Design, BA

The Fine Arts department is committed to cultivating global thought leaders in the fields of Art and Design. The Major in Design addresses a need for innovative pedagogy exploring the expansive nature of contemporary design and its relationship to the humanities, the sciences, and emerging technologies. The curriculum emphasizes an integrated understanding of design that brings together different disciplinary approaches that respond to complex social, cultural, and environmental challenges. Students will acquire contemporary representation, prototyping, and fabrication skills and engage with theoretical frameworks yielding advanced research and knowledge production.

Students begin the Design Major with two required core studios that introduce fundamental design methodologies, computational literacy, technological fabrication, and the study of contemporary digital culture. Majors then select from a series of theoretical and historical seminars that contextualize and expand their understanding of design practices including data-driven, speculative, and inquiry-based design. Majors also have the freedom to select from an expansive list of art and design electives that further their interdisciplinary expertise. The Design Major culminates in a year-long design project, researched design brief, public exhibition, and panel review with leading experts in the field.

A goal for students entering the major is to develop the ability to critically and resourcefully synthesize the expansive potentialities of design. These skill sets are gained through exposure to diverse approaches to design methodologies, histories, and theories. Learning outcomes are evident in the individual and collaborative conceptual, technological, and speculative projects that emerge from the core and integrative studios. Design electives and seminars enrich, complicate, and expand disciplinary modalities, while engaging in deeper explorations of positionality within a global climate. Ultimately, the Design Major seeks to guide students through a process of learning to independently question, interpret, and analyze integrative design.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

College General Education Requirements and Free Electives
Foundational Approaches + Sectors1 + Free Electives20
Major Requirements
Core Studio Requirements 22
Students are encouraged to take these classes their freshman and sophomore years.
Art, Design and Digital Culture
Design 21: Design After the Digital
Integrative Design Studio Requirements4
Select 4 courses:
Graphic Design with Creative Technologies
Biological Design
Cultures of Making
Functions for Form and Material
Information Design and Visualization
Interfacing Cultures: Designing for Mobile, Web and Public Media
Art History and Theory Requirements4
Art History- select one of the following:
World Art and Civilization Before 1400
World Art: 1400 to Now
Architect and History
Undergraduate Methods Seminar
Theory- select three of the following:
Geometric Design
Contemporary Theories of Design
Language of Design
People and Design
Eye, Mind, and Image
Design Seminar Requirements 32
Senior Seminar Project (Fall) (Fall)
Senior Seminar Project (Spring) (Spring)
Art and Design Electives 44
Select any combination of four FNAR and DSGN courses to fulfill this requirement 5
Total Course Units36

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2021 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.