Paul Pangaro, MFA Interaction Design

Internationally recognized technology executive & educator Paul Pangaro to head CCS’s Master of Fine Arts Interaction Design program

The College for Creative Studies (CCS) has named internationally recognized technology executive and educator Paul Pangaro as Chair of its Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Interaction Design program. He joins CCS as of April 1 and will begin teaching in the fall 2015 semester.

Pangaro is founder of General Cybernetics, Inc., a company that creates new tools for reading digital content based on cybernetics of conversation. In addition, Pangaro spent ten years in Silicon Valley as a strategy consultant to startups and as Distinguished Market Strategist at Sun Microsystems. Through prototyping, lecturing and writing, his career has focused on the cognitive and social needs of human beings. He has taught courses on interaction design at the School of Visual Arts and Stanford University, and has lectured at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is one of the most sought-after experts on interaction design, presenting papers on design, technology and human interaction throughout the world and publishing in recognized industry journals.

“Because of the integration of digital technology into so many aspects of our lives, interaction design is one of the fastest growing areas of design today. Many industries are urgently seeking interaction designers, yet there are few programs preparing students to the level that the industry requires,” said Richard L. Rogers, president of CCS. “CCS’s new program has the opportunity to become a global leader, and Paul Pangaro is the right person to take us there. He brings an impressive background as scholar, theorist, design strategist, entrepreneur, and educator. He will be an important contributor not only to the College but to the burgeoning tech community in Detroit.”

CCS’s Interaction Design curriculum focuses on improving the experience of interacting with digital devices wherever they may be found – in smartphones, automobiles, appliances, wearables, and numerous other products. It integrates research methods, creative skills and business practices to prepare students for successful careers. The program emphasizes the human context of design, investigating the ways people use and respond to technology, identifying unmet needs and developing design solutions.

“CCS has already established itself as a leading institution for all things design. With its strong connections to the flourishing technology community in Detroit, it can mold the next generation of interaction designers,” said Paul Pangaro. “Interaction Design is still in its infancy but grows more important as technology becomes increasingly embedded in our daily lives. MFA Interaction Design at CCS provides an extraordinary opportunity for practitioners and the industry to collaborate in giving students a life-long foundation for their careers, developing human-centered practices and meeting the evolving needs of the competitive market.”

Pangaro received a Bachelor of Science in humanities and computer science, with a minor in drama, from MIT, where he made award-winning computer-generated films and did a thesis on film criticism. He also worked under Nicholas Negroponte at the MIT Architecture Machine Group, which became the famed MIT Media Lab. He was awarded a Ph.D. in cybernetics from Brunel University in the UK, where his thesis focused on the development of conversation theory software.