Pacific Northwest College of Art Launches New MA in Design Systems

December 19, 2017


December 17, 2017 

Contact: Lisa Radon,

Pacific Northwest College of Art Launches New MA in Design Systems

Portland, OR—December 17, 2017— New for Fall 2018, Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies announces a new MA in Design Systems. This 40-credit program embraces the reality that all creative endeavors are embedded within complex systems: of design, relationships, hierarchies, production, power, collaboration, and competition. The MA in Design Systems was developed for the early- to mid-career creative who wants to master those systems, whether inside a firm, between organizations, or among multiple stakeholders. The program's faculty, mentors, partners, and participants share a vision where future creative leaders effect systemic change creating equitable, resilient, and profitable solutions for a changing world. The MA in Design Systems, chaired by Peter Schoonmaker, draws on the city of Portland, the Pacific Northwest, and the Pacific Rim as learning labs for design leaders to effect meaningful change.

Priority deadline for application to this program is February 1, 2018. The MA in Design Systems joins its sister program, the MFA in Collaborative Design program, a 60-credit program with a studio emphasis and a mentored capstone project. The MFA in Collaborative Design is tailored for early and mid-career creatives who wish to continue working while taking late afternoon and evening classes to up-level skills and aptitudes for a rapidly changing design environment. The program takes a critical and entrepreneurial approach to “wicked” problems such as resource depletion, emerging technologies, climate change, and global demographic shifts. These are two innovative programs for hybrid designers, strategists, ecologists, systems thinkers, sociologists, neuroscientists, attorneys, artists, and technologists who are committed to making a difference in the world.  

Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at PNCA  For over 100 years, Pacific Northwest College of Art has served as a creative center for artists and designers with an educational philosophy that emphasizes individualized curricula, independent inquiry, and cross-disciplinary exchange. The graduate programs of PNCA’s Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies are designed to support students as they grow and define a sustainable, engaged, and dynamic practice that will continue to evolve years after graduation. PNCA’s graduate programs are rooted in meaningful faculty-student relationships and close community, enhanced with mentors drawn from greater Portland, and expanded further still with visiting artists, curators, and scholars. Located in the heart of Portland, PNCA is in the center of a progressive and affordable urban center known for its independent spirit, innovative mindset, and creative industries.

Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies / MA in Critical Studies / MFA in Applied Craft + Design (with Oregon College of Art and Craft) / MFA in Collaborative Design/MA in Design Systems / MFA in Print Media / MFA in Visual Studies

About Pacific Northwest College of Art

Pacific Northwest College of Art empowers artists and designers to reimagine what art and design can do in the world. Founded in 1909 as the Museum Art School in Portland, Oregon, PNCA offers ten art and design Bachelor of Fine Art programs, seven graduate programs including Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs within the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies, a Post-Baccalaureate program, and Community Education courses for artists and designers of all ages.