Perspectives on greener product development and manufacturing from Sustainable Minds, our partners, customers and contributors.

Allan Chochinov Introduces a Progressive New Product Design MFA

By Sustainable Minds on January 3, 2012

We received this note last week from Allan Chochinov--our friend and Editor in Chief of Core77--and offered to share it with our readers.

Two years ago, I was invited to put together a new MFA program at the School of Visual Arts around a new way of considering the design of artifacts, experiences, sustainability, strategy, business and point of view. (Well, that’s what I ended up putting together, anyway!) And so the MFA in Products of Design was born. It’s a very progressive program, with a strong mission and an incredible faculty of design practitioners, entrepreneurs, seasoned educators, and media professionals. I’ve been a design educator for over 16 years, and with help and extraordinary contributions from colleagues, advisors, architects, professionals and friends, we have created a program that I feel represents an optimistic, rigorous and future-forward step in the future of design education.

The MFA Products of Design program is currently accepting applications for our inaugural class, entering this coming September, 2012. And we'd like to invite you to learn more about the program, apply, and pass along this information to anyone in your life who might be looking for a graduate program that utilizes design making, design thinking, and design doing toward reinventing systems and catalyzing positive change.

We are looking for all kinds of applicants for the MFA program: the highly-skilled, seeking more meaningful applications; the deeply-knowledgeable, looking for greater scale and impact; the passionate, looking for more rigor and process; and of course the iconoclastic, looking for a home.

I feel that we’ve been unprecedented in our transparency around the program. We have video profiles of almost every faculty member, faculty-at-large, and workshop leaders speakers. We provide a Q&A on some of the thornier issues around education, design, employment and entrepreneurship. We’ve got interviews and essays, as well as some very nice press.

A quick aside: I was on the phone with a prospective student a couple months ago, and he asked (with a friendly tone) why he should take a chance on being a member of the first class of students of a brand new program. This is a question I’ve received a fair bit, and it occurred to me, on that phone call, that one of the most compelling reasons to be in a founding group of people like this would be, well, the other people in that group!; that the kind of person who would choose to be a pioneer--to help form the pedagogy and experience of something unique and powerful--would be a member of a remarkable you’d want to go to school with!

To learn more about the program we invite you to view our interactive brochure, set up an in-person or Skype meeting by emailing

We’ve got broad seas, full sails, and a very experienced crew. We’re now looking for eager passengers. Please Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @svaPod to stay abreast of the latest happenings here at the Products of Design Department.