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New school at DePaul University to focus on technology design

The College of Computing and Digital Media adds School of Design

DePaul’s game development program
Students in DePaul’s game development program work on the creation of Octodad, an award-winning computer game. Beginning winter quarter 2015, programs such as game development will be part of the School of Design in the College of Computing and Digital Media. Photo by Paul Strabbing.
CHICAGO — Technology is embedded in everything we do — from mobile apps and websites to video games and graphics. In each instance, the experience needs to be personal and engaging, and designers help accomplish that. Beginning this winter quarter, DePaul University has answered the call for industry professionals who can design technology into eye-catching experiences with the creation of the School of Design in the College of Computing and Digital Media.

“Creating a separate School of Design indicates the depth of dedication and expertise DePaul offers on the subject,” said David Miller, dean of the college and interim provost. “It also gives our faculty the resources and opportunity to create new design-related programs to meet industry need.”

The School of Design is for students who want to collaboratively design games, graphic designs, new technologies and social practices. The results from their studies, both inside and beyond the classroom, will empower individuals and communities at work, when they play, and in educational and communal environments.

“The School of Design offers opportunities for those who want to be a part of the growing technology field, but not necessarily from the mathematical or algorithmic side,” said Nichole Pinkard, an associate professor and director of the new school.

The school includes established undergraduate and graduate programs in the College of Computing and Digital Media with plans for new degree programs and concentrations in the near future. The undergraduate programs in the school include computer game development, graphic design, and interactive and social media. Graduate programs are offered in digital communications and media arts, computer game development and human-computer interaction.

The School of Design courses will integrate a range of tools to support students in connecting with relevant expert communities, audiences, different colleges at DePaul and other universities, according to Miller.

“Our vision is for the School of Design to be connected — linking theory and practice, art and design, innovation with entrepreneurship, youth with mentors, and students with potential employers,” Miller said. “We plan to create partnerships and public platforms that allow students to showcase their work and gain real-world experiences.”

By bringing the degree programs under one school, faculty can better collaborate to develop new opportunities for students, programs and research, he said.

With the move of design-related curricula to the School of Design, another school in the college — the School of Cinema and Interactive Media — will have a more cohesive focus on animation and cinema. As a result, the name of the school was changed to Cinematic Arts.

The College of Computing and Digital Media also has a third entity: the School of Computing. More information about the college and its three schools can be found at​.


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