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 $18,000 for our one-year course, which runs 480 course hours. Tuition assistance option is available upon acceptance to the program.
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 2020-2021 is now open. They are due by Jan 15, 2020. 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). Tuition assistance option is available upon acceptance to the program.
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.
Kade Schemahorn is a designer with experience tackling complex and messy problems. He enjoys working through high-level strategy as much as getting in the weeds. As an alum of AC4D, he believes in the power of design to drive the development of concepts that connect with people and that can lead to positive social impact. Today, he works with the team at Handsome in Austin, doing research and facilitating the design of products and services for a wide variety of clients. Bonus facts: K...
I’m advising a startup that’s in a fairly typical “starting” position: they have a team, a good idea of a high level topic (“We’re focusing on financial markets, not on baking bread”), and a series of product features that they know they want to include in the company. They have a timeframe for success, driven…
This week, Kyle, Lauren and I continued our research into “makers” working contract jobs with variable income. We examined the insights we crafted last quarter and began pushing ourselves to view our findings from more radical perspectives, so that we can discover new ways of thinking about the problems we face. We also re-examined some concept models we…