The Communication and Design (CnD) Program at Habib University (HU) offers a unique combination of skill–based practical training in design and media, along with a rigorous theoretical grounding in both design and communication studies.
Communication refers to any process that transmits, produces, structures and transforms culture. Design refers to any human activity that requires the reconstruction and reproduction of our world. The CnD Program seeks to combine these two interdependent fields in dynamic and innovative fashions, by offering its students a truly interdisciplinary experience that integrates historical investigation, critical analysis, aesthetic practice, and social engagement. It thus offers students the possibility not only to better understand and create representations of the world, but also use that knowledge and awareness to intervene and bring change in a variety of thoughtful and meaningful ways. These interventions – as service designers, advertisers, filmmakers, authors, user experience designers, journalists, photographers or architects – will be all the more relevant and significant given our students’ preparation from both a technical and a theoretical perspective.
What is Communication and Design?
Communication refers to any process that transmits, produces, reproduces, structures, embodies, or transforms culture, and that shapes and influences our interpersonal and social behaviors and relationships. Design refers to any human practice that requires the thoughtful, methodological, coherent reconstruction or reproduction of our material or mental worlds. Both are fundamentally human activities that bind us to each other and to the societies in which we work and play. And while both emerge from historically grounded expressive practices, these practices, in their most expansive articulation, are mutually interdependent.
How will students benefit by enrolling in this program?
Both communication and design are everywhere. Our cities, our homes, our mobile phones, our furniture, our cars, the books we read, the billboards we drive past, the music we hear, the movies and television programs we watch, the clothes we wear—someone somewhere made a sequence of choices that evolved into these specific products. We are so accustomed, however, to walking through our artificial worlds conversing, communing, texting, arguing, relating, imparting, announcing, reporting, writing, filming, and photographing that more often than not we take the worlds and our actions in them for granted. We are blind and dumb to the very artificialities that serve as foundation and structure for our lives.
In addition to this, both activities (designing, communicating) are interdependent. We rarely separate our perceptions and judgments about design from the meaning these designs provoke. And all good authors, advertisers, filmmakers, journalists, and politicians—to name a few professional communicators—know that effective communication depends crucially on deliberate design.
Students who complete a B.A. (Honors) in Communication and Design will be able to think systematically, critically and complexly about the processes, methods, and social and cultural effects of both communication and design. These abilities coupled with the skills developed and refined through studio practice will teach students how to move methodically from an idea to its material realization.
Students who graduate at Habib University in the CND Program will thus have acquired:
- Practical skills such as freehand drawing and sketching, still and moving image making, technical drawing, blueprinting and model making
- Ability to use software packages used in media and design production
- Capacity to adapt, script, produce (and even perform) narrative
- A keen understanding of design thinking, including human-centred and participatory design
- A creative, resourceful, and innovative capacity to convey ideas through a vast array of media, leveraging the specific possibilities of each medium
- Solid fundamentals of media production
Exceptional communication skills in audio-visual and written formats.
Graduates of the CnD Program are poised to make significant contributions to our society at large, and the Program aims to provide students with multiple avenues for their futures after HU. The program caters both to students who would like to enter the job market upon graduation, as well as those who are looking to continue on to graduate programs in several disciplines.
Upon entering the job market, CnD graduates will be uniquely positioned to work successfully in the media and communication sector at large, including press, television, or web-based media, as well as in the design industry as service designers, UX/UI designers, urban planners, graphic designers and more. In the corporate sector, our graduates find jobs in marketing, public relations, event and project management, or as independent consultants, and many will find a home at non-profit organizations, taking on projects in community development and outreach. Students interested in pursuing further studies will be well placed to find positions in graduate programs in art and design, new media, film, creative writing, design innovation and brand management, journalism, literature, marketing and entrepreneurship.
Requirements for the BA (Honors) in Communication & Design Major
A BA (Honors) in Communication & Design (CND) requires completion1 of 38 courses and a minimum of 124 credit hours of coursework, with a minimum CGPA of 2.33, as shown in the table below:
|Requirements||Course Category||Course Type||Number of Courses to Complete|
|Habib Liberal Core||University Core||10|
|Materials and Practices||Studio||1|
|Ideation and Processes||Studio||1|
|Introduction to Design and Media||Studio||1|
|Forms of inquiry||Seminar||1|
|Primary Concentration in one of the two areas
Years 2 & 3
|– 1. Communication (8 courses)|
|Production Fundamentals I & II||Studio||2|
|Communication and Culture||Seminar||1|
|Elements of Aesthetics I & II||Seminar||2|
|New Media and Journalism||Studio||1|
|Digital Media and Post-Production||Studio||1|
|– 2. Design (8 courses)|
|Designing for Interactions||Studio||1|
|Design, Technology and Society||Seminar||1|
|Designing For and with People||Studio||1|
|Design Studies Seminar||Seminar||1|
|Design and Social Change||Seminar||1|
|Design Fictions and Provocations||Studio||1|
|Design Politics and Ethics||Seminar||1|
|CND Core – Summer
|Directed Study/Directed Practicum2 (year 2)||1|
|Summer Internship/Summer Research Project3 (year 3)||1|
|Secondary Concentration electives in one of three areas (4 courses)||A. Student with Primary Concentration in Communication|
|– 1. Visual Design||4|
|– 2. Design Studies and History||4|
|– 3. UX/UI Design 1||4|
|B. Student with Primary Concentration in Design|
|– 1. Film||4|
|– 2. Media Studies and History||4|
|– 3. Creative Writing||4|
|University-wide free electives
|CND Core – Year 4
|Capstone I & II||Studio||2|
1 The requirements may be altered to enhance the learning experience.
2 Directed Study/Directed Practicum (1 Credit-hour) – 4-week apprenticeship with an industry professional or an individual media project. OR a 4-week research assistantship with a Habib professor.
3 Summer Internship/Summer Research Project (2 CRH) – an 8-week internship with an approved industry organization or professional with a tangible plan and goal. OR an 8-week research project under the supervision of a CND professor (or approved external practitioner/ academic).