Design Experiences. Create Connections.
If you’re drawn toward interactive installations, intrigued by hands-on museum and art exhibitions or curious about creating exciting experiences with Instagram-worthy moments, Sheridan’s new Honours Bachelor of Experiential Design may be the degree for you.
“Like a choreographer, an experiential designer determines movement through space and develops possible narratives and interactions within a physical environment using all the senses,” explains Angela Iarocci, the program’s coordinator. “It’s an emerging field that takes a holistic approach to improve and augment people’s experience of places.”
It’s so emergent in fact, that Sheridan’s four-year degree in Experiential Design is the first of its kind in Canada, developed in response to industry demand and new directions within design practice. As technology advances and socio-cultural changes take hold, it’s forcing design disciplines to evolve. With its over 50-year legacy of delivering ground-breaking arts and design education, Sheridan is well positioned to respond to these shifts.
The curriculum focuses on key areas of the field including wayfinding, exhibition design, placemaking, themed environments and events. Experiential Design students will take courses that blend theoretical and hands-on training, integrating aspects of architecture, interaction design, and graphic design.
Faculty include experienced designers with a range of specializations and industry connections to mentor students throughout the four years. They’ll provide expert guidance in courses like Site & Space, Communication & Narrative, Multisensory Experiences, Public Space & Placemaking, Experiential Design Theory and more.
Graduates will be current with qualitative and quantitative research methods focused on critical experiential design issues. They’ll be able to employ a variety of design strategies to develop solutions that integrate knowledge of materials and physical space as well as create multi-sensory experiences through interactive media. They will have the ability to integrate principles of human-centered design, sustainability and inclusive design with problem-solving methodologies aimed at experiential design solutions.
“The profession is eager for welltrained graduates who can rise to the challenges of experiential design,” says Iarocci. “And it’s not only ‘hard skills’ in arts and design that are required. Experiential design is a highly collaborative discipline – so teamwork, integrative thinking and creativity are equally important.”
A 14-week co-op opportunity in the upper years of the program will give students hands-on experience in the field, provide them with leads to industry pathways and a chance to build their portfolios and network before graduating. Students will also complete a thesis project for which they’ll delve into a specific area of experiential design. These projects often become the cornerstone of graduates’ portfolios.
In addition to pursuing a job as an experiential designer, graduates may also find employment in roles like exhibition designer, wayfinding strategist and designer, environmental graphic designer, digital experience designer, design researcher, themed and branded environments designer, and project manager/coordinator.
“It’s a tremendously exciting field to be in, rich with opportunities for application in a variety of sectors. Ultimately, it’s about connecting people, places and content in meaningful ways”, says Iarocci.
The attainment of future-proof, 21st century skills is integral to Sheridan programs, and the Bachelor of Experiential Design is no different.
Approximately 50 students will be accepted into the inaugural cohort of the Honours Bachelor of Experiential Design degree, which begins in September 2021. Applications are now being accepted. If you’re interested in learning more about the Bachelor of Experiential Design program and application requirements, you can participate in Sheridan’s Virtual Open House on November 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.