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International Elite: UC Among World’s Top 30 Design Programs

BusinessWeek is out this week with its annual ranking of the international elite in design education. The University of Cincinnati is once again on the “A-List” of design programs.

Date: 10/2/2009 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Lisa Ventre and Ashley Kempher

UC ingot   This week’s BusinessWeek magazine online contains a special report on the globe’s premier design schools.

The University of Cincinnati’s School of Design, and specifically the master’s degree offered in the school, is once again on that select list – joined by a handful of leading design programs in London, New York, Milan, Helsinki, Beijing, Hong Kong and other cities.
Design students at work in the Live Well studio.
Design students at work in UC's Live Well studio.

BusinessWeek began its design rankings in 2006 in recognition that design thinking nurtures creative techniques in business and that a generation of design-savvy business leaders (and business-savvy design leaders) would serve as global game changers.

The magazine compiled its most recent list by gathering information on programs; interviewing administrators, professors and graduates; and consulting with industry and academic leaders about the very best programs that

  • Teach both design and business
  • Emphasize design’s strategic role in business
  • Significantly bridge disciplines such as design, business and technology

That review process singled out UC design, housed within the university’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), and its master of design which requires that students take mandatory classes in strategy and research methods, with electives in science, engineering, business and anthropology.

Importantly, the program allows students to gain an edge via UC’s Live Well Collaborative, which operates in the university’s Center for Design Research & Innovation, to conduct research and corporate partnership projects with national industry that focus on the needs of America’s aging population.
Design students at work in the Live Well studio.
UC design students at work.

In other words, it’s the kind of program that produces future innovators as well as design thinkers and leaders.

That’s because “DAAP has an extensive and supportive network of industry and institutional partners. We provide an innovative and rigorous studio-based curriculum interwoven with required professional practice and experiential learning,” according to Robert Probst, DAAP dean.

Craig Vogel, professor of design and director of the Center for Design Research and Innovation at UC, explained, "The graduate program in design is continuing to expand its global network of schools and companies and is also working on interdisciplinary research initiatives with other disciplines at UC. This is in combination with the strong design and corporate brand culture in the city of Cincinnati, which gives the program a unique context for maintaining a vital dialogue with emerging issues in practice."

  • Read about BusinessWeek’s 2007 rankings, which prominently featured UC in accompanying coverage.
  • Apply to UC’s masters of design program.