BFA Degree Program

Live Experience Design

Live Experience Design is a rapidly growing, interdisciplinary field. From rock concerts and theatrical stage performances to curated healthcare experiences and immersive art, experience designers use narratives built through multiple media—visual, aural, and tactile—to stimulate strong emotional reactions to brands, performers, stories, and environments, shifting and directing the ways we engage with the world around us.
Students majoring in Live Experience Design at PCA&D will graduate with a broad set of critical thinking, designing, and making skills. Through a core curriculum in art/design history, theory, and technology, and anchored in hands-on studio work and practical field experience, students will gain a foundational knowledge of the concepts and skills used in experience design. In their junior and senior years, students will focus their studies through the selection of a concentration within the major—live performance or curated environments. They will also participate in an internship in a related professional environment and complete a year-long senior studio, culminating in the creation of an interactive experiential environment as part of the Senior Show & Celebration.

The BFA in Live Experience Design at PCA&D strikes a balance between theory and practice, preparing students to be creative, contemplative problem-solvers and experience designers. Through teamwork and mentorship, Live Experience Design students will acquire firsthand experience, knowledge of the industry, and concrete skills they can carry with them into a wide range of professional practices after graduation.

The BFA in Live Experience Design is separated into two concentrations: live performance and curated experiences. Beginning in their junior year, in consultation with intra- and interdepartmental advisors, students will craft a tailored course of study that aligns with their specific area of emphasis. The live performance track focuses on the acquisition of skills necessary for creating environments for a variety of live performances and entertainment (such as stage shows; live music, theater, dance; television, film, and online entertainment, etc.), such as advanced scenography, sculpture/3D design, lighting design, and animation. The curated environments track emphasizes the acquisition of skills necessary for creating curated environments and immersive experiences (museum/gallery exhibits; education or healthcare environments; themed restaurant/hotel spaces; immersive art installations, etc.), such as lighting design, soundscapes, interior design, video production, and immersive media.

Students who successfully complete the program will...

  • Develop a deeper understanding of human experience as it relates to environments through design history and theory, psychology, and aesthetics
  • Formulate and apply concepts to their work via formal expression, conceptual development, and contextual dialogue
  • Formulate and apply critical analysis to their work and the work of others while benefiting from collaboration among disciplines
  • Demonstrate the ability to create accessible and ethical experiences within the context of community, cultural, and professional expectations
  • Demonstrate a range of the latest innovation and technological skills necessary for employment in the experience design industry
  • Engage in the business and practical realities of the field, understand and employ appropriate trends and standards, and develop a body of work relevant to acquiring work in their chosen industry

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