Research Methods: Epistemological Inquiry for Design Practice (4)
Introduces various research methods for informing and stimulating the design process. Case studies cover qualitative and quantitative methods, ethnography, cultural diversity, scientific reasoning, and techno-cultural criticism. Familiarizes students with a wide range of hands-on practices, such as visualization, digital humanities, crowdsourcing, field studies, interviews, physical sensing, polls, cartography, and mapping. Readings and references will shed light on major debates in epistemology, including those over the structure of knowledge, genealogy, classification, and meta-epistemological issues in the age of digital communication.
Design Studio 1 (4)
Each semester, M.F.A. design students take a different studio, the primary locus for developing visual work. Design Studio 1 launches the process of engaging the tools, methods, and materials of research-driven design. This course guides the student through a sequence of sketch problems followed by a student-initiated project. Examination of working models and methods and hands-on experimentation situate students for a contemporary studio practice as a designer.
Design Seminar 1: Theory (4)
Design Seminar 1 is a topics-driven seminar focused on critical issues in design theory. For students working in all media, this course includes readings, case studies, and screenings. Departing from basic semiotic studies, this seminar examines a series of design discourses that are the direct outgrowth of related social, economic, and technological histories. Students develop writing skills in the seminar courses in preparation for their thesis writing.
Special Web Projects (4)
Through readings, field trips, and individual tutorials, this class introduces an expansive view of publishing online for artists interested in making work for, of, and about the internet. In addition to a deep dive into browser-based work, this course will emphasize how physicality is an innate part of web publishing and production.
Design Studio 2 (4)
In this second course in the studio sequence, students make work that explores visualization through supplied prompts spanning media that operate on different scales: web browser, architectural space, and sprint. Students are responsible for making a research connection within Rutgers University to support their own semester-long, research-driven design project.
Design Seminar 2: Contemporary Practice (4)
Proposes a range of models for contemporary design practice. Contemporary designers present their practices and how they see the future design. Talks and readings will address the pragmatics of design, the role of the designer as a social agent, and design and politics. Helps students understand the challenges that designers are engaging with and situate their own research. Class discussion is a major element of the seminar. Over the course of the semester students will develop a critical design language through these discussions and through writing enabling them to analyze the field more productively.
Thesis 1 (4)
Thesis 1 is a methodical analysis of a series of research questions by each individual student, based in the domains of art, design, or technology. It requires identification of a realm, researching its history and precedents, and explaining the significance and potentials in social or scientific contexts. This class is the environment that establishes the process and method for proposing solutions, creating prototypes, and offering a conclusion through production of a series of works.
Design Studio 3 (4)
This studio course guides students in undertaking a self-initiated, research-driven design project in collaboration with another academic department or unit at Rutgers University or in the wider community. Students will explore and apply various visual communication techniques to realize their collaborative projects. Alongside their peers, they will compare the impact of their work in different fields of knowledge.
Publication and Display (4)
This is a studio class on display and publication strategies. Using their own projects from the first M.F.A. year, students formulate varied ways in which their design ideas and artifacts can be presented in a public setting. The course focuses on the modalities of display in online and print media as well as installation in public or gallery/museum spaces.
Thesis 2 (4)
Thesis 2 is the class in which students reflect on, frame critically and write about their work, and further hone their individual design approach. This course supports the development of the thesis work exhibition, for panel presentation and for continuing the work beyond graduation. The finished thesis project goes public, evidencing originality, experimentation, critical and independent thinking, effective display, and thorough documentation.
Design Studio 4 (6)
Design Studio 4 provides a studio environment and production guidance for students to develop, actualize, and complete the individual thesis project, a large-scale research-driven work emerging from collaboration with another academic unit at Rutgers University or larger Rutgers community. This course challenges and develops the student's advanced design studio skills. The work completed in Design Studio 4 shapes the thesis project, which is displayed in the Mason Gross Annual Design Exhibition and presented to a design panel with guest critics.