Case Study

Corcoran School of the Arts and Design


Corcoran School of the Arts and Design


App Design

App Development

Design Strategy

Digital Discovery & Strategy


The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design functions as an incubator for artists, designers, and scholars, who learn from internationally renowned faculty at the intersection of creativity and social innovation. Home to over 500 undergraduate and graduate students, 50 full-time faculty, and over 100 part-time faculty, Corcoran is an academic and artistic staple in the  D.C. area.

Despite a strong and storied record of graduates placing with top-ranked employers, Corcoran was challenged with finding innovative new ways to attract students. The Corcoran College of Arts & Design wanted to expand its reach to prospects on a global level and needed a platform to communicate with the emerging art community.

Corcoran asked Beyond Definition (formerly Bates Creative) to work with them to bring a strategic approach to designing two apps that would help build and strengthen the school’s relationship with prospective students and showcase a virtual gallery tour with Corcoran owned collections.


We transformed Corcoran’s printed viewbook into an interactive app experience that brings to life the real-world stories of the Corcoran community. The Corcoran College Viewbook App enables the school to reach a broader audience and reduces costs through digital distribution. The Viewbook App delivers Corcoran to the palm of a prospective student’s hand anywhere in the world, the next best thing to being there. We also prototyped an HTML based gallery app which showcased the collections owned by  Corcoran for viewing on a mobile device or website.

“Beyond Definition (formerly Bates Creative) was timely, efficient, creative, communicative, and just genuinely top drawer on all fronts. I would hire them again in heartbeat.”

— Mimi Carter, VP of Communications, The Corcoran College of Art and Design

Phase 1Diagnostics & Discovery

Beyond Definition worked alongside the Corcoran team to conceptualize a tablet app that was educational, informational, and aesthetically engaging. Through research and discussions with Corcoran, we knew our target demographic, and used these insights to build a direction for app functionality and design. Adobe Digital Publishing Suite was decided to be the best technology in the marketplace to enable the college to create and deploy mobile apps across tablet and phone platforms.

Phase 2App Design & Development

The first app Corcoran set out to deploy was an interactive version of its viewbook. In higher education, viewbooks are often the centerpiece of recruitment materials and The Corcoran wanted to offer new students an engaging way to explore their content that would stand out from competing schools. Using DPS, we transformed the Corcoran’s printed Viewbook into an interactive app experience that involves real-world stories of the Corcoran community.

After completion of the Viewbook app, the next phase was to design and deploy a Gallery app for the Corcoran. While this app only existed as a prototype due to changes in the ownership of the school and gallery, our team still designed the app. Our mission was to bring the Corcoran gallery to life with a virtual tour that would allow users from across the globe to interact with Corcoran digitally. Through this process, we focused on creating a digital space that would engage and excite users, positioning a virtual tour as an entry point into the Corcoran and larger art community.

Phase 3App Launch

The Corcoran viewbook App we launched serves as a key touchpoint for students who are interested in attending the school. Beautiful interactivity in the app includes 360-degree views, videos, slideshows, hyperlinks to apply to the College, and much more, enabling prospective new students to see themselves as a part of the Corcoran community, in the classrooms and with their work hanging on the gallery walls.