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Academics . Craft + Design . Courses

Craft + Design Courses

Craft + Design Curriculum

These core classes represent the central premise for the program. Many course options within individual disciplines allow you the ability to concentrate your focus or explore your creative opportunities.

Creative Process + Material Studies: Core 1

Course No. CDE 200  Credits: 3.0

Students focus on the creative process and
material studies across the craft majors.
From inspiration to the production of
multiples, each major explores design and
making through their respective mediums
as well as other materials. The sophomores
in the Craft + Design environment address
common themes while working in their
respective major: Ceramics, Glass, and
Jewelry + Metals. The course affords the
integration of skills and knowledge from
foundation including drawing, design, color,
digital synthesis, and collaboration, with the
practices related to the full scope of the
Craft + Design major programs. Offered fall.

Language of Materials: Core 2

Course No. CDE 201  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Seth Nagelberg

The second course in the core explores
commonalities and differences in the
“language of materials.” Emphasis is placed
on visual and conceptual aspects of
materials, and material process. This makes
for interesting investigations and
explorations within and across mediums.
Historically materials and processes are
connected with the evolution of function,
and meaning. The class will explore inherent
physical properties that may bring content
and depth to ideas borne of the medium
itself. Students continue the process of
research and ideation using these common
themes, and explore through
experimentation. Each student’s individual
voice begins to emerge. Fundamental
techniques will be explored and practiced,
stressing the practice of the maker.
Idea-books/sketchbooks will continue to be
worked on as an important part of the
creative process. Offered spring.

Digital Surface + Image: Core 3 (EP)

Course No. CDE 300  Credits: 3.0

explores the integration of digital

technologies, imaging and three-
dimensional modeling, new materials and

processes, and the connections with
ceramics, glass, and jewelry + metals. The
fall semester brings a focus to the
application and integration of 2D digital
imaging on surfaces and forms in clay,
enamel, glass, and metal. Projects build on
the foundation skill set and encourage the
use of digital technology for the
development of image, pattern, and texture.
Students utilize and develop their skills with
imaging software and explore how it
translates into the various materials and
surfaces. Offered fall. Fulfills Engaged
Practice requirement.

Digital Modeling + Making: Core 4

Course No. CDE 301  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Matthew Hollern

Craft & Design Core 4 explores the
integration of computer-aided design (CAD)
across the craft disciplines. Building on the
Core 3 course, Digital Modeling and Making
addresses a range of new materials and
technologies toward innovative applications
across the range of Craft, new skills and
knowledge from 3D modeling to computer
aided manufacturing, and rapid prototyping.
Projects integrate design and output
experiences toward exploration of new
materials, patterns, molds, templates,
models, and objects. The seminar/studio
course includes weekly seminar
discussions, presentations, and reviews as
well as dedicated work in the studios, labs,
and major spaces. Laptops are
recommended but not required. Offered

BFA Research & Thesis: Core 5

Course No. CDE 400  Credits: 3.0

Core 5 is a hybrid seminar/studio courses
for seniors with a focus on investigation,
growth and verbal intelligibility. Each student
develops their own criteria for a thesis and
portfolio of work through research,
exploration, and experimentation in various
materials and media. The seminar includes
discussions, presentations, readings, and
writing assignments, which vary to
recognize the direction of the group and
formal issues and conceptual challenges.
The subject, research, and writing for the
thesis are developed during the first
semester with the final thesis due before the
BFA Show and critique. The course
includes field trips to museums, galleries,
and artist studio visits to expose students to
historical and contemporary artwork and
practice. The mid-year review at the end of
the fall semester is an environment-wide
presentation and progress review, which
also prepares students for the oral defense
of the BFA exhibition in the spring. Required
of all graduating Craft & Design majors.
Offered fall. Open to electives.

BFA Statement + Exhibition: Core 6

Course No. CDE 401  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Kathy Buszkiewicz

BFA Statement and Exhibition is a hybrid
seminar/studio course that builds on the
research and thesis work developed in Core
5. Research, exploration, and
experimentation culminate with the
presentation of the statement and the BFA
exhibition. The seminar includes
discussions, presentations, readings, and
writing assignments, which vary to
recognize the direction of the group and
formal issues and conceptual challenges.
The subject, research, and writing for the
thesis and BFA statement are further
developed during the spring semester with
the statement and body of work completed
for the BFA exhibition and review. The
course includes field trips and artist studio
visits to offer the students critical, historical,
and contemporary points of reflection. The
course also addresses the planning and
preparation toward career goals including
goals statements, resume review, and
digital presentations by each senior.
Required of all graduating Craft & Design
majors. Offered spring. Open to electives.

ThinkCraft explores contemporary craft

A yearlong celebration, CIA hosted artists and scholars from across the globe to explore and celebrate contemporary craft.

Meet Your Faculty view all

Kathy Buszkiewicz slip-knot180x7.6x12.jpgslip-knot-detail-1.jpg

Kathy Buszkiewicz


As a materials magician, Kathy Buszkiewicz creates multi-layered works from U.S. currency which explore themes...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.