OPEN IxD: MFA Interaction Design Festival

May 12, 2011

On Thursday, May 5, the achievements of the inaugural class in the MFA Interaction Design Department at SVA were celebrated at OPEN IxD, the first MFA Interaction Design Festival. Design enthusiasts gathered at the SVA Theatre along with faculty, family and friends to witness thesis presentations by the 17 students in the Class of 2011.

In her opening remarks, Department Chair Liz Danzico provided the framework for the day: “Open is a practice. It encourages collaboration; it suggests a community. And the open nature of the program brought together not only the bright minds of the individuals you’ll see on stage here today, but the tremendous faculty who guided them for two years, and the extensive network of advisors who led them further still.”

Danzico added, “Open is a methodology. It is a way of framing. A way of making. It allows transparency. Today, you’ll hear insights and outtakes. Personal narratives and public calls to action. Here inside the Beatrice theater, the first class in interaction design will present their experience through story; and just outside these doors, their physical expressions are out in the open for play and exploration.”

Danzico then introduced faculty members Jennifer Bove and Paul Pangaro who served as moderators for the event and introduced the four ‘lenses’ under which the thesis presentations were grouped: discovery, connections, mindfulness and play. Of the projects presented that day, a few highlights included Gene Lu’s mobile app Story Forest, Katie Koch’s online community for educators Cultivate, and Eric St. Onge’s productivity app Obtract, which has recently launched and garnered media attention in New York Observer‘s Beta Beat, Fast Company and LifeHaker.

Joining students on stage were respected comics author and historian Scott McCloud, who delivered the opening keynote, and design leader Marc Rettig, who provided the endnote.

To see more images from the event, please visit our Facebook gallery.

Images: (first) MFA Interaction Design class of 2011; (second) Liz Danzico; (third) Clint Beharry and his project Orbit; (fourth) Chi-Wei Liu and his project Secret Mission Me; (fifth) Marc Rettig. Photos by Christopher Cannon.

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