Multiple Dimensions: Design/Art/Environment

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Fall 2017, Winter 2018, and Spring 2018 quarters

Taught by

visual arts, architecture


This foundational, studio-centered program assumes no prior background in 2-D or 3-D art or design. Students should be eager to take on challenging intellectual, technical, and hands-on work in the classroom and the studio. Substantive prior work in any of these areas will be useful, but not required: drawing and studio arts, basic and environmental sciences, art history, and cultural studies.

This program brings together those drawn to the challenges and satisfactions of designing and making in multiple dimensions and various scales —artists, craftspeople, designers, and builders. Can you make places and things that are expressive and compelling, purposeful and beautiful, using ways that are responsive to and respectful of natural cycles and living communities? How do you justify your choices and measure your success? How do the things you make fit into sustaining and sustainable ways of living, for you and others?

An integrative studio will be the pivotal activity of the program, and we’ll emphasize skill development in drawing as a key means of expression, idea development, and communication. There will be intensive work in drawing, design, making, and presentation, along with supporting reading, research, and writing in basic ecology and materials sciences, environmental art and design, craft and construction, and sustainability and justice studies. There will be field trips, seminars, and critiques as well. We will challenge the conventional distinctions between art, craft, and design, and look for commonalities of approach and meaning. Fall quarter work will address drawing, design process, materials studies, and larger cultural and environmental contexts of making. Studio projects will focus on joining—how materials are put together to functional and expressive ends. Winter quarter work will continue to build on drawing, design, and making skills, and address site contexts and place making. Studio projects will focus on expressive and functional challenges in context with their surroundings. In the spring quarter, students will have the opportunity to engage in individual and small group sculpture, craft, or small construction projects at a variety of scales, grounded in real-world site and community contexts, carefully researched and realized.

Goals include an understanding of the dimensions of sustainability in contemporary art and design, advanced drawing, conceptualizing and fabrication skills, informed use of materials, knowledge of environmental art and design history and ideas, skillful responses to sites and communities, a reasoned and rigorous approach to personal work, and a better sense of how to live and work sustainably as an artist, craftsperson, or designer. Our projects will involve students in real-world contexts as well as the constraints and trade-offs—essential experience for those who wish to make a difference. We’ll aim to have “serious fun” in the studio, and to make works that are expressive arguments for positive awareness and change.

Program Details

Fields of Study

architecture sustainability studies visual arts

Preparatory For

visual arts, environmental design, architecture, art education, and sustainability studies


Fall Open Winter Signature Spring Closed

Location and Schedule

Final Schedule and Room Assignment

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First class meeting: Tuesday, September 26 at 9am (Art Annex 2103)

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online

Special Expenses

Up to $100 or more for tools and materials, depending on your projects.


$50 per quarter for studio project supplies.


2017-11-21This program will accept new enrollment with faculty signature.
2017-09-08Fee corrected ($50 per quarter rather than $50 in spring)