As you might already know, The School of Visual Arts, one of New York’s leading art and design institutions, is gearing up for a brand new MFA in Interaction Design program beginning this September. SVA has for many years been highly regarded, especially for its vibrant and cutting edge MFA programs (for example in Design and Computer Art) so it’s not surprising that they’d be leading the way in the creation of this highly-relevant and much-needed program.

I’m honored to be part of the inaugural faculty for the program, charged with teaching the first-year “Fundamentals of Interaction Design” course. For humility’s sake please excuse me from the following statement, but the faculty roster is an amazing group of professionals and thinkers across a wide variety of disciplines in the interaction design universe. We on the teaching staff are constantly commenting to one another about how much we’d love to take this curriculum ourselves!

Thursday, January 15 (tomorrow!) is the suggested deadline for applications. (although applicants will be reviewed and admitted on a rolling basis after that). So if you’re interested in the program and in the process of applying, it’s time to pull one more all-nighter to put together the best portfolio you can. There are merit-based scholarships available for some 2009 students, based on your portfolio, so going the extra mile could be even more valuable.

The first year of this program promises to be especially exciting, both for the faculty and students, as we try to produce graduates who will make their mark on the interaction design scene both during and after the two-year program. We’re looking forward to a dynamic, cross-disciplinary group on both sides of the lectern, sharing ideas and helping create a new epicenter of cultural, academic, and professional invention.

Also, please note that tonight, January 14, is the latest in the MFA program’s series of public lectures, the Dot Dot Dot lectures, held each month at White Rabbit on New York’s Lower East Side. This month’s episode includes, as usual, a few of my very favorite people:

“The Urbanists,” January 14
Wed, January 14 | 6:30-8:30PM
Through an exploration of new definitions of urban environments, four lecturers will examine the time when public space is more personal, ubiquitous computing is allowing cities to have an impact on users’ experiences, and the design of services to truly be vibrant and meaningful. Speakers: Adam Greenfield, Soo-in Yang, Rachel Abrams, and Phil Kline.

I’ll be at the lecture tonight, so if you’re also there please say hi to me!