Student in Interdisciplinary Design program.

The Design School in Los Angeles

Do you love all things design, but can’t choose a single specialty?

A new undergraduate degree program in interdisciplinary design at The Design School in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts now offers students an exciting new creative opportunity in Los Angeles. We mash-up everything you crave: graphics, digital media, interiors, products, events, and more. You’ll be able use your creative skills to benefit society through hands-on projects in the real world.

The Pre-Interdisciplinary Design, BS program is pending final approval by the ASU faculty senate. Upon approval, the degree name will be Interdisciplinary Design, BS.

Where curious minds thrive


Design as a practice of care

The Design School’s Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Design is a completely new model for design pedagogy that foregrounds design as a practice of care. The program offers hands-on and practical education that blends design disciplines, prioritizes collaborative methods, and values creative action to address the world’s biggest challenges within four key context areas: 

  1. Technology: materials and tools
  2. User experience: spaces and places
  3. Social impact: communities and relationships
  4. Sustainability: systems and services 

Interdisciplinary Design emphasizes interrelated networks of knowledge, design research, strategic thinking and creative processes that serve ASU’s missions to fuse intellectual disciplines, value entrepreneurship and practice principled innovation. Students benefit from specialty coursework and real-world client/stakeholder collaborations that foreground the multifaceted nature of life-centered problem-solving through sustainable and compassionate design practices. 

  1. We believe design should be inclusive and accessible. 
  2. We reinforce community through collaborative, democratic and co-creative processes. 
  3. We prioritize sustainability and social impact in our work. 
  4. We insist upon processes and materials that support the well-being of all living things. 
  5. We foster experimentation and encourage unconventional ideas. 
  6. We mobilize tools, technology and methods across disciplines to achieve maximum impact. 
  7. We make evidence-based design decisions. 
  8. We build and test creative prototypes with real people in real-world contexts. 
  9. We communicate effectively and tell engaging stories.
  10. We harness our creative energy to build a more just, healthy and beautiful world.

New perspectives on design education

Interdisciplinary Design at ASU answers the call for new perspectives on design education in the 21st century and prepares students for a wide range of creative careers. With our revolutionary new framework for practice emphasizing context at its focal point, we partner directly with organizations and communities to address some of the world's most complex problems, such as sustainability, accessibility and health. The program (a) synthesizes the strengths of traditional design disciplines, (b) facilitates creativity and collaboration, and (c) integrates social and ecological systems for the greater good. We do this through four key context areas

Student in Interdisciplinary Design program walking in downtown LA.

Curriculum highlights

Core studio classes are collaborative and interactive.
  • Leverage your unique skill sets to address complex design problems in real-life scenarios.
  • Develop your resumé in upper-level studios that partner with actual clients and communities. 
  • Upper-division students choose between Creative Justice Studio (community-based) or Innovation Space (industry-based). Sponsors have included Sodexo, Disney and SteelCase.
Support studios sharpen technical expertise.
  • Build your skills in specialized areas such as graphics, interiors, rapid prototyping, product design, digital media, physical computing, user experience (UX), branding, extended reality and more.
  • Establish expertise in advanced design tools and processes through hands-on, skills-based learning.

Next steps


If you're interested in starting your journey as an Interdisciplinary Design student in Los Angeles and studying at the ASU California Center, we invite you to request information or apply.