The Interaction Design Programme teaches fundamental skills, methods and tools related to tangible/product interactions, graphical/screen interactions and service design / strategic interactions. We continually develop our definition of interaction design through the evolving nature of our curriculum.

Our Approach

Led by a ‘learning by doing’ philosophy and hands-on approach, IDP participants explore topics by undertaking life centred research before generating ideas. Participants work together in multi-disciplinary teams to develop concepts which are then prototyped in the lab and workshop.

We place faith in diversity of skills, thinking and culture – and believe in imparting skills for teamwork, communication and collaboration, not just technical and design skills. The IDP is an effective platform for peer-to-peer learning. As well as learning from our expert faculty, participants are expected to shared their existing knowledge and skills with those they work with. This ensures a unique, multi-cultural learning environment and ensures that graduates have up to date hard skills as well as a forward-thinking mind-set.

Life-Centred Design

Our world-renowned people-centered process will further evolve in to a life-centered focus to encompass not just people, but the environment we live in and the other organisms we share it with. Our vision is to be a global hub for innovation and an accelerator for sustainable solutions in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

Since its inception in 2006, CIID has developed networks, processes, and a mindset to create a positive impact in people’s lives through design. Our key approach to innovation has been to use empathy and co-creation to engage with the people whom the products and services we design are meant for. This process is based on prototyping those products and services as early as possible and continue iterating them based on the feedback of all the stakeholders involved. This results in a more considered approach to innovation, where real human needs guide the development of products, services, and technologies, rather than the other way around.

However, now we know that just focusing on creating value for people has come at a cost to the environment. Our next step is to develop a set of tools – and a mindset to be able to co-create both with people and the planet.

Though we have known this for a long time, a lack of data, rigid industrial production chains, and business models focused on financial growth have created an extraction economy based on exploitation of natural and human resources. Now, with a changing world and more widespread awareness, we are ready to tackle these global challenges and we believe that it is time for design to do its part.

The Structure

The Interaction Design Programme takes place over a calendar year and is divided across: Foundations, Investigations, Industry Projects and a Final Project.


These consist of short (1-2 week), skills-based courses designed to provide participants with the fundamentals they will need as interaction design practitioners and for effective peer-to-peer learning and work support. The short courses will lead into more in-depth design projects on briefs related to particular human needs and contexts. Previous programmes have included courses in:

Team Building
Introduction to Interaction Design
Digital Fabrication
People Centred Research
Introduction to Programming
Computational Design
Video Prototyping
Physical Computing
Machine Learning
Immersive Experiences
Interactive Data Visualisation
Interactive Spaces
Performative Design/Wearable Computing
Sound Design
Sensory Design
Rapid Experience Prototyping


Investigations provide an opportunity for participants to pursue more in-depth design projects related to particular human needs and contexts. Building on the Foundations, these 2-4 week classes encourage participants to think about what they are designing but most importantly who they are designing for, and why. participants will work in teams, and support each other in learning required design and prototyping skills to fulfill their projects. Previous courses have included:

Graphical User Interface
Tangible User Interface / Sustainable Product Design
Service Design
Enchanted Objects (The Internet of Things)
Emotive Digital Services
Working Intelligence
Immersive Experiences


Industry Projects

In these intense two-week, real life-driven innovation workshops, participants work with industry partners on briefs of a mutual interest. Taking place at two points in the curriculum, the Industry Projects simulate a professional environment and venture development. Previously we have collaborated with Danish and international companies including Barclays, Cookpad, Crusa, DSB, Electrolux, Facebook Reality Labs, Google, IKEA, Intel, Lego, littleBits, Maersk, Mozilla, Nokia, Novo Nordisk, Orange, Philips, and Velux.

Final Project

The final project occupies participants for 8-10 weeks during the final months of the programme. This provides the chance to do original work on a topic of their own interest and choosing. With the help of internal and external advisors, participants carry out self-driven projects. They receive a project framework which details the process and expectations for assessment. The projects are assessed in a final exam by a panel of external examiners in line with the following criteria: Research, Concept, Prototyping, Documentation and Communication. Students can: Pass, Pass with Honours or Fail.


The course is complemented by a series OPEN Lectures in the theoretical and practical aspects of interaction design and related fields.

Participants are expected to document and publish their work throughout the year and participate an end-of-year exhibition accompanying their examinations.


Here is an example of the IDP curriculum including the duration of each course and learning outcomes. The curriculum evolves each year to include new topics and technologies that reflect the demands of industry and to push the boundaries of the discipline.

NameDurationLearning Outcome
Teambuildng1 weekTeambuilding, Critique, Studio Operations, Time Management, Biases and Assumptions.
Video Prototyping2 weeksPlanning a shoot, Storyboarding, Prototyping with Video, Videography, Editing, Sound, AfterEffects
People Centred Research2 weeksPeople, Design Research, Design
Process, Interview & Observation Techniques,
Synthesis & Analysis, Insights and Opportunity Mapping.
Intro to Programming1 weekp5.js,, Algorithms, Systems, Processes + Structures, Data, Networks, Collaboration, Music, Sound, Generative Design, Computational Thinking
Materials as Electronics1 weekElectronics, Physical computing. Critical view of electronics in regards to design practices. Basic electronics vocabulary.
Prototyping interactive solutions using electronics. Experimentation with electrical aspects various conductive materials. Basic electronic circuitry.
Physical Computing2 weekPhysical computing, Arduino, IoT, Connected Objects, Basic Programming, Electronics
Intro to Data Visualisation1 weekDrawing, Prototyping, Programming, Static and Dynamic Data, Processing
Machine Learning1 weekMachine Learning, Artificial intelligence, Interactivity, Interaction Design, Prototyping, Digital Art, Neural Networks
Experimental Imaging1 weekPhotography, Videography, Composition, Experimentation, Visual Thinking
Rapid Experience Prototyping1 weekSimulation, video, storytelling, communication
Immersive Experiences1 weekVR, AR, Simulation, Physical Prototyping
Sensory Design1 weekSensing, Sensory Design, Augmentation, Smell + Olfaction, Food Futures, Synthetic Biology, Biotechnology, Fermentation, Machine Perception, Machine Vision.
Graphical User Interface3 weeksGraphical User Interfaces, App Design, Data, Visualisation, Screen Design, Layout, Typography
Working Intelligence3 weeksArtificial intelligence, Machine Learning, Experiential prototyping, Design fiction, Future of work, Future Interfaces, Storytelling
Service Design3-4 weeksConfidently design a system based solution. Deepen knowledge and know-how in user research. Plan, design, and execute experience prototyping sessions. Deliver effective storytelling of a complex system. Balance stakeholder relationships and needs from a business, user, and a systemic perspective. Develop fluency of tools and methodologies to design services
Reflection1 weekSelf-reflection, Critical Thinking, How to give feedback
Mid-Way Exam1 weekPresentation, Communication, Storytelling
Industry Projects2 weeks (x2)Design Process, Working with Clients/Partners, Presentation, Communication, Storytelling.
Final Project10 weeksFull Design Process, iteration, Research, Concept, Prototyping, Experience Prototyping, Communication, Documentation
Exam/Exhibition1 weekAssessment Criteria: Research, Concept, Prototyping. Documentation, Presentation
(Graded: Pass, Pass with Honours, Fail)