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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.

Creativity + Process

Course No. CRDS 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. 3 credits.

Design + Process

Course No. CRDS 201  Credits: 3.0

Thoughtful design and technical processes are integral to contemporary studio practices. Emphasis is placed on visual and conceptual aspects of materials, and material processes. Design integrates material and process to allow exploration of inherent physical properties that bring content and depth to the function and 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 and practiced, stressing the practice of the maker. Ideation, modeling, and documentation are practiced as an important part of the creative process. 3 credits.

3D Digital Making

Course No. CRDS 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. 3 credits.

2D Digital Making (EP)

Course No. CRDS 301  Credits: 3.0

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 external makers space, and an external partner. 3 credits.

Internship-Craft + Design (EP)

Course No. CRDS 399-499  Credits: 3.0

Elective credit can be given on a case- by case basis for student internships developed through the career services office, with advance permission of instructor and department Chair. Fulfills Engaged Practice requirement.

BFA Research + SynTHESIS

Course No. CRDS 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 thesis project proposal and through research, exploration, and experimentation in various materials and media, a portfolio of work that supports their thesis in response to departmental criteria. 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. 3 credits.

BFA SynTHESIS + Presentation

Course No. CRDS 401  Credits: 3.0

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. 3 credits.

Professional Practices: Entrepreneurial Ventures

Course No. PPEL 398A  Credits: 3.0

This course provides an overview of the environment surrounding the business of art and design, and the practice of the individual. One of the two class meeting per week is a core lecture series that covers self-promotion, networking, ethics, intellectual property, contracts, professional development, and guidance by practicing professionals. During the other weekly meeting, students attend a breakout session for the specific course in which they are enrolled. The breakout session for this course, Professional Practices: Entrepreneurial Ventures, transports the student through the key decisions required to establish a successful art/design business. 3 credits.

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

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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.