Schooled: Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design

The Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design integrates education, research and consultancy into its unique year-long program. Touting a cross-disciplinary and multi-cultural environment, the school aims to be an international interaction design hub, blending design and technology.

The Details

Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design

  • Program type: graduate
  • Duration: 1 year, January to December
  • Program cost: CIID and its founding partners cover about half of the cost, leaving students responsible for $15,991.
  • Admissions: Prospective students must submit an application, personal essay, transcripts, resume, two letters of recommendation and a portfolio. A prior degree, English proficiency and an interview are required. 
  • Online learning options: none

“The students who attend CIID are very rigorously screened and hand-picked by internal staff of CIID,” says cofounder Vinay Venkatraman. “They experience a very high level of intensity and show a lot of rigor and commitment throughout the year. They are engaged and hands-on with all courses, and they build prototypes and demonstrate ideas very rapidly.” 

CIID was founded in 2008 and is run in collaboration with Kolding School of Design, a leading Danish cultural and educational institution with a special commitment to sustainability, diversity and creating responsible economic growth. From the impressive list of internationally renowned faculty members to the unique structure of the program, CIID promises a unique educational experience for all students.

Program highlights

CIID breaks up the one-year program into three tiers: foundations, investigations and a final project. The foundations tier consists of short, skills-based courses designed to provide students with the fundamentals they will need throughout the rest of their studies. Topics covered include theory of interaction design, computational design and interactive data visualization.

During the investigations tier, students focus on three longer workshops on graphical user interfaces, tangible user interfaces and service design. Students pursue more in-depth design projects on briefs related to particular human needs and contexts.

While working on the final project, students may explore an area of interest, combining design work with reflection and knowledge generation with faculty advisement. Students also go on industry visits where they work on a question or topic of the company’s interest. In the past, students have visited Lego, Danfoss, SPIRE, Bang & Olufsen and Novo Nordisk.

The program is at the master’s level, but it is currently awaiting validation. CIID focuses on the content and the people involved, rather than formal accreditation, but students who successfully complete the courses will receive a diploma acknowledging their accomplishments. Read more on the curriculum and view a course map here.

Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, design school directory

Noteworthy faculty

Simona Maschi, head of the program, focuses on new design solutions with environmental and social responsibility, and has taught classes throughout Europe and the United States.

CIID regularly has visiting faculty members who range from professionals with lots of industry experience to renowned academics, including Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi and senior members of IDEO and frog.

Noteworthy alumni

Only three classes have completed the program so far, but CIID graduate Ishac Bertran won an IXDA Interaction Award with his final project Pas a Pas

Schooled is a series of profiles of accredited higher-education programs for interactive design. See our full list of interaction design programs here.