March 30, 2017

Art Department Announces New Major


Guilford College now offers a major in experience design (XD), the only program of its kind in Greensboro. The XD major is available to current and new students.

Housed within the Department of Art, the XD major draws upon multiple disciplines including art, psychology, theatre, business and computer technology, and it has applications in the profit and nonprofit sectors. XD seeks to enhance interactive experiences through better design and implementation based on research, observation and understanding.

“The program originated when several alumni shared with faculty and administrators how strongly they believed that the education they received at Guilford prepared them extremely well for their professions,” said Associate Professor of Art Kathryn Shields.

The 20-course, 48-credit interdisciplinary major offers a design track focusing on designing and creating new experiences, and a research and strategy track that emphasizes understanding how humans interact with experiences. Students will engage in hands-on learning through a makerspace being developed in Hege Library that will be equipped with such technology as 3D printers.

“Students in the experience design class this semester are applying user-centered design principles and a design thinking approach to their library makerspace design project. This provides a hands-on approach to design through collaborative and interactive learning,” said Margery Kiehn, visiting lecturer for experience design.

The major in XD provides students with a collaborative learning experience with real-world applications, supported by a team of academic and career advisers. With its focus on ethical leadership, the major equips graduates for managerial positions in the fields of design, XD and UX (user experience).

Guilford faculty across multiple departments contributed to the design of the XD major, including retired Professor of Psychology Kathy Adams, Assistant Professor of Art Mark Dixon, Professor of Business Michael Dutch, XD Lecturer Margery Kiehn, Assistant Professor of Business Richard Schilhavy, Associate Professor of Art Kathryn Shields and Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies Robin Vest.

Are you looking for a liberal arts college that offers a top-notch visual arts program? Guilford offers classes for the art major and non-major. Explore the new program in experience design (XD), or schedule a visit to meet with an admission counselor and visit with current art students and faculty.