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Why We Do What We Do The Way That We Do It

Clicking on any of the images that appear below the “Video Archive” bar (if you can’t see it on this page, just scrolldown a bit...) will cause a small but important part of a larger story to be told. The video shorts that will playwhen you click on these images have been categorically organized into sections to make it easier for you to findthe type of content you need or want.

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Clicking on any of the images that appear below the “Video Archive” bar (if you can’t see it on this page, just scrolldown a bit...) will cause a small but important part of a larger story to be told. The video shorts that will playwhen you click on these images have been categorically organized into sections to make it easier for you to findthe type of content you need or want.

The content of each video short involves the Design Research Center, or our graduate programs in Design withConcentrations in Design Research, or some of our design research projects. This portion of our websiteexists to help explain how and why we approach research from our unique, eclectically informed perspectivesas designers.

It also provides some insights about how we prepare MFA candidates, who have undergraduate design educationsand at least some professional experience as designers, to pursue career- and life-paths as design educators,researchers, project directors and managers in a variety of academic and professional settings.

Additionally, it articulates how we educate MA candidates, who have undergraduate educations in many areasoutside design, and who may or may not have professional experience in these disciplines, to pursue career- andlife-paths in the corporate arena and the not-for-profit sector, as well as in academia (some go on to pursue doctoraldegrees) as researchers, or as project developers, managers and investigators.

Each of the video shorts that can be accessed from this webpage was designed and produced at the Design ResearchCenter or within the Department of Design at the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Designusing the same equipment and facilities that our graduate students and faculty utilize on a daily basis.

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Section One: The Design Research Center

Welcome to the Design Research Center at UNT

This short video introduces Michael Gibson, the Graduate Programs Coordinator for the Design Programs in Design Research at the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design; the Design Research Center urban laboratory space itself; the MFA and MA graduate level programs in Design with Concentrations in Design Research. For more specific information about enrolling in either the MFA or the MA program, please e-mail Michael Gibson (michael.gibson@unt.edu) or Clinton Carlson (clinton.carlson@unt.edu) at UNT CVAD.

A Design Research Facility Deep in the Heart of Downtown Dallas

This piece briefly explains our primary rationales for locating a university-supported design research lab in the middle of an urban environment as diversely populated as Dallas, Texas.For more information about the UNT Design Research Center, please contact Professor Keith Owens at UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design (keith.owens@unt.edu), or Professor MicheleWong Kung Fong (michele.wongkungfong@unt.edu)

Solving Real Problems, for Real People, in the Real world

UNT is an emerging research university that is situated in the fourth-largest metropolitan environment in the U.S. The Dallas/Fort Worth/Denton area's recent upsurge and diversificationin population provides faculty and students from our graduate programs in Design with Concentrations in Design Research a rich variety of opportunities to pursue applied research. Working in this area compels us to be ever mindful that our greatest responsibilities as researchers are "to identify and help resolve real problems, for real people, in the real world."

A Quick Look Inside the workspaces at the Design Research Center

The space within UNT’s new Design Research Center has been configured so that the Departmentof Design faculty, graduate students and research project partners who work there can adapt boththe individual and group workspaces to meet the evolving needs of particular projects. Pin-upwalls, whiteboards, printers, projectors, large surface-area video display monitors and a well networked array of Mac computing equipment are available to our wide variety of project teamsin a very secure but very malleable, fully ADA-compliant workspace.

Section Two: Teaching and Practicing Design Research at UNT

What Makes Design Research Unique?

Design research differs from research informed by or practiced within other academic disciplines and professions in several significant ways. These are briefly described and contextualized here. Many of the projects we work on involve "applied research," which means that we endeavorto help "real people resolve real problems in the real world.” For more information about design research at the University of North Texas, please contact Professor Keith Owens (keith.owens@unt.edu), or Professor Michele Wong Kung Fong (michele.WongKungFong@unt.edu).

Introducing How and Why We Teach Grad-Level Design at UNT

Many of the designers who enter our MFA program and the other professionals who enter our MA program are very adept at asserting rationales that support their particular agendas or goals, but many of them haven’t developed the ability to effectively formulate, extend and critically defend their ARGUMENTS for making, doing and strategizing. These types of “arguments” are civil, and they involve an intelligent exchange of ideas between people who often possess different types of knowledge and beliefs. They’re crucial to the success of our projects.

Two Primary Goals for Our Graduate Students

MA and MFA candidates in our graduate programs are repeatedly immersed in learning situations that are underpinned by two core objectives. The first is to gain an understanding of how key theoretical approaches to designing can, when understood and operated well, yield conceptuallyrich, insightful and sustainable results. The second is to ensure that each student becomes adept and adroit enough at articulating and defending their ideas that they can enact them to catalyze and support positive social, technological, environmental, economic and political change.

Comparing Graduate (MFA) and Undergraduate (BFA) Approaches to Design Education

Note: This video is more relevant to MFA applicants than MA applicants. Michael Gibson speaks briefly about the differences between learning objectives and outcomes at the graduate and undergraduate levels in design (at least at UNT CVAD...). Regardless of an individual MFA applicant's design discipline (visual communication design, interior design, industrial design, interaction design, etc.), the work an applicant submits for our faculty selection committeeto review must be very well-considered conceptually and aesthetically.

Section Three: Learn About Our MA and MFA Programs in Design

Basic Acceptance Requirements for Our MA and MFA Programs

This short piece simply explains the minimum scholarly requirements that applicants to both the MA and MFA programs in UNT CVAD's Design with Concentrations in Innovation Studies curriculums must meet to gain entry. Specifically, issues re: undergrad GPA and GRE scores are presented. Re: our requirements for taking the GRE, applicants to both our MA and MFA programs must take it BEFORE they complete 18 credit hours of study within these programs. Most applicants prefer taking the GRE prior to the commencement of their studies here.

Application Information: the MFA Program in Design With a Concentration in Design Research

Each applicant to our MFA Program in Design with a Concentration in Design Research curriculum must satisfy the basic requirements articulated in this video to gain acceptance into this Master’s Level course of study. The contents of this piece address issues regarding undergraduate GPA levels, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), years (or lack thereof) of professional design experience, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) requirements,and more. For more information, please e-mail Michael Gibson (michael.gibson@unt.edu).

Application Information: the MA Program in Design With a Concentration in Design Research

This two- to three-year, 36-credit-hour, master’s-level curriculum has been specifically designed to introduce graduate students WHO DO NOT POSSESS ACADEMIC OR PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE IN DESIGN to ways of thinking and engaging in research processes that are guidedby what we (and many others...) refer to as "design thinking," and by approaches to formulating, operating and analyzing research that are informed by design processes. For more informationabout this program, please e-mail Professor Michael Gibson (michael.gibson@unt.edu).

A “Quick Look” at Our MFA and MA Curriculums and Our TOEFL Requirements

This piece describes how most of the courses that comprise these degree plans are taught in the late afternoon and evening hours to better accommodate the schedules of grad students who work during “regular business hours.” It also articulates what requirements students who speak English as a foreign language must satisfy (particularly regarding the Test of English as a ForeignLanguage, or TOEFL) in order to be admitted to both the University of North Texas and to either of these graduate programs.

Section Four: Re-Designing Grad Level Design Education and Research at UNT

Re-Designing Graduate Level Design Education and Research at UNT

This piece is a compilation of an entire array of video shorts that briefly describe: 1. the MAand MFA Programs in Design with Concentrations in Design Research at UNT's College of Visual Arts and Design, and 2. how and why we approach design research in the ways that we do. These pieces were designed and produced within the Department of Design at UNT using the same equipment and facilities that our graduate students utilize on a daily basis. You can view this piece in about 16 minutes, although we encourage hitting the pause button occasionally...

Section Five: UNT Design Research Enables...

Assuming Vital Roles for Design Processes in Collaborative, Inter- and Trans-Disciplinary Research

The learning experiences we facilitate in our graduate design programs involve an inclusive set of approaches to formulating, operating and analyzing design and research processes. Our project partners are diverse, and have all been challenged to try to alter social, technological, economic,environmental and political circumstances as a means to achieve their objectives. Involving diverse combinations of faculty and students from UNT from inside snd outside of design as our projects evolve ensures that they’re informed by a variety of ways of thinking, doing and making.