Designer as Author, School of Visual Arts

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By Monica Racic

“WE WERE DECIDEDLY ahead of our time, with our emphasis on both DIY and handmade products as well as entrepreneurism,” says Lita Talarico, the co-chair, with Steven Heller, of this 10-year old MFA program. Subtitled “The Graduate Program for Design Entrepreneurs,” the course teaches designers to imagine, produce, and market their ideas, whether the end result is a book, a product, or a movie. Successes include the breakthrough pharmaceutical drug packaging and labels for Target designed by Deborah Adler, which she developed while in the program. Classes (including seminars in business and law) are held in the evening to accommodate working professionals’ schedules.