Introducing the Genesis Class of Meadows’ New Master of Arts in Creative Technology
The new MACT program prepares its first class of students to be thought leaders in the Web3 space by combining creative skills and technological advancements.
This fall marks the inaugural semester of Meadows’ new M.A. program in Creative Technology (MACT). The MACT program, which is 100% virtual, combines creative and design disciplines with core and emerging digital technologies, like AI and blockchain, to generate innovative solutions that are growing in demand across industries.
MACT’s first (or “genesis”) class has 14 students, over 50% of whom identify as women, and will meet once a week via Zoom for their virtual class. Though most students in the genesis class come from creative backgrounds like copywriting, design and architecture, the class will be taught a wide spectrum of topics that will help prepare both creative and technical-oriented individuals. Throughout the program student will blend creative skills with technological advancements in order to develop understanding around the context of what’s happening in Web3, the new iteration of the World Wide Web which incorporates concepts such as decentralization, blockchain technologies and token-based economics.
One of the members of the MACT genesis class is Ru Ferguson, a student who also recently earned her B.A. and B.F.A. degrees at SMU Meadows in Creative Computation and Dance in 2022. She felt both disciplines allowed her to express herself in different ways, while combining her two passions of art and technology. It was her desire to continue to meld the two interests together that led her to apply for the new MACT graduate program.
“I am very interested in cultivating my technical skills and marketability for careers in creative technology fields by learning more about the UI/UX design fields, as well as integrations of Web3,” Ferguson explains of her decision to enroll in the program. “What truly excites me the most is finding ways that dance, as a performance art, can be combined with creative technology in new ways that bring the performance and audience experience to new heights.”
The unique graduate program is led by Professor Ira Greenberg, who has been interested in the connection between computation and creative practice for 30 years and is considered one of the early pioneers in creative coding and generative art. He originally studied both science and art but often struggled with the limits of painting with a brush and canvas. After taking a job in computer graphics, he eventually managed to combine his passions years down the line and spearheading Meadows’ MACT program is the next big step in converging the two mediums.
“The program is the first of its kind and is positioning students to be leaders in the Web3 culture, giving them a competitive head start that practically nobody else in the workforce will have,” explains Greenberg. “Students are going to understand the ethos beyond just the how-to, which will be instrumental for companies to start moving into, and winning, in that space.”
Over the course of the 30 credit-hour master’s degree, students will gain the ability to understand what is happening in the AI, blockchain, and NFT space, and how to best integrate those aspects into a company. The skills and knowledge learned through the program will allow its graduates to become thought leaders in Web3 and, in turn, advance their career potential in a variety of industries, from user experience design to augmented and virtual reality development.
To learn more about Meadows' M.A. in Creative Technology, click here.