Tama Art University

Department of Design

Pursuing the myriad possibilities of design

The Department of Design is the only one of its kind at a Japanese four-year art university to provide nighttime courses in design. These classes at night are taught by creators and designers active in the field, whose practical daytime working experience in real society is reflected in their lessons. Revolving around a central axis defined by the five design categories "visual", "digital", "imagery", "space" and "product", students learn about design in general from diversified points of view. The courses in which numerous adult students are enrolled offer a vibrantly active, mutually stimulating environment for students to learn together regardless of age differences. The Department of Design projects our vision of an ideal state of human communication (involving people, things, information and environments), and thereby aims to foster individuals contributing to society through the act of design.


In the first year, the department offers a basic curriculum for students to study design, acquire the necessary cogitation, observation and creative expression skills, and in addition, master basic computer technology. In the second year, students acquire specialized skills in three specialized design branches "graphic/editorial", "imagery/media" and "environmental/product". Developing from these specialized courses, from the third year on the curriculum focuses on rather advanced, leading-edge studies and production in the five specialized fields "visual", "digital", "imagery", "space" and "product". Numerous seminars on different cross-disciplinary topics – one characteristic of the Department of Design – provide opportunities for students to acquire expertise with a comprehensive vision.

Prospects after graduation

Today's design industry requires the fostering of human resources able to work beyond technically segmentalized genres. Many graduates are active as designers in all walks of life, ranging from publishing and broadcasting media to online and gaming industries, and in addition, industrial and urban/living/environmental design. Another career option for ambitious graduates is to pursue further studies at a graduate school for example.