Learn to design the future with a strategic and systems-level approach.

ArtCenter’s “Grad ID” program offers a Master of Science curriculum combining the pursuit of extraordinary design and making skills with the knowledge, theories and methods that are essential for creating new value for enterprise and social innovation in a context of complex and unstructured challenges.

Our faculty of internationally renowned educators and professionals work with students in a design studio environment where they’re encouraged to create with a consciousness that their designs exist in a larger context. Our methodology, Strategic Innovation, takes a forward looking systems-level view and strives to balance the business, technological and human aspects of each design opportunity. This broadly applicable creative process produces empathetic solutions to essential human needs so that designers and enterprises can be resilient and grow.

Grad ID has also joined forces with Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Management to offer a dual MS/MBA degree track in Innovation Systems Design (ISD). The two-year program prepares tomorrow’s innovation leaders by combining business strategy, leadership and management acumen with the rigorous development of creative skills and design innovation methodology.

“Strategic innovation” is how we define our program’s design methodology.

At its core, strategic innovation takes a systems-level view and strives to balance the business, technological and human aspects of any challenge. It’s a creative process and a disciplined skill set for creating empathetic solutions to complex and unstructured problems. And it’s a broadly applicable approach that allows designers—and the organizations they work with—to be resilient and to grow.
The role of designers is shifting dramatically within enterprise. Companies used to employ designers to make their offerings more appealing or functional—usually long after executives had made plans for what to offer their customers. Today, as organizations navigate hyper-competitive markets, they are also looking to design at the earliest stages to help steer them to the future. Tomorrow’s designers will add essential value to business by identifying areas of expansion and opportunity, designing organizational change and inspiring and leading transdisciplinary teams to innovate for a better future.
In order to succeed in this new environment, designers must understand, embrace and incorporate business principles early on in their thinking and processes. That is why our program stresses that students’ ideas should take the form of fully-integrated business models. And in order to create meaningful solutions for a rapidly changing world, we as industrial designers must draw upon a wide range of experiences. That is why both our faculty and students come from a variety of educational, cultural and professional backgrounds.
As a graduate program, we engage in ongoing research to advance knowledge in our field and to continuously improve our methods. We design with a consciousness that our products and innovations exist in a larger social and ecological context. And because our methodologies focus on the process of solving problems, they can be broadly applied to a variety of issues, whether they exist in environments, products, transportation, networks, media or beyond.
We’re confident our graduates receive the theories, knowledge and practice necessary to emerge as the types of creative leaders our evolving world increasingly needs.


Founded in 1930, ArtCenter College of Design has long been at the forefront of cultivating leaders in the fields of art and design. From its seminal role in the founding of the first advanced-design concept studio for the automotive industry in the 1950s, to being the first design school to receive the United Nations non-governmental organization (NGO) status, to its commitment to having art and design play a role in addressing sustainability issues, ArtCenter has a history of anticipating societal changes and trends. ArtCenter is comprised of two facilities. The Hillside Campus is home to our undergraduate programs, the Graduate Industrial Design (GradID) and Graduate Broadcast Cinema programs, administrative offices and much of the College’s faculty and staff. Home to ArtCenter since 1976, the main Hillside Campus building is a dramatic postmodern steel-and-glass bridge structure spanning an arroyo in the San Raphael Hills, just above the Rose Bowl. Designed by Craig Ellwood Associates, it has been designated a historical landmark by the City of Pasadena. South Campus, formerly a supersonic wind tunnel located in downtown Pasadena, houses ArtCenter’s Graduate Art and Media Design programs as well as ArtCenter’s Public Programs and the Archetype Press, a one-of-a-kind letterpress printing facility. ArtCenter offers undergraduate degree programs in Advertising, Entertainment Design, Environmental Design, Film, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography and Imaging, Product Design and Transportation Design and graduate programs in Art, Broadcast Cinema, Industrial Design and Media Design. ArtCenter also offers public programs for the larger community, including seminars, lectures, exhibitions and conferences, as well as enriching classes for adults and children.

Gweneth Hourihan
Department Coordinator