First Year Studies

All First-Year Design Students are required to take Basic Design Studies (BDS) 101 and BDS 103 (Drawing for Design). The classes are comprised of students from every Design major. The first year studios provide Department of Design students with a comprehensive introduction to creative problem solving; and the fundamentals of two, three and four-dimensional design. Drawing, photography, 2-D and 3-D models are used in this course as a means of design thinking to visually represent problems and opportunities. These courses encourage first-year students to think critically about the world around them, use the design process as a powerful tool for finding solutions and hone craftsmanship skill through studio making.

The Studio Focus

  • Making: Encourage students to achieve a skillful level of craftsmanship in the making of both investigative and finished work.
  • Thinking: Prepare students to think critically and creatively by pushing accepted conceptual,  formal and technical boundaries.
  • Community: Nurture a rich working educational environment through presentations, demos, discussions, critiques, and writing.
  • Presentation: Expect students to persuasively articulate motives and detail plans for solving various tasks and assignments.

Course Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Identify “goodness of fit” the appropriateness of form to content (concept) and contexts (audience + cognitive, social, cultural, physical human factors).
  • Apply the principles of visual organization/composition to 2, 3 and 4-dimensional artifacts and experiences.
  • Organize a given area of two or three-dimensional space with respect to some specific, stated aesthetic and/or communicative purpose.
  • Analyze and employ imagery for meaning, particularly semiotics, emotional content and subtext (connotation and denotation).
  • Understand and apply the formal design process to identify and solve problems, including the skills of research and information gathering, analysis, generation of alternative solutions, prototyping & testing and evaluation of outcomes both independently and collaboratively in teams.
  • Communicate their design work effectively through oral and written presentations; communicating ideas clearly and concisely.
  • Participate in discussions and critiques; providing feedback and responses to peers in a courteous and constructive manner.

Department of Design Grade Policy for First-Year Studios
Students must earn a “C" (2.0) or greater in BDS 101 and 103 to advance forward in the program. If a student earns lower than a "C" (2.0) they will have to repeat the course. It is important to note BDS courses are only offered once a year. If a student has to repeat the course, it will take them an extra year to get into their major.