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Core Studies Office Learning Objectives Program Overview College Core Requirements College Core Course Offerings
Anderson Hall Room 314 | 215.717.6210
Courses in the College Core are generalist in scope and introduce students to major themes, central concepts, and modes of making in art, design and film. College Core integrates these areas through an interdisciplinary approach, revealing their similarities and interconnection. Students develop skills in the College Core that are transferable among the Schools. Manual and digital technologies are incorporated into the curriculum. Writing, reading, and research are also integrated into the courses to help students realize the connection among art history, critical reading and writing, and their studio practice. Students work individually and collaboratively, engaging in an artistic community and using the city as a resource.
The program will:
All students in the College of Art, Media, and Design are required to complete 18 credits from the College Core, excluding Writing for Film and Television students who are required to complete 12 credits.
In this course students use two-dimensional and digital media to explore issues of image and time. Concepts of representation, figuration, abstraction, sequence, and duration are addressed through the lenses of art, film and design. Inquiry-based research aids students in developing project content, an awareness of cultural and historical contexts, and the ability to analyze their art-making methods and the works of artists, designers and filmmakers. The development of common technical skills, critical skills, and a conceptual vocabulary provide a framework for future study. Students apply research to their processes and evaluate their work through writing and critique. The course fosters community through collaborative projects and incorporates at least one visit to an off-campus site.
In this course, students use three-dimensional and digital media to explore issues of object and environment. Ideas of found, fabricated and virtual objects are addressed through the lenses of art, film and design. Inquiry-based research aids students in developing project content, an awareness of cultural and historical contexts, and the ability to analyze their art-making methods and the works of artists, designers and filmmakers. The development of common technical skills, critical skills and a conceptual vocabulary provide a framework for future study. Students apply research to their processes and evaluate their work through writing and critique. The course fosters community through collaborative projects and incorporates at least one visit to an off-campus site.
Students are introduced to the interaction of color and a wide range of color concepts across multiple media. Color theory is addressed historically through readings. Assignments in painting, collage, digital media and aspects of film will address color in optics, lighting, print and paint. Students will combine media and work on inter-disciplinary projects. Content will include color interaction, psychology of color, additive and subtractive processes, and color use in representational as well as abstract art.
Photography for Art, Film and Design will teach artists, designers, filmmakers, and writers the basics of photography. This course will also highlight artists, designers, storytellers and filmmakers who utilize photography in their work. As a result, students will discover how photography can be incorporated into their studio practices as artists, designers, writers or filmmakers.
Observation respects the historical practice of maturing the human gaze. The course nurtures the eye’s ability to discern the difference between gross and subtle distinctions in visual information and it poses projects and problems that improve the student’s ability to sustain observation and use vision discerningly, logically and intelligently. The class couples an intensive effort at serious scholarship based in principles of visual perception with an awareness of the value of using drawing as a tool for thought. Basic drawing materials are used and exercises in manual skills are practiced. Analytical thinking permeates the course and integrates the quest for insights about the graphic and spatial qualities of a variety of subjects. Indispensable methods of recording information based on principles of location, size, proximity, orientation and proportion are explained and utilized in the execution of drawings of various scales and media.
Ideation sharpens the ideas and methods required for visual analysis and thoughtful investigation through drawing. The class invites prolonged study of objects and places while it anticipates a capacity on the part of the student to sustain research on a single topic. Multiple methods of decomposing the object such as exploded and transparent views are promoted as well as methods that compare how interior (skeletal) structures effect exteriors, surfaces and forms. Reflection, by drawings of ideal, solid and geometry, supports the retention of basic knowledge pertaining to volumetric structure and anticipates the development of imaginary imagery pertaining to objects and places. Planar understanding of mechanical and organic forms and the modular understanding of complex volumes will be combined with other historical conventions to support analysis. Imagination and visualization are encouraged in the form of projects that emphasize multiple views of imaginary objects and places. Fantasy in the form of directed assignments is encouraged and a utilitarian use of sequential imagery to support narrative is introduced.
This course will explore the intersection of visual and verbal communication via the written word, its interaction with images, and their combined impact within visual culture. Students will learn about the relationship between text and image through class lectures, studio work, individual research and collaborative projects. By analyzing and understanding how text and image combine to create meaning, students develop new strategies for making that will enhance their artistic, conceptual, critical and analytical skills.
Sound is a sensuous medium that touches our bodies and minds in profound ways. This introductory course investigates the expressive range, communicative power, and aesthetic structure of sound as an artistic material. Frequent readings and listening examples will demonstrate the ways that sound communicates, and will enhance students' awareness of the medium. Practical exercises will build fundamental skills in observation, editing, and mixing.
Students will learn to listen, develop their technical and aesthetic sound vocabulary, and explore audio recording and digital sound editing in order to create aural projects, which cover the spectrum of sound art. This course will offer a historical overview of sound as an artistic and conceptual medium weaving in and around the movements of Dadaism, Futurism, Fluxus, Musique Concrete and New Music. All of these instances of sound experimentation have profoundly influenced current sound developments, including current mobile media practices, and have proliferated in the vast landscape of interactive, re-mixable, shared and networked multimedia.
This course will explore narrative’s cultural and ideological functions in art, film and design. Students will be introduced to essential theory about what defines narrative. They will also examine how medium affects narrative—how oral, pictorial and written narratives differ. The course will offer an introduction to experimental ways of structuring and experiencing narrative.
In addition, this course will require that students put theory to practice. Exercises in a range of media will ask students to apply narrative principles to their own life stories, thereby grounding insights and theories learned from lectures and readings. The course will encourage students to both understand and explore the many ways in which narrative can be manipulated, across disciplines and media, to powerful effect.
Students will explore issues and concepts in creative writing. Diverse reading and writing assignments spanning the genres of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction will introduce students to a variety of writing styles and techniques. Professors will provide skill-based lessons and seminar discussions to show how craftsmanship and technique shapes art-making practices. Students will learn to evaluate writing through critique, collaborate with peers to develop an artistic community, and apply writing techniques to their creative processes.
In Effects of Time students will be introduced to multiple approaches to time-based media across art, film and design. Using digital and manual techniques, students will investigate time-based media from the earliest proto-cinematic devices to the most contemporary methods of marking and structuring time. Students will be introduced to both ancient and modern, western and non-western models of time through projects, lessons, seminar discussions and readings. Students will work independently and collaboratively to produce designs and images that express the effects of time. These may include animated shorts, experimental videos, audio tracks and kinetic objects.
How do we know something is interactive? How do we create an interactive experience? Is it a mechanism for change and to create meaning? Is it a way to engage a viewer, user, or audience? This introductory course will explore the different levels and meanings of interactivity within art, film, and design, ranging from the vending machine to Star Trek’s holodeck. Students will gain an understanding of interactivity by looking at artists, filmmakers and designers through readings and seminar discussion. Students will identify how to incorporate interactivity within their own creative practices. Students will apply, realize and activate their knowledge though exercises and projects, such as, but not limited to, objects, environments, narratives, stories and game systems.
Structures addresses pragmatic engineering and theoretical concepts as they relate to art, design and film. Using digital and manual techniques, students will investigate how to make a physical structure stand in space, how an underlying support works as a system of parts, and how structures can construct conceptual space. The course will challenge students to expand their existing notions and envision structure as shelter, routine, skin, pattern, support, surface and time. Students will work individually and collaboratively to produce projects ranging from structures that address everyday human need, to structures that transform physical and conceptual space, to structures designed to create meaning for experimental installations which may incorporate photography, film and a variety of other time-based media.
This studio course considers the body as a three-dimensional form reflecting the broad array of human expression. The course is dedicated to a study of the physical body and the expressive body, respectively. The physical body examines the figure from an anatomical perspective and its structural qualities, such as the skeleton, musculature, proportions and mechanics. Students also examine various artistic canons, both western and non-western. The expressive body addresses the figure as a signifier of the human condition. Students explore its visual presence or absence, reconsider the mind-body question, and contemplate or situate the body in space. Projects incorporate movement, gesture and posture. Various modes of making will be explored, using a range of materials.
This course will explore the cultural, historical and symbolic meaning of found objects and how they can be appropriated, reshaped and their meaning altered as the context and times change. This course will offer an introduction to experimental ways of working with found objects as well as with a variety of materials and of fabrication methods, including modeling, mold making, interactivity, metal and wood. The histories and uses of objects for utility, ritual, metaphor and drama will be explored through film, art and design.
Ranging from the simple to the complex, a system is a set of entities – whether they are people, objects, environments or processes – that act upon each other. A system is created by its context and the interplay of the system’s properties. Investigating simple to complex systems, tangible to conceptual, students will encounter opportunities to invent, create and document systems. Through the process of creating sequences, progressions and transformations, students will explore systematic approaches that occur in art, design and film. Exploring creative methods of composing and making while working with diverse materials, students will encounter opportunities to invent and engage with systems.
This course investigates the social, artistic, and human factors that shape our experience of the environment. Students will develop an understanding of the relationships between a work of art or design and its physical, social and experiential contexts. Site visits and field trips in the Philadelphia area and region will allow students to understand how works are situated in the world. Students will generate art and design projects that demonstrate an understanding of these relationships. The course will require students to strengthen their skills in the following areas: observation, measurement, documentation, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional methods of representation, modeling (digital and analog), manipulation of materials, analysis and contextual thinking.
In this course students will be introduced to multiple approaches to drawing across art, film and design. Using digital and manual techniques, students will investigate drawing as performance, the record of an event, material, marking time, mapping, the display of data, body extension, a score, and other genre-bending approaches. Students will be introduced to historic and contemporary practitioners who blur the boundary between drawing and other disciplines. Students will work independently and collaboratively to produce artworks that challenge traditional notions and limitations of drawing.
Allowing students to combine and work across disciplines, this course will explore elements of the evolving practice of performance ranging from everyday experiences to the use of highly stylized artifice and illusion in choreographed drama. The course focuses on an awareness of time, characterization, silence and sound, scene structure, chaos and order, the power of patterns, and the use of color, light and shadow.
Works created may be live performance, or performative using means such as video, photography, costume, objects, sculpture and installation. Skills involve developing concentration, timing, confidence, awareness of dramatic structure and acting styles, and expanding imaginative vocabulary and experiences.