The promises and perils of designing with data

Today’s most pressing challenges cut across disciplinary boundaries, requiring thoughtful new approaches.

The MDes Program

The Berkeley Master of Design (Berkeley MDes) is a professional graduate program in design for emerging technologies. Jointly offered by the College of Engineering and College of Environmental Design, the MDes emphasizes critical design and social practice to address the new realities of emerging technologies in the 21st century. Technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, sensing, and the internet of things have great potential to reshape communities, industries, and environments, yet also raise ethical concerns and questions about their possible, often unforeseen, impacts. Today’s engineers, designers, and industry leaders developing creative technologies need to be equipped with thoughtful new approaches and design tool kits to respond to these dynamics.

The MDes prepares students for these roles by connecting technical rigor, design theory and social practice. Over three semesters, students develop core skills in design process, prototyping and communication, as well as a critical lens on technology and design through a sequence of debate-focused seminars. Graduates leave the program as engaged and responsive social practitioners with a deep understanding of the foundations of design and emerging technology and an informed awareness of people, contextual needs and societal impacts.

Three semesters

Thoughtfully designed, this intensive program packs a punch. Over a fast-paced 16 months (August through the following December), you’ll rapidly acquire new skills, effectively preparing you for your next career move, whether a launch, advancement or pivot. During the open summer term, you’ll be able to explore a new position or industry prior to graduation, through a professional internship.

Technical rigor

A series of technology design courses builds fluency in a range of emerging technologies. Additional technical electives invite you to delve into key technology areas to explore your own interests and to take advantage of Berkeley faculty breakthrough expertise.

Design theory

A sequence of core design courses offers essential skills in design process, prototyping, and communication, as well as a critical lens on technology and design through a sequence of debate-focused seminars.

Social practice

The Berkeley MDes educates designers with a deep understanding of the foundations of emerging technologies as well as their social implications. As an MDes student, you will understand the details that make something work as well as the broader context that makes something matter.

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