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College of Design


Collaborative Community “We’re one of the most comprehensive art and design colleges in the world. We develop the physical, cognitive and emotional interfaces between humans and the environment and humans with each other. In this environment, students learn to collaborate to solve complex problems, merging the poetic and the pragmatic in our lives.” – Luis Rico-Gutierrez, Dean

Art and design are powerful activities. They shape the way we relate to one other and the world around us. Artists and designers create a culture and environment vital to our quality of life.

positioned to address important challenges; through collaboration, we capitalize on our complementary skills and perspectives to produce richer and more interesting outcomes.

Iowa State University is home to one of the most comprehensive art and design colleges in the world. Everything you see, every minute of every day, is likely the product of disciplines that live, work and play together under “one roof” — the ISU College of Design. With our breadth and depth of knowledge we are uniquely

As artists and designers, we view our differences as opportunities to engage, understand and learn from one another. We work together to question the current context and imagine the future. We invite you to share your experiences, your ideas and your energy as a graduate student in the College of Design.


Breadth & Depth in Graduate Design Education The College of Design’s graduate curricula are designed to advance your approaches to art making and design thinking. As one of the nation’s most comprehensive institutions for art and design education, we offer an impressive array of disciplines under one collegiate roof, providing connections with a strong, multidisciplinary network of innovators and entrepreneurs. Our programs prepare you to become a creative and critical thinker, a competent practitioner and a culturally aware global citizen through art, design and planning. You will engage with and learn from some of the most renowned art and design faculty in the world and have the opportunity to explore and advance your skills through hands-on instruction and crossdisciplinary interaction.



We are proud to be housed within a land-grant institution, and our curricula echo Iowa State’s outreach mission. Our students and faculty work with communities and leaders locally, nationally and globally to elevate the arts, promote sustainability and champion social change. Our studio method, research focus and interdisciplinary approach make us Iowa State’s center for creative discovery and unconstrained design thinking. Take advantage of our state-ofthe-art production and fabrication facilities to turn your ideas into reality.

Research Research in the College of Design reflects the diversity of programs, interests and expertise within the college. Design itself is also an investigative process that differs in many ways from more familiar laboratory or other research approaches. Graduate students have the opportunity to engage in faculty-directed and self-initiated research projects to create novel products and spaces, enhance environments and improve experiences and interactions, among a wide array of options. Specific research groups in the College of Design focus on quality of life and the built environment; youth and the built environment; data visualization and visual problem solving; ideation; sketch-to-shelf lifecycle; design coding and parametrics; and spatial analysis and design. College research facilities include the Center for Building Energy Research (CBER), Geographic Information Systems Support and Research Facility (GISF), Community Design Lab (CDL), Computation and Construction Lab (CCL) and Kies Sponsored Research Lab.

E N G A G E I N FA C U LT Y- D I R E C T E D & S E L F- I N I T I AT E D R E S E A R C H



Programs of Study Architecture

MArch, MS

Community & Regional Planning

MCRP 10-13

Graphic Design


Industrial Design

MID 18-21

Integrated Visual Arts

MFA 22-25

Interior Design

MFA, MA, First-Professional MA

Landscape Architecture

MLA 30-33

Sustainable Environments

MDesSE 34-37

Urban Design

MUD 38-41








Architecture MArch / MS The Department of Architecture offers an accredited, professional Master of Architecture (MArch) and a research-oriented Master of Science (MS) in Architecture. The three-year, 100-credit MArch accepts applicants with undergraduate degrees in any field and provides an intensive education in architectural design, culture, history, science and technology. If you have professional experience or an exceptional undergraduate portfolio, you may be granted advanced standing, meaning you could complete the MArch in two years. The 30-credit MS is open to applicants with undergraduate or graduate degrees in any field and provides the infrastructure for you to pursue advanced research under the guidance of a faculty member, resulting in a thesis.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Study Abroad

Our program is intentionally compact; you’ll interact with a cohort of 10-20 students during your studies. We emphasize interdisciplinary and collaborative projects, offering studios and courses with other disciplines in the College of Design and opportunities to engage with peers within and outside architecture. Options are available for double degrees with Urban Design (MUD), Sustainable Environments (MDesSE), Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) and Business (MBA).

You’ll have opportunities to study abroad with the College of Design Rome Program; the Beckman Scholars China Study Abroad Program, an exchange program with Tongji University and firms employing our alumni in Shanghai; and the Berlin Summer Academy, a five-week joint program with other US and German universities. You may also develop your own study abroad program with an approved university during your final year.

Faculty Interaction

Upon receiving the MArch, you’ll be eligible for the licensure process through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and, after successfully completing your Intern Development Program and passing the Architectural Registration Exam, may become a licensed architect. The MS prepares students for future work in a PhD program.

Our faculty’s range of expertise — from urban design to cultural criticism to energy efficiency to historic construction — gives a broad overview of the profession while allowing you to gain greater insight and experience in your particular areas of interest. In our hands-on program, you’ll work directly with faculty in studios, seminars and laboratories and on building sites. Ours is a genuine community of designers, thinkers and learners who value teamwork; you’ll teach one another during your time at Iowa State.

Licensure & Future Study


Student Features Saranya Panchaseelan BArch, Architecture, Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India, 2014 Saranya chose Iowa State over other universities in the US and abroad because of the flexible curriculum, the focus on sustainability and the number of electives available. It was also the most affordable. “I wanted to study in another country and I was interested in a lot of different things. One of my key criteria when applying to a grad program was that it allowed for exploration both within and outside my major,” she said. To complement her architecture coursework, Saranya has taken furniture design and interior design classes that have broadened her perspective of the design professions. During a summer internship with BNIM’s Des Moines office, she worked on a museum project, which led her to take a museum design studio at ISU. She appreciates the


opportunity to go where her interests lead. Saranya also serves as president of the Graduate Students in Architecture club, which organizes firm visits, fundraising events and social activities, including the annual Beaux Arts Ball. “Iowa State is different in that it’s focused less on production and more on helping you understand what you’re doing, having time with your work and processing it so you become a practical, critical thinker. I think that’s the most important thing for an architect.” Saranya and Shawn Barron won the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s inaugural Student Research Competition, which funded research examining the impact of “glass box” skyscraper design in the post-Depression era on tall building performance over time.

Shawn Barron BArch, Architecture, South Dakota State University, 2015 Before attending grad school at Iowa State, the largest city Shawn had lived in was his hometown of fewer than 200,000 people — Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Through the Department of Architecture’s Beckman Scholars China Study Abroad Program, he spent six months living, studying and working in Shanghai — with more than 24 million residents, one of the largest cities in the world. “The semester I was away from campus, my ISU peers took an urban design studio. Being in Shanghai was a chance to experience urban design first hand. In the past 30 years the city has grown faster than anyone knew how to deal with, resulting in a lot of amazing technologies that developed without the bureaucratic red tape, such as an incredible bike-share network.”

Taking advantage of his location in Asia, Shawn also visited cities in Japan and South Korea, as well as several others in China, noting the differences in architecture and culture. “The value in traveling is you start to see what people value and question if the way you see things is the best way. I now have this really wide spectrum of experience to compare and contrast my clean, comfortable Midwestern town with these chaotic but exciting Eastern metropolises.” Shawn’s international adventures — including a recent field trip to Panama City, Panama — have him considering a move to a big global city after graduation. “Wherever I go, I want to work somewhere that’s innovative, that’s testing new ideas and pushing limits.”





Community & Regional Planning MCRP The Department of Community and Regional Planning offers an accredited, professional Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) with areas of concentration in transportation planning, food systems planning, geographic information systems, economic development, small town planning, urban design and environmental planning. You may also develop your own area of concentration in consultation with your major professor. Our two-year, 48-credit graduate program is open to applicants with undergraduate degrees in any field. Those who hold a bachelor’s degree in planning or have taken highly relevant coursework may be able to waive up to 9 credits of course requirements.

Double Degrees

Faculty Expertise

Options are available for double degrees with Architecture (MArch), Business (MBA), Landscape Architecture (MLA), Sustainable Agriculture (MS), Sustainable Environments (MDesSE) and Urban Design (MUD), as well as graduate certificates in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Preservation and Cultural Heritage. We also offer an online master’s degree in Community Development (MS) and participate in the interdepartmental master’s in Transportation (MS).

You’ll work closely with faculty with expertise in areas including community economic development, housing policy, land-use law, public finance, historic preservation and cultural resource management, regional planning, international development planning, spatial analysis, geogames for civic engagement, disaster mitigation and recovery, resilient cities and social justice. You’ll also have the opportunity to complete an independent research project of your own design.

Experiential Learning


Recognized by Planetizen as a top graduate program, our MCRP degree prepares you to be a leader in the practice of planning with the ability to understand and articulate complex community issues and apply planning knowledge in diverse settings. We emphasize experiential learning through community, government and nonprofit partnerships, outreach projects and graduate internships.

Upon receiving the MCRP and gaining at least two years of professional planning experience, you’ll be eligible for certification through the American Institute of Certified Planners. You’ll be fully prepared for a career in planning, urban and regional governance and a wide range of related activities.


Student Features Daria Kuznetsova BArch, Architecture, 2015, and MArch, Architecture, 2017 Kharkiv National University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Ukraine Like many cities affected by military conflict, Daria’s hometown — Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine — has seen damage to buildings and infrastructure. During her graduate studies in architecture, she became interested in city planning and community development, particularly in rebuilding areas destroyed by human-inflicted and natural disasters. Daria came to Iowa State on the Fulbright Foreign Student Program “to make my view a little bit wider and learn about different environmental and city planning policies and processes,” she said. She enjoys the proximity to Des Moines, “a real example of a growing city” with opportunities to work on projects that are “not just theoretical but allow us to understand


how to apply what we’re learning in real-life situations.” As an international student, Daria appreciates the “helpful and engaging” atmosphere in the College of Design. “Having a lot of other international students and faculty around makes me feel comfortable. This multinational environment makes it much easier to adjust to a new culture and educational system. I know I’m not alone.” Daria hopes to find an internship in a city planner’s or manager’s office to gain more experience with policy analysis and planning. “I want to learn as much as I can so when I return to Ukraine, I will be able to share my experience and knowledge.”

Maritza Pierre BS, Biology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2013 An interest in rural development led Maritza to Iowa State, where she is enrolled in the Master of Community and Regional Planning and Master of Science in Sustainable Agriculture double-degree program. Concerned with the environmental degradation and food insecurity she has witnessed at home in Haiti, Maritza wants to find ways to resolve such issues there and in other developing countries. “The classes I take along with the interaction I have with other students in both programs fuels my desire to do sustainability work related to the food system,” she said. “I can explore many different topics and interact with people with a wide variety of expertise. I’m able to take something from all of them and craft my own little niche. In our planning studio, we get hands-on experience working with local

stakeholders and jurisdictions. When I graduate, I know I will have plenty of career options.” Maritza served one term as co-president of the Sustainable Agriculture Student Association and is now on the board of the Women, Food and Agriculture Network, which supports women engaged in sustainable agriculture and the creation of healthy, local food systems. She spent part of summer 2017 collecting data for her master’s thesis on the relationship between gender, farmers’ perceptions and agroforestry practices in Haiti. She received the Burgess Graduate Scholarship, the International Studies in Sustainable Livelihoods Graduate Student Travel Award and the Global Funding for Graduate Students scholarship to help fund the research.




Graphic Design MFA / MA The Department of Graphic Design offers an accredited, professional Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Graphic Design geared toward applicants with undergraduate graphic design degrees or equivalent relevant experience, and a Master of Arts (MA) with a specialization in Graphic Design for students with no prior formal training in the field.

Innovation & Engagement Our graduate programs are not about replication — they’re about innovation. We seek students who are curious about the world and dare to question. We believe design has power, and power should be used to make the world a better place. We embrace Iowa State’s land-grant mission: Engaging with communities is part of our DNA. Through our programs, you’ll become

an adaptive thinker, agile in your ability to apply your skills and understanding in the ever-evolving world of graphic design.

environments, objects and electronic and traditional publications.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

As graphic design expands, it often requires an interdisciplinary approach with areas such as computer science, computer engineering, human-computer interaction, technical writing and business, among others. Many students with backgrounds in these disciplines, but no formal training in graphic design, are seeking a second, master’s-level degree in graphic design to complement their existing degrees.

The MFA is recognized as the terminal degree in graphic design; it qualifies you for academic faculty positions, substantially enhances other job opportunities and prepares you to run your own design practice. In our three-year, 64-credit program, you’ll become adept in the use of visual language, symbology and interaction. You’ll work collaboratively with faculty on a required thesis that integrates theory, creation, research and design problem solving. Upon completing your degree, you’ll be proficient in the design of communications and the use of technologies that incorporate human interaction with

Master of Arts (MA)

Our one-year, 30-credit MA with a specialization in Graphic Design fulfills this role as a firstprofessional degree for those with no previous experience. You can also use it to complement an undergraduate degree in graphic design or a related area with additional, graduate-level study prior to entering the profession.


Faculty Feature Anson Call Associate Professor What are your research interests? My current research looks at the relationship between image making and storytelling. Typically, an author will write something and an artist will illustrate it after the story is completed. I’m both author and illustrator; I write and create imagery/animation in the science fiction genre. What’s different about my approach is that I visualize everything first, and then I develop the narrative as I decide how the characters in the story interact with and relate to the environment I’ve created. What project are you working on now? My first science fiction book, The Heroes of Blackworld, was published in 2016. I’m working on a new one where most of the story takes place on a military airship, so I made a very detailed model of it inside and out. Once I had the space defined, it was easy to tell a story


within that context. And if the story evolves so that the visuals need to change, I can go back and revise them. There’s a constant interplay between the text and the images; you arrive at a place you never would have reached if you hadn’t explored it that way. How do your interests influence your teaching and vice versa? I teach an augmented reality course on how to create things digitally and marry them with the real world. For example, we can track images with our phones and the images can be associated with 3D objects. My next book will have an AR companion so that readers can view ship diagrams as illustrations, then use their phones to see 3D versions of the diagrams. It’s a new way of storytelling. I’ll take that and put it back into the classroom.

Student Feature Alix Collins BFA, Graphic Design, Iowa State University, 2016 Although she’s always enjoyed research and writing, Alix never would have considered attending graduate school without encouragement from Senior Lecturer Cheri Ure. As the director of graduate education, Associate Professor Paul Bruski allowed her to teach during her first semester, and she’s now taught six different classes, from introductory courses in software, materials and processes to the junior graphic design studio and a collaborative outreach studio. Alix chose Assistant Professor Alex Braidwood as her major professor “to push me as a designer and help me contribute something new to the field. I loved print before, so stepping into the world of digital media and design with my thesis has been intimidating,” she said. “He and the other faculty have been very supportive and

enthusiastic, which makes me more confident in what I’m doing.” For her thesis project, Alix examined how smartphone usage affects romantic relationships and established a system called Rapport that allows partners to monitor and limit their phone use. She designed a device partners can plug into their phones; it opens in the system settings with different modes that help them manage their usage. She also created a workbook they can use to assess their usage and set goals for making changes. She’ll document her research and the design of her project in a written manuscript. In addition to her MFA, Alix will receive a certificate in Human Computer Interaction. A native of Ottumwa, she plans to stay in Iowa and teach at the college or university level.




Industrial Design MID

disciplines. Ties to the College of Engineering, College of Business and industry collaborators allow for unique degree specializations.

The Department of Industrial Design offers a Master of Industrial Design (MID) centered on the creation and application of new knowledge to advance design processes and approaches. With an emphasis on strategy, design thinking and innovation, the two-year, 48-credit program provides a significant mix of skills and experiences, including faculty-directed research projects, internships, international travel, industry-sponsored coursework and design teaching opportunities.

Degree Specializations The MID is open to applicants with undergraduate degrees in design and/or engineering or relevant industry experience. Located in one of the most comprehensive design colleges in the nation, our graduate program facilitates integration of methodologies and skill sets from multiple

Research Concentrations Graduate research focuses on three main areas: • Innovation through Design • Design as Strategy • Human-Centered Design

Global Approaches You can explore advanced concepts in such areas as extended manufacturer responsibility, supply chain and logistics, international vendor relations, advanced materials and biopolymers, alternative business models and more. You can also expand your understanding of global design issues and approaches through study abroad with the College of Design Rome Program and our exchange program with KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, as well as opportunities offered by individual academic departments and other universities.

Faculty Expertise Our faculty have extensive expertise in design thinking, innovative design theory, humancentered research methods, cultural and societal challenges, product realization, design management, eco-design, social responsibility and entrepreneurship. Applicants identify the specific research area they wish to focus on and faculty member(s) they wish to work with. The MID program helps you link design research and practice, aiming to maximize the impact of design on people, business and technology.

Integrated Skills Upon completing your MID, you’ll be prepared to investigate the innovation drivers in industry, explore new design processes to improve design practice and education, analyze societal and business cultures and offer new approaches led by design. These integrated skills are crucial to the rapidly changing demands and needs of our society, business and education systems.


Faculty Feature Tejas Dhadphale Assistant Professor


What are your research and teaching interests? I teach design research methods and design thinking methods to help students better understand user needs and the role of design in everyday life. Through my own research, I also study these methods and measure whether they’re effective or not.

What are the strengths of the MID program? The new product development process we offer is based on current industry practices. We have faculty members with diverse expertise in different phases of new product development. We provide students with theoretical frameworks and methodological tools to succeed in industry and academia.

Designers are agents of cultural change; we put something into the world that’s going to change the way people behave, the emotions they have, even the values they hold. How can we create culturally appropriate design that not only sustains a culture but enriches it? Looking at design through a cultural lens might also solve some of our sustainability issues; how can we ensure that those objects have higher emotional attachment, longer lifespans and end up in landfills much later than other comparable products?

Our program is flexible and small enough to provide meaningful interaction with faculty and peers. If you’re interested in design management and leadership, we’ll prepare you for that. If you want to pursue an academic career, we’ll help you do that. Our sponsored studios offer real-world experience; they’re extremely fast-paced, and the way our faculty teach them is comparable to industry. You get to practice all the skills you’ll need to be successful in the field.

Student Feature Aziza Cyamani BCDes, Creative Design with Media Design Specialization, University of Rwanda, 2013 With interests in industrial design and teaching, Aziza found a way to combine her passions as an MID student at Iowa State. “The US has high-end fabrication and manufacturing capabilities, whereas in Rwanda low-tech practices are more common and there aren’t as many manufacturing companies. I feel fortunate to have access to innovative technologies and be able to contribute directly to global market trends,” she said. Aziza has been a teaching assistant for the industrial design “Portfolio and Professional Practice” class and the college’s freshman Core design studio. “I enjoy getting students engaged and inspired, and helping them build their confidence, skill level and knowledge of design,” she said. She is also part of the university’s Preparing Future Faculty program.

Classes in Sustainable Environments led Aziza to explore the intersection of design and sustainability for her thesis, which looks at integrating sustainability in design education in developing countries. As part of her research, she conducted a participatory design workshop in her former department at the University of Rwanda. She also did an internship with the Boston-based nonprofit MASS Design Group in Rwanda. “I’ve been able to tailor my program to fit what I want to do,” she said. “The faculty have a lot of experience, and if something isn’t addressed within the department, there are sponsored projects, workshops and lectures with industry professionals and visiting scholars who bring different perspectives. You’re always exposed to something new, and whatever your area of interest is, you will find your place.”


E X H I B I T YO U R W O R K & E N G A G E W I T H T H E A R T S C O M M U N I T Y 24

Integrated Visual Arts MFA The Department of Art and Visual Culture offers the professional Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Integrated Visual Arts, a 60-credit program of integrative, interdisciplinary study among a combination of areas: ceramics, computer applications, drawing, illustration, furniture design, jewelry/metalsmithing, painting, photography, printmaking, textiles, new media and areas outside of art and design.

Close Collaboration You’ll collaborate with peers and faculty from around the world who represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds, approaches and professional activities. Our faculty are actively engaged artists who enjoy learning from each other and from you.

You’ll develop a personal visual language, refine your media skills and work on projects that address social and environmental concerns within a global context. You’ll produce a body of work that demonstrates a high level of creative investigation and accomplishment, and you’ll learn how to communicate effectively about your work.

Facilities Our facilities include dedicated studios and equipment to support all of our media areas as well as access to computing, rapid prototyping and other technology within the College of Design. Our Design on Main facility in downtown Ames provides additional studio and exhibition space. Our innovative curriculum allows you to explore and expand on the links between the visual arts and other disciplines in the college and beyond.

Community Engagement We strive to enhance the social and built environment and make a positive impact on communities in Iowa. You’ll have opportunities to engage in projects that promote sustainable art practice, community participation, youth action and partnerships with local organizations. You also have the option to pursue a double degree in Sustainable Environments (MDesSE).

Creative Direction Upon completing your MFA, you’ll have a professional level of technical proficiency in one or more media areas; an informed creative philosophy and a skill set that provide a foundation for teaching studio courses at the university level; and a fully realized creative direction that provides a platform for continued professional research and visual expression.


Faculty Feature Christine Carr Assistant Professor What is unique about your “stacked” photography classes? The ArtIS 329, 429 and 529 courses all meet at the same time and have critiques at the same time, but they do different projects. I introduce 35mm, medium-format and large-format cameras and film across the three classes, which work together in the darkroom, learn together and support each other. I also introduce color, digital and scanning techniques. Based on their interests and skill levels, graduate students can take whatever course they want to or work independently on their own projects. All of the students bring something to the table and benefit through shared experimentation. Everything they’re learning can be applied to both analog and digital equipment and processes — the art of seeing, operating a camera, making images, communicating visually.


What project are you working on? A lot of my work relates to issues of impermanence, and human impact on the environment and landscape. My “In the Air” project is a photographic exploration of airborne particles — both natural, like clouds and fog, and human made, like smoke and smog. I’m fascinated by the ephemeral quality of things like dust and vapor going into the air and dissipating. Where do they go? What effect do they have on the atmosphere and on our health? I now have about 3,000 photos. I’m submitting the “greatest hits” to juried shows, but I also want to publish a book. I used my Jentel Artist Residency to start editing the images down to a sequence and thinking about the story I want to tell. I’ve applied to additional fellowships and residencies to develop the project and make it distinctive.

Student Feature Taylor Carlson BFA, Graphic Design and English, Iowa State University, 2014 Taylor is one half of the professional collaborative known as Bictori. With alumna Stefanie Dao (BFA 2012 Integrated Studio Arts / MFA 2014 Integrated Visual Arts), she created the comic Knocking on the Sky, which the pair sells online, at conventions and at comic book shops in California and Iowa. Taylor worked on the inaugural issue as an undergraduate through an independent study with Professor Chuck Richards, a children’s book author and illustrator who developed the sequential narrative curriculum in the Department of Art and Visual Culture. “Chuck has been the biggest mentor for me. I don’t fit nicely in either graphic design or the fine arts, and I had a lot of well-meaning people tell me I should just pick one and stop doing both,” Taylor said.

“Chuck met me where I was and said, ‘I don’t know a lot of what you’re doing, but I’m the best-suited faculty to help you.’ I really appreciate that, and the flexibility of the integrated visual arts program.” As an IVA student, Taylor continues to work with Chuck on her comic and as a teaching assistant for the “Sequential Narrative” and “Character and Scene Design” courses as well as the “Design Representation” class for first-year undergraduates. “I was surprised to enjoy teaching, but it’s fun to help students who are not confident in their drawing skills, or who have a poor opinion of themselves, become competent and confident. After grad school, I plan to pursue collegiate teaching jobs while continuing my studio work.”




Interior Design MFA / MA The Department of Interior Design offers three graduate degrees: the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Interior Design; the Master of Arts (MA) in Art and Design with a specialization in Interior Design; and the first-professional Master of Arts (MA) in Interior Design. In each of these programs, you’ll develop a broadly-based understanding of contemporary interior design, including the role of human factors, problem-solving methods, design research and theory.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) The MFA is a terminal, post-professional degree emphasizing advanced creative achievement. Our 60-credit program, which can be completed in as few as five semesters, emphasizes formal theoretical, technical and methodological preparation for the design of

interior spaces. You’ll develop proficiency in visual communications, design theory, space planning and other significant aspects of the field. This degree program culminates with a thesis-exhibition of a major design work or written thesis of original research.

preparation with advanced design analysis and research options. Expect to complete up to 40 hours of preparatory coursework in addition to the 34 graduate credits required for the postprofessional MA degree.

Post-Professional Master of Arts (MA)

You’ll work with faculty whose expertise includes hospitality design, historic preservation, contemporary design practice, space optimization and efficiency, environmental navigation and wayfinding, building information modeling, design communication and visualization, as well as highly specialized areas like Beaux Arts Classicism, the application of “pattern languages” to design, healthcare design education and others.

Focused on interior design research, this 34-credit program is open to applicants with an undergraduate degree in interior design or a substantially equivalent discipline. It includes a studio concentration and work in research methods, design methods and human factors. You’ll focus your research on an area of specialization, culminating in a written thesis. The degree prepares you for special analytical aspects of design practice or to pursue further studies here or elsewhere.

First-Professional Master of Arts (MA) Geared toward applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree in another discipline, this graduate program combines entry-level interior design

Faculty Expertise

Certification Upon receiving one of our master’s degrees and gaining specific interior design experience, you’ll be eligible for the certification process through the Council for Interior Design Qualification. Passing the NCIDQ Examination is required for the practice of many types of interior design in regulated jurisdictions throughout North America.


Alumni Feature Josh Kassing BArch, Architecture, 2014, and MFA, Interior Design, 2016 Creative Director, Mary Cook Associates, Chicago, Illinois Why did you choose to pursue graduate study in a different major at Iowa State? Architecture is great for macro-scale thinking, but I really wanted the opportunity to investigate the human scale through interior design — how does it feel to be in a space and how do we craft those spaces to better the human experience? Getting teaching experience while continuing my education was also really important. I taught the Design Studies 102 studio all four semesters during my grad program. I liked working with younger students and helping them develop their own design thinking process. Describe your career trajectory. Immediately after graduate school, I joined Skidmore, Owings + Merrill in Chicago as an architectural assistant working on a variety of domestic and international commercial projects. Next I was a designer for the Gettys


Group, a global hotel design, development and branding firm where I designed dozens of luxury hospitality projects. Now I’m the creative director for Mary Cook Associates, a national residential and commercial interior design firm. My goal is to become the director of design, responsible for the direction and implementation of all design projects within the firm. What motivates and influences your work? I’m a social person, so I like spaces that promote social interaction and that people want to return to. At Mary Cook, we’re proposing not only a design but a lifestyle and an experience, so we need to know our clients well, or our clients’ clients. It’s a huge source of inspiration for me to investigate what a person needs to have a particular experience and create that moment when they realize this is something more special than their everyday.

Student Feature Jamie Osmundson BA, French and Textiles & Apparel, University of Northern Iowa, 2005 A Des Moines native, Jamie now lives in Ames with her husband, Branon, and their two young daughters. She initially enrolled in the firstprofessional MA in Interior Design program at Iowa State to fulfill her love for design and fashion by learning to create amazing interior spaces. “I wanted a job that would be flexible and fulfilling and help me support my family,” she said. An interest in teaching led Jamie to move into the MFA in Interior Design program. She is a teaching assistant for the college’s freshman Core design studio and also manages the Interior Design Resource Room.

“The first two classes I took in interior design introduced me to hand drafting and computer rendering. It was challenging but exciting to gain new skills and discover what I was capable of creating. As an MFA student in the integrative design studio, I learned to work with architects to design projects that perform efficiently while providing a seamless user experience. It’s probably the most real-life situation you could have while in college.” Jamie is grateful for the flexibility of the graduate program, which has allowed her to work toward her master’s degree while raising a family. After graduation, she plans to apply for a non-tenuretrack university teaching position.




Landscape Architecture MLA Midwest Focus

The Department of Landscape Architecture offers an accredited, professional Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) open to applicants with undergraduate degrees in any field. The three-year, 82-credit program provides a skillsbased education with three topical concentration tracks: Theory/Urbanism, Technology/Ecology and Advocacy/Community. You’ll determine your concentration in one of these three tracks in consultation with your major professor. You can tailor your program of study with electives from landscape architecture as well as interdisciplinary course offerings in other College of Design departments. Opportunities are available for double degrees in Community and Regional Planning (MCRP), Sustainable Environments (MDesSE) and Urban Design (MUD), as well as a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

In our close-knit graduate program, you’ll work with a cohort of 10-12 students from a variety of educational backgrounds. We place a strong emphasis on Midwest landscapes and people, plant technology, community design and outreach, social and environmental justice, historic preservation, and design for special populations and age groups.

Faculty Expertise Our faculty’s expertise — from community disaster recovery to landscape urbanism, from historic landscapes to green infrastructure, from the landscapes of play to landscape computing — demonstrates the breadth of the profession and prepares you to practice landscape architecture in a wide variety of settings.

Research & Outreach

restoration, community design and engagement, computation and coding, contemporary landscape issues, children’s play environments and the experience of the urban realm. In our studios, you can partner with Iowa communities and organizations to create sustainable design solutions that strengthen the performative qualities of landscape systems. And you can participate in our graduate student organization, (ab)Terris, to advocate for landscape architecture at Iowa State University.

Professional Licensure Upon receiving the MLA, you’ll be eligible for licensure through the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards and, after successfully completing your supervised field experience and passing the Landscape Architect Registration Examination, may become a licensed landscape architect.

You can contribute to faculty research on cultural landscapes, environmental justice and


Student Features Austin Dunn BA, Geography and International Studies, University of Iowa, 2013 When Austin considered graduate study options, “landscape architecture seemed like a clear professional path where I could make changes to the built environment and affect the humanenvironment interactions I’d been studying as an undergrad,” he said. Also interested in broader policy issues of the built environment, Austin enrolled in the Master of Landscape Architecture and Master of Community and Regional Planning doubledegree program at Iowa State. His focus has been bicycle and pedestrian planning. As a research assistant with ISU Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development, Austin uses GIS to model non-motorized transportation networks and connectivity. He works with landscape architecture Professor Christopher Seeger, building tools that use crowdsourced data to


help planners make infrastructure decisions to enhance walkability in rural communities. Austin’s own research is geared toward Midwestern rail trails — former railway lines converted to multi-use paths. With funding from the Barbara King Landscape Architecture Scholarship for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Creativity, he gathered data for his creative component on a summer bike tour through Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. He’s also documented conditions on the Mississippi River Trail and central Iowa recreational trails as an intern for the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. “Iowa State gave me the freedom to follow my passions and combine research with my personal desire for adventure. After graduation, I want to keep working in the realm of active transportation and reimagining the built environment.”

Zhongzhe Shen BEng, Landscape Architecture, Nanjing Forestry University, China, 2014 A “beautiful, quiet campus” and faculty expertise in digital landscape architecture attracted Zhongzhe to Iowa State. “I wanted to learn to use digital tools to remediate the relationship between humans and nature,” he said. Zhongzhe is working with Assistant Professor Caroline Westort to program a robot to collect site data, such as temperature and humidity, to help landscape architects create a more comfortable outdoor experience for users. He is also interested in the design of urban public spaces. He completed a summer internship with SG Landscape Architecture in Washington, DC, where he worked on several public space-related projects, including the design of city parks. And he was part of a class that worked with

Bird Friendly Iowa, a statewide bird habitat conservation and educational outreach program, to propose ways to improve the urban habitat for birds in two northeastern Iowa communities. “My hometown (Suzhou) is very close to Shanghai, with a big-city environment,” he said. “Learning how to enhance the experience for people and wildlife in urban areas is important to me.” Zhongzhe has appreciated the different teaching and mentoring styles of faculty at Iowa State. “In China, instructors will teach everything they know to you, and here, they will recommend you do the research yourself and give advice on resources or best practices. I’ve spent a lot of time on research, but I’ve learned a lot from that and from the interactions in class.”




Sustainable Environments MDesSE Research & Coursework

The College of Design offers the Master of Design in Sustainable Environments (MDesSE), an advanced interdisciplinary degree focused on holistic design strategies for the production of sustainable, resilient environments and artifacts. This 35-credit graduate program is geared toward applicants with professional bachelor’s or master’s degrees in art, architecture, landscape architecture, planning, graphic design, interior design, industrial design or engineering. The program typically spans three semesters (fall, spring and summer), but you may distribute credits over additional semesters to suit your schedule. Options are available for double degrees in Architecture (MArch), Community and Regional Planning (MCRP), Integrated Visual Arts (IVA) and Landscape Architecture (MLA).

In our highly interactive, multidisciplinary community, you’ll be challenged to develop sustainable design strategies that conserve resources, ameliorate ecological problems and promote social, political and economic justice. You’ll engage in faculty-led research projects and coursework that emphasize both theoretical and pragmatic skill development in modes of representation and information dissemination, communication, design research and design interventions. Most important, you’ll join a group of like-minded graduate students focused on the same interests and goals.

design practice. Our students and faculty share individual interpretations of issues as well as methods to address them; we continually learn from one another.

Capstone Project

Faculty Expertise

Our graduate program begins with general concepts and gradually becomes more specific. A majority of coursework is taught off campus in a community-based setting. Your studies will culminate with an applied, self-defined capstone project involving both visual and design research, resulting in both graphic products and a written report. Capstone projects typically evolve around issues and challenges at multiple scales from each student’s home region or nation.

Our faculty have interests and expertise in innovative design processes and making, including audio ecology, participatory research methodologies, socially-engaged art, interaction design, robotics, virtual reality, disaster mitigation and recovery, stormwater and river management and interdisciplinary

Upon receiving the MDesSE, you’ll have the capacity — through design interventions and critical assessment — to effect change through your original discipline. Your professional portfolio will be diversified and you’ll have a more global understanding of the context surrounding the concept of sustainability.


Faculty Feature Austin Stewart Assistant Professor, Art & Visual Culture and Sustainable Environments How does your practice influence your teaching? Much of the work I do is based on sustainability, and part of my drive is to engage nontraditional art audiences. Something I think about a lot in my work is how to make it interesting and accessible to a broad audience so that it promotes a dialogue with people who otherwise might not be engaged. “Second Livestock” (a virtual-reality world for battery-farmed chickens) is a prime example. I wanted to start a conversation about how people use technology to solve problems, and to draw parallels between how we treat animals and how we treat ourselves. The project uses parody (of the “Second Life” virtual world for humans) to invite discussion of larger issues. I bring in approaches like this to help students break out of their disciplinary norms and


question the role of designers and artists in sustainability. Is it the best use of a designer to build a solar farm, or are our skills more effectively used in promoting sustainable practices or changing the paradigms that resist sustainable behavior? What are the strengths of the Sustainable Environments program? Unlike other programs in which all students address the same problem or site with their projects, we encourage students to use their own backgrounds and experiences to shape individual projects that are meaningful to them. We also push our students to consider sustainability more broadly than most programs do; how does your project fit into the bigger picture and what are you saying with it that’s applicable on a larger scale? We have a strong emphasis on communication skills. We help our students learn to write about and present their work effectively.

Student Feature Saina Shayanjoo BS, Architecture, Iran University of Science and Technology, 2015 “As an undergrad, my vision of sustainable architecture was how we can make buildings more energy-efficient,” said Saina, who enrolled as a Master of Architecture student at Iowa State. “After taking Mimi [Wagner]’s class about human dimensions of sustainability, I realized sustainability is also about people, about social justice and community engagement. We need not only sustainable buildings but sustainable communities.” Saina decided to pursue a double degree in Sustainable Environments to explore further our relationship with one another, with nature and with the built environment. She has been a graduate teaching and research assistant and works as an intern with the Iowa’s Living Roadways Community Visioning Program.

“I get to participate in focus groups, talking with people about their vision for their community. It’s been amazing to see residents of all ages imagine bigger things than I can as a student. They care about where they live and they know what they want to achieve in the future.” These experiences led Saina to focus on community engagement in her studio project, a “socially engaged theater” that looks at how populations displaced by conflict, economic crises and climate change can retain or create a sense of “home” elsewhere. “I’ve had a chance to explore many areas and discover interests in things that I never knew about before. The SUS E program is very open — you can pursue whatever you want. You see people from different backgrounds and majors all taking a different road, but we all learn from each other.”



Urban Design MUD The College of Design offers the Master of Urban Design (MUD), an advanced, interdisciplinary program focused on the contemporary challenges of urbanism at local, regional and global scales. Geared toward applicants with professional degrees in architecture, planning or landscape architecture, this 36-credit graduate program typically spans three semesters (fall, spring and summer). You may choose to distribute credits over additional semesters to accommodate your schedule. Options exist for double degrees in Architecture (MArch), Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) and Landscape Architecture (MLA).

Integrated Design Our program reflects a deep commitment to resilient and just urban environments within the context of an increasingly concentrated, connected and diverse urban world. We believe urban environments should be engaged through an integrated design process that includes ecological, social, material, economic and urban-policy factors.

Emerging Topics Coursework encompasses emerging urbanization topics, such as the formation of more resilient cities, the growth of megacities, the transformation of industrial landscapes, the global impact of transnational economic operations, the reframing of the urban-rural divide, the role of Big Data in the future of smart cities, etc. You’ll examine contemporary urban design practices and methods, explore visual representation tools and techniques for communicating urban design concepts and

research, and develop proposals for urban design interventions.

Faculty Expertise In our program, you’ll work closely with faculty from multiple departments whose interests and expertise encompass urban and regional planning history; the politics of planning, urban design and the built environment; environmental design and planning; landscape urbanism; benefits of urban design; green infrastructure; and the relationship between Complex Adaptive Systems theory and urban design, among other areas.

Varied Opportunities Upon completing your MUD degree, you’ll be prepared to work in a variety of settings, from private architecture, landscape architecture and urban design firms to municipal agencies to nonprofit organizations in the US and abroad.


Faculty Feature Benjamin Shirtcliff Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design What are your research and teaching interests? My research and teaching focus on affording positive relationships between youth and the physical environment. I study issues of environmental justice and the built environment with a particular focus on adolescents and opportunities to engage in cities beyond transportation, school and work — places to be spontaneous and creative. I think we can challenge urban design to be more inclusive if we look at those who are unintentionally excluded in public space. What projects are you working on? I’m mentoring a scholar from China on coding human behavior in public space through social media. The research builds upon a collaboration with the award-winning firm EDSA and will be the first international, multi-sited post-occupancy evaluation of landscape architecture.


Locally, I’m working on a project that examines environmental barriers to human well-being in small Midwestern towns that have experienced rapid demographic and cultural shifts. Together with community leaders and colleagues from Project U-TuRN, ISU Extension and Outreach, economic development, human development and family studies, and kinesiology, I’m interested in helping these communities enable healthy lives through urban design. What are the strengths of the MUD program? The number one strength is that it’s interdisciplinary. We draw on the strengths of our home departments and bring them into the MUD and vice versa. Our students learn how different disciplines approach an urban design-related project or problem and how every discipline has a unique perspective that can contribute to a more realistic, grounded response.

Student Feature Reny Revariah ST (Sarjana Teknik), Architecture, Lambung Mangkurat University, Indonesia, 2012 After working for an architecture and urban design firm in Indonesia, Reny came to Iowa State on the Fulbright Foreign Student Program to learn more about the urban design field. “In the MUD program, there are so many opportunities to expand your knowledge and collaborate with students and faculty who are from other disciplines,” she said. Reny participated in an interdisciplinary spring break project in Perry with peers and faculty from ISU and the University of Iowa. “It was a chance to work with the community directly and invite residents to be involved in creating change,” she said. “We developed an interactive model of the downtown to allow people to add, remove and move things around. We also created design proposals, like transforming an alley into a public space, and sought responses from the

community. It was exciting to see how engaged people were in the process.” Reny’s favorite class so far has been “Environmental Justice in Built Environments,” which she finds particularly important because “we have so many slums in my country and other developing countries are facing similar issues.” She is also doing an independent study exploring resilient design in coastal areas in relation to social equity, looking at who benefits and who is disadvantaged by different plans for and responses to hazardous events caused by climate change, such as floods, hurricanes and tsunamis. After receiving her graduate degree, Reny plans to apply for an internship to gain practical experience before returning home to practice urban design.





Technology Iowa State’s College of Design uses computeraided techniques, software and equipment in the classroom and studio. Digital and related technologies have become a ubiquitous part of our pedagogy and environment. We offer: • Three public labs with 80 computers • Full-service output facility • State-of-the-art GIS facility • Laptop program • Model shops

Graduate Student Services The College of Design offers a suite of graduate student services that provide support as you progress throughout your program, including advising, learning communities, assistantship and funding guidance, student organizations and policies and forms. Your academic adviser, major professor and the graduate student services coordinator, Meredith Foley, provide you with ongoing support and advocacy as you navigate your graduate program curriculum. Throughout

your degree progress, these resources will be vital for your success here.

student involvement in the greater university community.

Multicultural Student Services

Design Career Services

The College of Design’s multicultural liaison officer (MLO), Audrey Kennis, provides assistance and guidance in understanding issues of diversity in the college, at Iowa State University and beyond.

Design Career Services provides career development support to College of Design students and alumni, placing an emphasis on your personal quest for career success, utilizing internships as a vehicle for career development and providing career-related educational programming.

Design Graduate Learning Community (GLC) The College of Design Graduate Learning Community is composed of graduate students from all college programs and at all levels. Get involved and make connections across design disciplines, personally and professionally, through workshops, design competitions, open studios, curated exhibitions, lectures, round-table seminars, culturally-focused events and social gatherings.

Global Design Connection (GDC) GDC helps build community and friendship between international and domestic students within the College of Design and encourages

Student Organizations Iowa State University has more than 850 student organizations, including several that are specific to students in the College of Design. Chances are there is an organization that fits your interests and goals.

International Study Opportunities The College of Design offers a variety of international study experiences throughout the world. In addition to our flagship Rome Program, opportunities exist for short-term study abroad and participation in exchange programs with other universities.


Funding & Financing a Graduate Degree Graduate Assistantships (GA)

Financial Aid

Our highest-qualified applicants may receive a quarter-time departmental graduate assistantship along with an offer of admission. In exchange for 10 hours of work per week in either a teaching, research or administrative role, graduate assistants receive:

Scholarships, grants and loans (federal and private) are available to graduate students.

Iowa resident tuition rates

A 25-50% tuition scholarship

Monthly stipend

Health insurance coverage

A reduction in some student fees

Graduate assistantships are also available elsewhere on campus. If a departmental assistantship is not awarded with admission, you can seek out assistantships in other departments or offices on Iowa State University’s campus.




Part-time job opportunities are available across campus. Off-campus employment is also available.

Graduate Assistantship Program (GMAP) Financial assistance may be available through GMAP for US citizens from underrepresented ethnic groups pursuing graduate degrees. Graduate Disability Assistantship Program (GDAP) Financial assistance may be available for graduate students with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Bridge Funding: Arrival of New Child Graduate assistants, postdocs and pre-docs may request up to six weeks of funding for the arrival of a new child. Professional Advancement Grants (PAG) These grants are available to graduate students to help defray expenses related to professional meeting and conference travel.

Application Requirements All graduate programs require the following materials: •

Graduate admission application – available at

Application fee

Official transcripts

Statement of purpose

Three letters of recommendation

Digital portfolio (required for all programs except MCRP)

International applications: TOEFL or IELTS scores

Depending on the program, additional materials may be required, such as GRE scores, resume and supplemental documents. To learn more, please visit to find your program of interest and its application requirements. Or, contact Meredith Foley, (515) 294-0816,





Meredith Foley

Graduate Recruitment

& Student Services Coordinator

Twitter: @ISUdesign

(515) 294-0816

Instagram: @isucollegeofdesign


Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. Veteran. Inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies may be directed to Office of Equal Opportunity, 3410 Beardshear Hall, 515 Morrill Road, Ames, Iowa 50011, Tel. 515 294-7612, Hotline: 515-294-1222, email

Graduate View Book  

View a digital copy of the College of Design 2018 Graduate View Book

Graduate View Book  

View a digital copy of the College of Design 2018 Graduate View Book