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Academics . Craft + Design . Overview

Craft + Design

It’s an exciting time to explore contemporary craft, as artists and designers cross disciplines to meld traditional and new technologies to develop hybrid approaches to making.

Our Craft + Design program provides a contemporary approach to your education, offering cross-disciplinary innovation, creative experimentation, and knowledge sharing with an emphasis on art, design, technology and entrepreneurship through the lens of makers and making.

The material objects in our lives enrich our day-to-day experiences through the artistic expression and skilled craft of the maker. In the Craft + Design program, you’ll push the limits of both contemporary and traditional methods, take risks in your work, and challenge the conventional use of materials.

Interdisciplinary practice
We’ll encourage you to think across mediums and consider how the material you work with contributes to the meaning of your work.

Our core curriculum allows us to bring students who may be generalists thinking about craft in a broader context, and specialists who are thinking about ceramics, or glass, or jewelry and metals, enamel, and have them work together around six core subjects over the course of six semesters, exploring creative process, material, form and context.

Artists and designers who focus on object-making through the design workflow can work with clients very effectively. You’ll learn how to understand an idea that a client has, conduct research and ideation, present options, make prototypes, and make work that will fulfill the objectives that your end product is supposed to fulfill.

Real-world experience for real-world careers
What may best set CIA apart from other colleges of art and design is our commitment to preparing students for a career path through real-world experiences. You'll learn by working on real-world projects with external partners or clients, or in the public sphere—all before graduation.

These opportunities allow you to put your classroom and studio knowledge to work in a professional setting while still being guided by faculty. You’ll learn what it takes to meet clients’ expectations, and you will emerge with confidence that will serve you as you launch your career.

Northeast Ohio and the Cleveland Institute of Art have a long history of leadership and innovation in Craft, with legendary faculty and alumni over the years including John Paul Miller, Frederick Miller, Brent Kee Young, Judith Salomon, WIlliam Brouillard, and our world-renowned practicing faculty.

What can I do with a degree in Craft + Design?

Featured Alumni Profile

Jessica Calderwood - Sculptor

Craft + Design amplifies collaborative approach

Feature Story

Craft + Design amplifies collaborative approach


Meet Your Professors view all

Matthew Hollern nexusochrebrass.2small.jpgafacultymatthewhollern07.jpg

Matthew Hollern

Professor | Academic Coordinator of Jewelry + Metals

Matthew Hollern has received research and professional development grants from the Society of North American G...more

Cores + Connections

Our connections are your connections.

While at CIA, you'll learn from the masters through our rigorous, world-class curriculum and connect with working professionals to begin your career.