Minor in Design

*New minor starting in Fall 2016*

Minor Advisor: 
Terry Knight 
7-304 ⋅ 452-2922

The Minor in Design (D-Minor) provides a hub at MIT where undergraduate students can learn core principles of design in dynamic studio settings, develop a sensibility for visual and physical form, and help contribute to new ways of designing that are applicable across a spectrum of areas.

This minor is a way for students who see the value of design as a means of approaching problems they normally encounter within their own major to receive a rigorous conceptual foundation along with a strong design skill set. The objective is to prepare students to pursue diverse career paths or further education in multiple areas of design from product design to 3-D design to visual communication, and to enable them to take advantage of emerging opportunities in industry and academia.

Through six specified subjects, the D-Minor introduces design from concept to completion through contextual critical thinking, experimentation representation, and physical production techniques, critique, iteration and reflection. 

To apply, download and complete the minor application form from the MIT Registrar’s website and make an appointment to meet with to the Design minor advisor listed above. 


Take all three subjects from Group 1 and select three subjects from Group 2.

Group 1 - Take 3 required subjects

4.031 — Design Studio: Objects and Interaction — units: 2-4-6; no prerequisites; taught fall and spring terms
Overview of design as the giving of form, order, and interactivity to the objects that define our daily life. Follows the path from project to interactive product. Covers the overall design process, preparing students for work in a hands-on studio learning environment. Emphasizes design development and constraints. Topics include the analysis of objects; interaction design and user experience; design methodologies, current dialogues in design; economies of scale vs. means; and the role of technology in design. Provides a foundation in prototyping skills such as carpentry, as sting, digital fabrication, electronics and coding.

4.032 — Design Studio: Information and Visualization — units: 2-4-6; no prerequisites; taught spring term
Provides an introduction to working with information, data and visualization in a hands-on studio learning environment. Studies the history and theory of information, followed by a series of projects in which students apply the ideas directly. Progresses through basic data analysis, visual design and presentation, and more sophisticated interaction techniques. Topics include storytelling and narrative, choosing representations, understanding audiences, and the role of designers working with data.

4.101 — Design Studio: Introduction to Design Techniques and Technologies — units: 2-4-6; no prerequisites; taught spring term
Introduces core principles, techniques and technologies for design across a wide range of media in a studio environment. Explores ideas related to form, materials, tools, systems, and structures through project-based exercises. Develops familiarity with design process, critical observation, and tools for the translation of design concepts into digital and physical constructs. Utilizing traditional and contemporary tools, faculty across various design disciplines expose students to a unique cross-section of inquiry.

Group 2 - Take 3 restricted elective subjects

Design, Technology, and Computation
4.110 — Design Across Scales and Disciplines
4.411J / EC.713J — D-Lab Schools: Building Technology Lab
4.500 — Introduction to Design Computing
4.502 — Advanced Visualization: Architecture in Motion Graphics 
4.520 — Visual Computing 1
2.007 — Design and Manufacturing
CMS.634 — Designing Interactions
EC.720J / 2.722J — D-Lab: Design
MAS.110 — Fundamentals of Computational Media Design
2.S991 / CMS.S63 — Designing The First Year at MIT (Available Spring 2018, only)

Arts and Culture
4.301 — Introduction to Artistic Experimentation
4.307 — Art, Architecture and Urbanism in Dialogue
4.322 — Introduction to Three Dimensional Art Work
4.330 — Introduction to Networked Cultures and Participatory Media
or 4.332 — Advanced Seminar in Networked Cultures and Participatory Media 
4.341 Introduction to Photography and Related Media
or 4.344 — Advanced Photography and Related Media 
4.602 — Modern Art and Mass Culture
4.657 — Design: The History of Making Things 
CMS.362 — Civic Media Collaborative Design Studio

Total for Minor in Design = 6 subjects