Interaction Design at Cornish: What This Means
by Jake Fleisher, Associate Professor
We have a new interaction design major and a new experience design minor at Cornish. These are new degrees, recently approved by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). As faculty lead for experience design, I’m incredibly excited about them.
At Cornish, we place enormous importance on our students being citizens, activists, and innovators. This approach influences every major, every class, and all of our curriculum. We nurture and harness students’ deep intellectual horsepower and critical thinking, focusing it on the huge challenges that face the world today.
I arrived at Cornish four years ago, and as we began planning a UX curriculum, we led our work with the Cornish vision. This means we teach, and expect our students to focus on, the ways they can wield the power of UX for human good. This means we expect them to critically evaluate the micro and macro worlds in which we live, work, and play, and improve them using the tools and conceptual thinking that define UX at Cornish. This means using a human-centered approach to solving societal issues, and creating new products, services, and interactions that address unmet and poorly met human needs. This means that we ask our students to develop empathy, insisting that they practice design for all users, not just for themselves and their own experiences. This means we encourage and nurture our students to have an empathy for the user that is normally seen only in graduate design programs. We know our students are capable of this work: they have the maturity and empathy required to turn their design focus outward, and to address the “wicked problems” of equality, access, education, nutrition, ecology, and peace.
Associate Professor Jake Fleisher is the faculty lead for interaction design at Cornish.