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Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design

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  • Objectives
    The Design Major examines the environments of image, object and web design as persuasive forms of intervention and mediation in contemporary society. Emphasis is placed on material culture studies that have a strong impact on design history and theory, the everyday world, and the primacy of the artifact as a reflection of the cultural landscape. Students develop a background in the three streams and then specialize according to their interests and abilities. In both the theoretical and practical considerations of the program, the curriculum integrates creative experimentation in design with social, ecologically-oriented and collaborative productions. The department of Design and Computation Arts offers programs that examine the broad vision and culture of design within contemporary society. Digital technologies are integrated into the creative process to enhance strategies for communication, application, representation and dissemination.
  • Academic Title
    Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design
  • Course description
    Major in Design — 72 credits

    Sample courses include:

        * 2d and 3d digital concepts
        * Concept visualization
        * Integrative design research
        * Collaborative design research
        * Ecology and 3d design
        * Interpretative public spaces
        * Web in sites
        * Image/sound/dimension
        * Interactive multimedia
        * Design fundamentals
        * The languages of programming
        * New media theory

    DART 221 Primary Digital Graphics (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Enrolment in the Major in Design or written permission of the Department. This computer lab course combines hands-on workshops with content-driven projects. Students are introduced to the fundamentals of graphic composition and communication for digital graphic arts. Photoshop, Illustrator, and QuarkXPress are introduced to explore image/text juxtaposition, layout, and typography.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 200 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 223 Concept Visualization (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Enrolment in the Major in Design or written permission of the Department. This studio course is oriented toward traditional and innovative techniques to represent visual concepts for communication and production. Students develop their skills in descriptive geometry and 3D visualization. The course includes sketching, perspective, and technical drawing. It also introduces creative methods of articulation and presentation.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 200 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 225 Materials for 3D Design (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Enrolment in the Major in Design or written permission of the Department. This foundation studio course addresses materials and construction applications. Wood, metal, and plastics are examined as the primary building materials and surfaces for object-making. Knowledge acquisition is achieved through hands-on workshops, in combination with content-driven projects.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 200 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 229 The Pixelated Eye (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Enrolment in the Major in Design or written permission of the Department. This studio course introduces conceptual and technical skills for recording and manipulating digital imagery. Topics include visual representation, image appropriation and copyright, documentation and archiving. Technical exercises and conceptually based projects take place in the studio and on location.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 200 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 261 Design History and Theory I (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Enrolment in the Major in Design or written permission of the Department. Through readings, lectures, and dialogue, this course examines key themes in design and cultural history and theory, from industrialization to the beginning of the twentieth century, with an emphasis on their ongoing relevance in the contemporary realm. Effective research methods in the discipline are introduced to facilitate development of students’ analytical and critical abilities, both oral and written.
    NOTE: Students are required to take this course in the first year of the Design program.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 260 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 262 Design History and Theory II (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 261; enrolment in the Major in Design or written permission of the Department. This course examines key themes in design and cultural history and theory since the early twentieth century, with an emphasis on their relevance to contemporary discourse and practice. Building on their emerging research, analytical, and communication skills in the field, students are also encouraged to apply these abilities to the evolution of their own conceptual design processes.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 260 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 280 2D Digital Concepts (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 221, 223, 225 or 229; DART 291, 292 previously or concurrently; or written permission of the Department. The central theme of this studio course is the rescripting of formal texts into complementary works in the form of "livres d’objets". Utilizing digital layout and studio construction techniques for graphic design and packaging, students integrate design theory and practice through the inventive richness of bookworks.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 200 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 291 Integrative Design Research I (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 221, 223, 225 or 229; DART 261 previously or concurrently; or written permission of the Department. This theory-based course concentrates on integrative research and methodology in design art, by mapping the relationship of the individual within the public and private spaces of interdependence.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 210 or 290 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 292 Integrative Design Research II (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 221, 223, 225 or 229; DART 291; DART 261, 262, 280 previously or concurrently; or written permission of the Department. This theory-based course explores aspects of design art research and methodology, specifically the relationship between design and dominant cultural ideologies in both the public and private sphere. It also investigates the interconnectedness of design to the fine arts, humanities, and sciences. This is a continuation of DART 291.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 210 or 290 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 298 Special Topics in Design Art (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Enrolment in the Major in Design or written permission of the Department. This course provides an opportunity for the study of special issues in Design. Specific topics for this course, and prerequisites relevant in each case, will be stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule.

    DART 331 Words in Space (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 280; DART 391, 392 previously or concurrently; or written permission of the Department. This computer lab course emphasizes the poetics of typography with respect to font, type, text, and scripted experimentation. Issues of legibility, freedom of expression in type, and contemporary typography are referenced in the process of generating unique font sets.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 300 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 335 Interpretive Public Spaces (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 380 or 381; DART 391, 392 previously or concurrently; or written permission of the Department. This studio course develops strategies for interactions in the public sphere. The application of scenography, planning of space and the integration of content orients the student towards the design of museum installations, mobile exhibitions, and performative events.

    DART 339 Second Skin and Soft Wear (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 380 or 381; DART 391, 392 previously or concurrently; or written permission of the Department. This studio course explores the idea of "skin" and "soft" as terms that possess physical and associative properties. Housing for the body, computer wearables, sculptural design and soft furniture are considered as design concepts for maquettes and prototypes. Recycling of materials and alternative material use are emphasized.

    DART 380 3D Digital Concepts (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 280; 24 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This computer lab course introduces students to computer-assisted 3D design concepts. Practical exercises advance technical skills and are combined with thematic proposals for virtual object representation. Scaled object production is encouraged in the final stages of the studio.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 300 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 381 Digital Concepts/Multimedia (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 280; 24 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This computer lab course introduces students to 3D modelling and rendering and basic animation for multimedia applications. Practical exercises advance technical skills and are combined with thematic proposals for 3D objects and virtual space in networked environments.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 300 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 391 Collaborative Design Research I (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 261, 262, 291, 292; 24 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This is a core theory-based studio course in research methodology and strategies for collaborative project development, highlighting the role of designer as mediator and author. Particular attention is given to the democratic voice within the community and to environmental sustainability.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 310 or 390 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 392 Collaborative Design Research II (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 261, 262, 291, 292, 391; 24 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This is a core theory-based studio course which highlights collaborative approaches to the application of research methodology and strategies pertaining to design as an ethical and socially conscious construct. This is a continuation of DART 391.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 310 or 390 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 398 Special Topics in Design (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: 24 credits in the Major in Design or written permission of the Department. This course provides an opportunity for the study of special issues in design art. Specific topics for this course, and prerequisites relevant in each case, will be stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule.

    DART 441 The Culture of Images (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 491, 492 previously or concurrently; 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This studio course explores images as composite surfaces informed by the urban landscape. Strategies for commentary, and engagement in image-saturated societies include image ethics, appropriation, and design as intervention. Book works, projected images and print series are produced, and range in size from handheld to the architectural.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 422 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 442 Scenarios for Typography (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 331; DART 491, 492 previously or concurrently; 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This computer lab course, subtitled "Gutenberg verses for a Macintosh play," engages in the eccentricity of typographic exploration through relocation, rescaling, and renaming of script. The potential for poetic play on words is explored through text as image and object.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 422 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 443 Print: Meaning and Process (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 491, 492 previously or concurrently; 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This computer lab course focuses on graphic design in publishing systems. The implications of mass production, the responsible use of resources, and alternative print and packaging processes are key factors in the ecology of image production.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 424 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 444 The Articulate Self (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 491, 492 previously or concurrently; 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. The uniqueness of each artistic identity is explored in this course through the production of the portfolio. Content and written support must be developed in tandem to locate the experience, abilities, and future potential of the designer.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 424 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 445 The Narrative Object (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 380 or 381; DART 491, 492 previously or concurrently; 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. In this studio course, the mythic potential of objects as personal and cultural markers is considered in the context of everyday life. Students construct meaning through objects, responding to the potential for expression inherent in materials, structure, and form. The rigour of observation, analysis, and interpretation of object stimulates opportunities for multiple readings.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 423 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 446 Encultured Space (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 491, 492 previously or concurrently; 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This design studio course focuses on the notion that all objects reside in an encultured space. Students are encouraged to investigate the nuances and connotations of the urban landscape which govern an understanding of these objects, by direct interventions into physical and symbolic character.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 423 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 447 3D Design Technologies (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 380; DART 491, 492 previously or concurrently; 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This design studio course allows students to explore the integration of digital technologies in all aspects of the design process. Computer-assisted design, 3D scanning and rapid prototyping technologies are facilitated in order to develop innovative concepts in object production.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 425 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 448 Ecology and 3D Design (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 380; DART 491, 492 previously or concurrently; 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This design studio course is oriented towards sustainable design and environmental issues. Strategies including design for disassembly, recuperation, recycling and lifecycle analysis are used to develop objects that conform with principles of design responsibility. Student works will be juried and selected for public exhibition.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 425 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 449 The Language of the Web (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 491, 492 previously or concurrently; 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This lab course explores the technical and conceptual challenges facing designers working online. Students construct websites engaging directly with notions of interactivity, graphic user interface, image sequencing, navigation, and innovative ways of organizing and disseminating information.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 410 or 411 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 450 Web Interventions (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 491, 492 previously or concurrently; 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This lab course examines the strategies and discourse of socially engaged designers, artists in networked environments. Through the creation of their own online interventions, students are encouraged to question the "promise" of new communication technologies as open and democratic instruments of social change.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 410 or 411 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 451 Digital Interaction (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 381; DART 491, 492 previously or concurrently; 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This lab course considers the rhetoric of interactivity. The ubiquity of the graphic user interface is problematized through the use of non-linear narrative and metaphor. Students develop and select new paradigms for human-computer interaction.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 410 or 411 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 452 Immersive Media (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 381; DART 491, 492 previously or concurrently; 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. Students in this interdisciplinary lab course consider the expanded use of technologies for digital media in the context of 3D objects and environments. Through collaborative projects, students explore immersive installations integrating sound, video, interactivity, and performative events.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 410 or 411 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 460 Independent Study (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This option is for students wishing to undertake independent research under the supervision of a full-time faculty advisor.

    DART 461 Independent Study (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This option is for students wishing to undertake independent research under the supervision of a full-time faculty advisor.

    DART 470 Professional Internship (6 credits)
    Prerequisite: 48 credits in the Major in Design; written permission of the Department. This option is for students wishing to undertake research and obtain practical experience for academic credit as an intern with an established artist/designer, studio, publication, publishing house, museum, corporation, or non-profit organization. Other related options for internship will also be considered. The internship is carried out under the joint supervision of a qualified professional from within the University or the organization involved and a full-time faculty member. A clearly defined agreement between the Department, the student and the artist/designer or institution involved is made before the internship is undertaken. This agreement states clearly the nature of the student’s participation and the hours of work expected. Projects receiving approval for the internship credits must demonstrate an appropriate academic experience for the student.

    DART 471 Professional Internship (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: 48 credits in the Major in Design; written permission of the Department. Three-credit internship, as described in DART 470, for one semester only.

    DART 491 Discursive Design Research I (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 391, 392; 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This core theoretical course combines lectures and discussions, emphasizing the contextual and societal implications of the design process from conception to production. Multidisciplinary approaches to design research and methodology allow students to advance the discourse of their own emerging design ethic and aesthetic.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 400 or 490 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 492 Discursive Design Research II (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: DART 391, 392, 491; 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. This core course explores the interstices between visual culture, material culture, and related theoretical discourses as disciplines which profoundly influence the design process. Particular attention is devoted to multidisciplinary engagement as applied to individual design scenarios. This course is a continuation of DART 491.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for DART 400 or 490 may not take this course for credit.

    DART 498 Special Topics in Design (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: 48 credits in the Major in Design; or written permission of the Department. A course for advanced students which provides an opportunity for the study of special issues in design art. Specific topics for this course, and prerequisites relevant in each case, will be stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule.

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