting process documentation. Projects may be individual and/or collaborative. Students, faculty and invited guests may attend critiques and student presentations. Spaces are open to qualified students not registered in Design.
[First term] The Graduate Seminar: Design is a core course for the graduate program, for both first and second year MDES students. All MDes students in both years of study come together on a regularly scheduled basis. The focus of the graduate seminar will be in the contemporary and future practice of design.
[Fourth term] The Graduate Seminar: Design is a core course for the graduate program, for both first and second year MDES students. All MDes students in both years of study come together on a regularly scheduled basis. The focus of the graduate seminar will be in the contemporary and future practice of design.
In order to encourage the development of an individual program of study, each student must select two electives (normally completed by the end of the fourth term). The first elective course may be chosen from:
MDes Elective Courses
This course examines contextual issues for communication design. Topics include technological innovation, social change, cultural values and behaviour, and business models. The course employs lectures, presentations and extensive readings.
Explores the storytelling abilities of motion design for broadcast and cinema using the temporal and sequential aspects of typography, image and sound. Work is created using both analog and digital methods, and is deliberately focused on using experimental techniques and graphic means to make graphic communication.
Integrated with undergraduate course FA/YSDN 4002 3.0
An advanced investigation into systems-intuitive and learned-that support human activities via interactive communication and distribution networks. An understanding of these communication/distribution methods working in reciprocal fashion from users to the computer and back, is presented.
Integrated with undergraduate course FA/YSDN 4003 3.0.
Offers an advanced level practicum course that explores the structuring of bound, print-oriented, long text information documents. The history, anatomy, and structural dynamics of the book are examined and the contemporary private and commercial press/publishing process of the printed book is investigated.
Integrated with undergraduate course FA/YSDN 4005 3.0.
Focuses on the design of a corporate identity system for an organization. The system will involve the design of graphic identifiers, typography, selected applications and supporting documents.
Integrated with undergraduate course FA/YSDN 4007 3.0.
Explores the affordances of both print and digital media for the application of information design principles and methodologies introduced and developed in earlier courses. This course will take an intra-disciplinary (print, interactivity, time-based, environmental) approach to researching and developing a comprehensive presentation of a site to be determined by each section.
Integrated with undergraduate course YSDN 4008 3.0.
Examines graphic design as a number of themes. It does not use writings on graphic design for study, but rather uses primary sources to enter territories conventionally used reserved for literary theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis, cultural studies and linguistics.
Integrated with undergraduate course YSDN 4110 3.0.
This course examines the impact of the performing arts on local communities.
Same as Communication & Culture 6112 3.0.
This course focuses on the role and significance of the rapid growth of multinational communication industries in shaping the modern world, with particular emphasis on the relationship between technology and the structures of power and control. Global communication systems, the global economy, and global crises are examined from a critical perspective.
Same as Communication & Culture 6303 3.0.
In recent years corporate leaders, government officials, and media pundits have portrayed the western restructured socioeconomic near-future as a 'digital' one, forefronting the centrality of digital technology and the digitization of information to the social, economic, and political changes currently sweeping Canada, as well as the rest of the OECD. In this course, we will examine the ways in which race and gender manifest in the discourses, policy decisions and representations of digital technology in Canada.
Same as Film 5320H 3.0, Women's Studies 6903 3.0, Communication & Culture 6511 3.0.
This reading and seminar course investigates some of the texts in the burgeoning study of society and technology that have inspired its major philosophical perspectives and frameworks of research. Sociocultural inquiry into new communication and information technologies frequently invokes one or another perspective grounded (selectively) in these texts; this course instead focuses on systematic comparison of the several distinct perspectives that characterize this area of study, with particular attention to their deployment in communication and culture research.
Same as Communication & Culture 6523 3.0.
The second elective core may be chosen from among the offerings of other graduate programs at York University (with permission from both programs), or from the list of MDes Elective Courses.
MDes Thesis Project and Presentation
The thesis research/creation project demonstrates mastery of design knowledge and process and is fully documented in a report, presenting the research, analysis, rationale, evaluation and other supporting material. Students pursue their thesis topic with a supervisory committee. The final thesis project and presentation are completed by the end of the fifth term.