Extraordinary developments amidst the current “digital revolution”—the ubiquity of smartphones and screens, for example—have rapidly reshaped the nature of contemporary life, namely the substantial impact that media arts and design now have over the ways in which we learn, work, and play. In our times, design, as a field, has evolved beyond merely describing surface aesthetics and ornamentation. It now accounts for a wide range of interactions human beings have with the various technologies, devices, environments, and communities that feature in our daily lives.
However, despite the clear evidence of changes that modern design has wrought, their specific impacts remain unclear and in need of ongoing critical study and analysis. The University of Chicago’s Media Arts and Design Minor sheds light on this subject by interpreting practice-based research through analytical and creative lenses in order to make sense of design’s modern impacts on the human experience and bring a clearer definition to this rapidly growing and widening field.