Student Programs


Students from any discipline may participate in Designmatters projects. Those who develop a passion for social impact design can become further involved through the Designmatters Concentration, Media Design Practices (a graduate major), and select Designmatters Fellowships.

Designmatters Concentration

A flexible course of study in design for social impact for ArtCenter undergraduate students

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Fellowship Program

A distinctive program sending top ArtCenter students to impact organizations to work on high-level projects

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Trandisciplinary Course offerings - Fall 2016

Future Craft - Japan + Thailand / Environmental Design Dept.

Fresh Eyes - Cuba / Graphic Design Dept.

Where's Daryl? Teaching Anti-Gun Violence / Interaction Design Dept.

Designing Social Enterprise / Humanities & Sciences Dept.

Resilient Coastal Cities / Environmental Design Dept.

Brandmatters / Humanities & Sciences Dept.

Upcoming Fellowships - Spring 2017

Long Beach Innovation Team (Long Beach, CA) / Spring '17

Ashoka U (Washington D.C.) / Spring '17

Los Angeles Innovation Team (Los Angeles, CA) / Spring '17

City of Santa Monica WellBeing Project (Santa Monica, CA) / Spring '17

Student Profiles


Faculty Profiles


Media Design Practices Field Track



Designmatters is a key partner of ArtCenter’s Media Design Practices graduate program through the Media Design Practices: Field track. This MFA offers graduate students the chance to design for social impact in a real-world context where social issues, media infrastructure and communication technology intersect. Students in the MDP: Field program are the changemakers who will bridge cultures and disciplines with empathy and integrity.

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MDP News


Media Design Practices at ArtCenter: Live Online Conversation with Graduate Students in MDP : 8/17

ArtCenter / August 2016

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15 Years of Impact: ArtCenter Media Design Practices Dept.

Anne Burdick / May 2016

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15 Years of Partnerships: UNICEF

Tina L. Zeng / March 2016

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Creative Karma: An Interview with verynice Founder Matthew Manos

HOW Magazine / January 2016

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Mari Nakano wins the Young Innovator Alumni Award from Designmatters ArtCenter College of Design

UNICEF Stories / December 2015

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“Though the fields of design, art, social work, advertising and journalism use different languages to describe their process, when we're at our best we're all trying to accomplish something similar: with every creative act, we push people in a purposeful, positive direction. We leave the world better than we started.”

Wendy MacNaughton, Illustration Alum & Faculty

MDP Alum Matt Manos speaks to Core77 about his design studio, @verynice. and his new consulting firm, Models of Impact

Core77 / December 2015

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MDP Alumnus Christopher Raykovich redesigns Microsoft’s Start identity for Windows 10

Liz Stinson / December 2015

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Mari Nakano: 2015 ArtCenter Young Innovator Alumni Award Recipient

December 2015

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