Art + Design teaches designers to give form to emotions and ideas through medium, composition, and storytelling.
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The Department of Art + Design provides a truly interdisciplinary major for students who are interested in exploratory and innovative experiences that blend traditional and emerging creative practices. The Art + Design program sets students on the path to design leading-edge artifacts and experiences that engage, entertain, and impact. Art + Design students are prepared to enter many fields in the creative industries from professional design firms to entertainment and educational technology companies. As “artist-designers,” students in the Art + Design program learn to be creative practitioners and image-makers who bring form to emotions and ideas through the exploration of medium, composition, and most importantly, storytelling.
The Department of Art + Design Undergraduate program gives students the opportunity to learn as they develop their creative portfolios through a wide-range of two-dimensional and three-dimensional traditional materials and computer-based processes including: drawing and illustration, visual composition, soft materials construction, fibers, graphic and interactive narratives, motion graphics, visual effects, animation, web design, game design, interactive and computational media, virtual and augmented reality, 3D modeling, digital fabrication, and more.
The first two years of the undergraduate Art + Design degree focuses on principal foundations that explore, develop, and strengthen the student’s knowledge of visual and interactive processes. Students focus the remainder of their studies in intermediate and advanced-level classes that encourage depth in traditional materials and computer-based processes and breadth in creative experimentation.
The Department of Art + Design Master of Art + Design (M.A.D) program, focuses on Experimental Media Arts. The M.A.D. program encourages students to explore the intersection of digital and material technologies to create interactive and engaging experiences that push the boundaries of storytelling, learning and play. The outcome of graduate student work can be the development of creative portfolio works that are backed by rigorous exploration, discovery, and historical and contemporary precedents. The M.A.D. student can also chose to complete a written research-focused thesis on new cross-disciplinary practices in Art + Design. Explore more about our Graduate Program
Students and faculty in Art + Design challenge the status quo through creative technology acuity, experimentation across creative mediums, and articulation of creative ideas and vision through verbal and visual explanation. Art + Design students’ study to be:
- Visual Storytellers:Art + Design students bring a compelling visual form to narratives that results in career paths in the creative industries from animation, game design, and interactive exhibits, to soft materials construction, and digital/print-media publishing.
- Critical and Creative Thinkers: Art + Design students are taught to be critical and creative problem-solvers with a willingness to take risks to translate creative ideas into prototypes and products.
- Experimenters:Art + Design students are constantly uncovering new methods, materials, techniques and technologies to enhance their products and ideas by pushing creative boundaries both technically and conceptually.
- Makers:Art + Design students don’t just propose concepts and prototypes, they take steps beyond idea schematics to prototype and make the products and artifacts that they are designing.
- Entrepreneurs and Innovators: Art + Design students forge new paths in artifact and experience design that places human engagement, enrichment, and learning at its core.
The Department of Art + Design Undergraduate program encourages interdisciplinary exploration. The department promotes a breadth of experience, experimentation that helps students ask critical questions and find a creative voice that is confident, professional, and potentially entrepreneurial. Students are prepared to lead careers in the creative industries. Students are taught to be makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs. They are trained to integrate their developing artistic visions and design acuity in traditional materials and emerging technology methods and processes. Students develop a strong foundation in critical thinking and problem-solving. Students are encouraged to think and make beyond the current context to future possibilities.
The Department of Art + Design program encourages students to explore the boundaries of technology, narrativity and interaction to create engaging, rich, compelling and innovative stories and interactive experiences. Complementing the creative groundswell of technology-based platforms for storytelling, interactivity, and information sharing, students in the Department of Art + Design are encouraged to blend traditional materials and emerging technologies in ways that encourage new innovations.
Students have the opportunity to learn as they develop their creative portfolios through a wide-range of two-dimensional and three-dimensional hand-based and computer-based processes including: drawing and illustration, visual composition, soft materials construction, fibers, graphic and interactive narratives, motion graphics, visual effects, animation, web design, game design, interactive and computational media, virtual and augmented reality, 3D modeling, digital fabrication, and more.
The Department of Art + Design Undergraduate Program cultivates a strong foundation in:
- Critical, creative and adaptive thinking with a focus on exploration, experimentation, and contextual awareness through making;
- An ability to recognize the components of creative processes and methods that can lead to provocative creative solutions;
- A nimble facility with the methods, processes, and technologies that drive current and future art and design practices;
- A commitment to problem-solving that addresses the potentials of human engagement with the designed artifact and experiences;
- An inter-disciplinary perspective that values diversity in viewpoints and integration across academic disciplines; and
- An appreciation for the reciprocal relationship between aesthetics, experience and technology.
Art + Design Undergraduate Minor
The Department of Art + Design believes that there is an essential need for students in a technically based research university to engage in coursework that fosters creative thinking, problem-solving, and making. To meet this need, the department offers courses to all students in the university as a minor in Art + Design. Minors are guided through a selection of courses with consultation from a design advisor.
The minor in Art + Design consists of 15 total credit hours of study, of which 6 hours must be satisfied at the basic course level. The remaining 9 hours of courses may be selected from the course list in the information provided by the Art + Design advisor. A grade of “B” or better will be required for credit in all courses in the minor in Art + Design program.
Although all efforts are made to accommodate minors, it is important for potential students to know and understand that access to Art + Design courses are based on a hierarchy where priority access goes to design majors.
The Masters of Art + Design (MAD) is focused on experimental media arts and prepares students to be design directors, practitioners, visionaries, and leaders in the field who are able to respond to the social, cultural and economic shifts that current times – and global economies – demand. Our students become creative thinkers and skilled makers in an inter-disciplinary educational environment, which provides the critical knowledge and expertise to re-imagine new contexts that challenge traditional structures and assumptions guiding art and design practice.
The MAD program promotes the highest level of research, resulting in proven innovation that informs emerging media platforms and product development.
The program encourages graduate students to apply design thinking and innovative technologies in new directions through research, experimentation, creative production, and entrepreneurship. Graduate students are also expected to create, present and interpret their work with the intellectual expertise and refined skills required to become leaders in their professional field.
Students in the MAD program engage in rigorous research and studio-intensive coursework which supports a critical perspective in art and design that is intellectually, conceptually, and technically insightful and experimental.
Experimental Media Arts challenges experienced and self-driven students to find new and exciting intersections between storytelling, animation and kinetic and experimental interactions. Students underpin the products and experiences that they are designing with intensive research regarding theory, practice and technology. The MAD aims to create leading practitioners that are working to shape the future of the field from both an experiential and technological perspective.
Students in the program have the option of doing a final project or more theoretical and research-based paper or study.
Major Areas of Experimental Media Arts
Track 1: 30 Credit Hours (with optional credit hours for final project development)
Track 2: 48 Credit Hours (with optional credit hours for final project development)
Track 2 is for students with undergraduate degrees in art and design or fields closely related to their concentration area. Track 2 students have some accomplishment and/or strong work experience within their chosen concentration area. Track 2 students may take some advanced undergraduate courses to further their conceptual, theoretical and technical acumen within their chosen concentration.
Experimental Media Arts: Track 2 (optional 12 credit hours of additional final project development | Total of 60 credit hours). Students have an undergraduate degree in interactive and experimental media arts but need or want some initial studios to explore new theories and concepts that might inform their final project.
Track 3: 72-credit hours (Experimental Media Arts Option)
Track 3 presupposes applicants with undergraduate degrees related to the concentration area or some experience working within their chosen concentration area. Once in the program, all Track 3 students will take 2 semesters of undergraduate work in the concentration (21-24 credit hours) to improve skills, experiment, and gain confidence in the medium.
Experimental Media Arts: Track 03 (with optional 12 credit hours of additional final project development | Total of 84 credit hours). For students with a background in something other than interactive and experimental media arts. The first year of this program students take advanced undergraduate courses