We teach the practice and theory of interaction design—designing products, services, and interactions to change human behavior and improve the world.
Our emphasis is on addressing humanitarian problems. We focus on problems that matter, and students learn to recontextualize design in the space of large-scale "wicked problems."
Founder Jon Kolko is recognized as a thought-leader in developing and advancing the role of interaction design in product development and social entrepreneurship. Our faculty are all world-class working practitioners.
Our program is affordable. Our annual tuition is just $18,000 for our one-year course, which runs 480 course hours. Compare this with other similar graduate programs that cost $60,000, $70,000, or even $80,000.
Our classes sizes are small, providing extensive face-time with professors and the opportunity to form lasting relationships with a growing support network.
We've developed a supportive, collaborative community of alumni to help current students succeed and to help one-another drive impact.
In a word, students who complete our program gain autonomy. This is a sense of entrepreneurial freedom—that your choices are not set or constrained, and that you have concrete skills to shape the world around you. These skills include qualitative research, synthesis and interpretation, sketching, the creation of storyboards and wireframes, entrepreneurial business modeling, service design blueprinting, and complex system diagramming. These skills represent the foundation of a career in product management, design strategy, interaction design, and social entrepreneurship.
More importantly, you'll gain an empathetic process and a unique, empathetic way of thinking about culture and technology. This process is broad, and can be used in corporate and consulting contexts, in startups or small businesses, and even in politics and government.
Design is for everyone, and our students have a variety of backgrounds. Some of our students are already designers, but most aren't. Our typical applicants have experience in marketing, engineering, fine arts, finance, or the service industry. Our program teaches design fundamentals in addition to advanced topics, in a rigorous, intense environment. There is no expectation that our students enter the program as designers; we take care of teaching that.
AC4D is a 480 course-hour program that runs from late August through early May.
Application for 2019-2020 will open on Oct 1, 2018. They are due by Jan 15, 2019.Learn more.
Our one year program costs $18,000. The first payment of $9,000 is due in the summer, prior to classes beginning, and the second payment is in January (at the half-way point).
AC4D is extraordinarily intense, time consuming and difficult. We’ve structured the program to include as much content and rich experience as possible and it requires a strong, formal commitment from students.
Meghan is an empathetic animal lover and people person that recently moved to Austin from Spring, Texas. She loves children, the Sims, and anything tropical. At a young age, Meghan asked for a box of 96 Crayola crayons—you know, the mega box every kid wanted—for Christmas and then proceeded to color code the entire box… for three years in a row. As Meghan got older, her passion for art grew, along with her Catholic faith. Through her work with her church’s children’s religious educatio...
I’ve gotten used to the multi-layered explanation of what it is I do, because design, interaction design, and social entrepreneurship usually get blank stares. I’ve found that in business and technology circles, describing my work as design strategy gets a slightly better reaction: while the other person has no idea what I’m talking about, they…
Last Sunday I was trying to brainstorm on my 5 business ideas that I needed to make Lean Canvases for. I had 2 ideas so far and wanted to brainstorm with fellow students. But I was at home. Was anyone at school? How could I know? And I thought, if only there was a Marauder’s…