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Academics . Craft + Design . Courses

Craft + Design Courses

Craft + Design Curriculum

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

Creativity + Process

Course No. CDE 200  Credits: 3.0

Creativity and process are essential to craft + design careers. Inspiration, ideation, research, and material exploration all contribute to novel and unique creative solutions. Students gain an understanding of materials and address various themes in the Craft + Design practices through models, multiples, and experimentation. The course affords the integration of skills and knowledge from foundation studies including drawing, design, color, digital synthesis, and collaboration in Craft + Design practices. Offered fall.

Design + Process

Course No. CDE 201  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Seth Nagelberg

Design and process are integral to contemporary studio practices. Design integrates material and process to allow exploration of inherent physical properties that bring content and depth to the meaning of material. Students continue the process of research and ideation using common themes, and explore through material experimentation. Each artist’s personal vision begins to emerge. A range of fundamental techniques are explored, stressing the practice of the maker. Ideation, modeling, and documentation are an important part of the creative process. Offered spring.

3D Digital Making

Course No. CDE 300  Credits: 3.0

The integration of computer aided design (CAD) with contemporary making continues to expand the possibilities of the Craft field. Digital making addresses a range of new materials and technologies toward innovative applications in Craft. 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. Offered fall.

2D Digital Making

Course No. CDE 301  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Matthew Hollern

Two-dimensional digital technologies, imaging, new materials and processes afford unique applications within Craft + Design. Projects integrate the use of digital technology for the development of image, pattern, and texture. Students learn and apply new skills with imaging tools and explore how they translate into various materials and surfaces. Fulfills Engaged Practice requirement by requiring students to work with think[box], and an external CIA partner. Offered spring.

BFA Research & synTHESIS

Course No. CDE 400  Credits: 3.0

Research and synthesis are critical to the development of a thesis. This course is a hybrid seminar/studio for seniors with a focus on self-reflection, research, writing and making. 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. A successful mid-year presentation prepares students for the BFA presentation in the spring. Required of all graduating Craft + Design majors. Offered fall.

BFA synTHESIS & Presentation

Course No. CDE 401  Credits: 3.0
Faculty Kathy Buszkiewicz

Synthesis and presentation define the culminating experience of the BFA and serves as a foundation for a professional career in Craft and Design. This course continues the hybrid seminar/studio and builds on the research and thesis work developed in the fall semester. 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 finalized during the spring semester with the statement and body of work completed for the BFA presentation. The course also addresses the planning and preparation toward a professional career including goals, resume, documentation, and digital presentations. Offered spring.


Join us for a lecture series inspired by the 2021 Summer Reading, On Looking by Alexandra Horowitz.

Meet Your Faculty view all

Benjamin Johnson 290397008.jpg

Benjamin Johnson

Assistant Professor | Chair of Glass

Born in Cicero, Indiana, Benjamin Johnson earned his BFA in glass from Kent State University and his MFA in gl...more

Cores + Connections

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