Design and Technology

In shaping our everyday life, design and technology play a dominant role.

At SFAI, students explore how and why our designed world reflects the larger social transformations taking place today. Using the visual language of design and interactive technology, students propose and answer vital questions: How can design create meaning and experience? What might the future look like, and how will we interface with the objects around us? How can artists use technology for creative and critical interventions?

Design and Technology students situate design in the realm of art, accepting distinctions between art and design that are relevant to our contemporary experience, while rejecting outdated ideas about the differences between artists and designers. Students are reminded that design is both conceptual and functional, producing objects or images that at once inform and constitute the very form of ideas in the 21st century. The program is oriented toward broad outcomes: students develop technical and critical thinking skills that transcend individual disciplines, and create innovative work in graphic design, typography, illustration, motion graphics, film and video, interactive art, electronic sound, social media, and ecology.

Collaborative and forward-looking, SFAI’s program emphasizes networks, systems, and connections—concepts at once high-tech and central to human relationships. Recently, SFAI has partnered with institutions in Paris to develop cross-cultural, multimedia projects such as the Art Collider and Hyphen. Closer to home, the Bay Area is a hub of artistic and technological innovation, giving students the opportunity to work with professionals from Pixar, Apple, Industrial Light and Magic, KQED Public Radio and Television, the Exploratorium, and other renowned organizations.


Students have access to extensive Digital Technology Resources configured to meet the needs of projects using sound, photography, film, video, design, 3D modeling and animation, web, programming, and print.