Design plays a much broader role in society than producing and selling products. As designers and human beings, we are responsible for the society in which we live. The Master’s degree program in Integrated Design focuses on humanistic design that is committed to broad-minded thinking and social change. Examples of humanist design include ecological planning, an emphasis on equality and marginal populations, and problem solving among disadvantaged sectors of society. When used properly, design can serve as a key tool in solving problems related to health, education, transportation, and indeed every aspect of our social existence.
An example illustrating the Integrated Design Program’s approach is the research lab project dealing with Service Design, in collaboration with Wolfson Hospital. The research focused on identifying needs that are not addressed by the Emergency Healthcare Center and finding creative solutions. The research process included observations, interviews with patients and staff, as well as actively joining both the medical teams and various patients. The research lab was led by four lecturers from various fields: a scientist in the field of biology, an industrial designer specializing in medical devices, an anthropologist who also accompanied the lab from the theoretical point of view and an expert in service design and innovation process management. The products included, among other things, the development of an application for efficient and customized management of each case, a personal identification bracelet that facilitates physician-patient communication, and a set of barcode labels to facilitate the admissions processes and to relieve boredom during long waiting times.
The core values of the program are: innovation, localism, social commitment and teamwork. The program attracts candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds and provides them with an equally diverse team of lecturers and experts. The fruitful and productive encounter between the different fields and disciplines begets original collaborations, and invites even the most experienced experts among us to look at old problems through new eyes.
Head of the program, Prof. Hanan Kaminski: “Instead of designing another chair, another apartment, another poster, we seek to shape the society in which we live, and this can only be done by posing complex, innovative and daring questions. The Master’s Degree program is a unique opportunity to explore and study design thinking methodologies, free of the dictates of the market.”
The faulty, led by Prof. Hanan Kaminski, includes industrial designers, visual communication designers, new media professionals, architects, sociologists, psychologists, business executives, entrepreneurs, writers and artists. It is composed of lecturers from HIT’s Faculty of Design as well as from other academic institutions in Israel and abroad.
What does integrated design actually mean?
Integrated design aims to intervene and generate change while implementing design thinking methodologies, in order to develop a solution to a problem. Integrated design functions simultaneously on several fronts: culture, society and science. On the one hand, this is design that functions and responds to the needs of the hour, based on a broad understanding of social and environmental contexts. But daily needs are not sufficient. Cultural-oriented design is also part of the social engagement of the program’s designers, which is not only about solving problems. Whether in design laboratories, in the fields of new media or through any means at our disposal as designers, integrated design aims to contribute to and develop local and contemporary culture.
On the scientific front, the Holon Institute of Technology is the only academy in the Israel that implements the Applied Science approach, with scientific and technological products being systematically applied to the creation of social-oriented design systems and products. Thus, science, technology and design work together in a manner similar to hi-tech industries, minus their commitment to the bottom line that dictate how the companies operate in the market. For example, over the upcoming year, a new research lab will be launched, in collaboration with HIT’s R & D Research Authority, that will study the issue of loneliness. An integrated team of designers, psychologists and brain researchers will work together to offer innovative solutions to this ever-growing problem. Other wonderful examples of the spirit of integrated design are the final projects of program graduates, among them Ayelet Tralovsky and Renei Mazor, who graduated in 2018.
Ayelet Tralovsky’s project – biological ceramic substrate for green walls:
“In this work, I conducted a material and botanical study with the goal of building a modular ceramic garden system installed on an external or internal wall. The challenge was to find the right material and structure that would enable a three-dimensional texture and a thin layer of soil suitable for growing plants under special conditions. One of the solutions implemented in the project was to utilize air conditioning water to irrigate the plants, using pipes that dangle down to the ground on the facades and walls of the buildings. Thus, an ugly urban eyesore is transformed into a sustainable biological system – a habitat for plants on a wall. This new garden brings with it values beyond the esthetic value, such as: a social initiative that cultivates relations between neighbors, a system that brings nature back into the city – creating a green lung and serving as a habitat for insects, butterflies and bees. The project, under the supervision of Dr. Sayfan Borghini, offers an economical solution that is relatively simple to execute, involves residents and municipalities in organizing and encourages the taking of responsibility, using scant resources, in the cultivation and restoration of facades of old houses and neglected residential areas”.
What can we do with the Integrated Design degree?
Design thinking is also required today in processes that are not product-oriented, such as urban renewal, design of service processes, organizational design, and more. Our Master’s degree program in Integrated Design enable graduates to integrate and influence beyond the traditional sphere of design. Innovation managers, development managers, heads of strategic development and design team managers are just a few examples of positions that are a perfect fit for integrated design graduates. Within the dynamic design world, graduates of the program will be able to integrate as creators and entrepreneurs in the fields of culture and new media, entrepreneurs in the fields of design, design activism and more.
For whom is it suitable?
Integrated design studies are suitable for a wide range of candidates:
- Designers from all design sectors that wish to expand and enrich their research and thinking methodologies, acquire new tools and experience multidisciplinary collaborations.
- Candidates from the fields of culture, science, technology and academia, without background or prior experience in design, yet who think creatively and desire to expand their arsenal of tools.
Admission requirements: Candidates must have an undergraduate degree (BA, BDES, BSC) and a passion for design. The admission process includes presentation of a portfolio (for candidates with a background in design) and a personal interview.
What is special about our program?
- Driven by a social vision
- Combines disciplines from within and without the field of design, with an emphasis on science and technology
- Enables encounters between students from different backgrounds and is open to candidates without a design background
The graduate degree in integrated design is in essence an applied degree, although it has a clear research side. The curriculum is based on the Project Based Learning (PBL) method. The program centers on design labs that pose research questions and harness technological, design and scientific tools to develop solutions. The design labs are accompanied by theoretical seminars and courses taught by the finest experts in Israel.
Planning of the curriculum took into consideration the fact that most graduate students work in parallel to their studies. The program consists of one full weekday of study, and a short day of studies on Fridays. The studies require every student to devote time over the course of the week to working on projects, studying, researching and other study assignments. HIT has special budgets and awards scholarships to help and financially support outstanding students.