Curriculum

Our curriculum connects design thinking to design doing with hands-on making, entrepreneurial strategies, and social and environmental engagement.

  • Year One
  • Year Two

Fall

Course
Studio Practice
Critique Seminar
Critical Studies: Modern Craft + Design History
Elective

Spring

Course
Studio Practice
Critique Seminar
Creative Entrepreneurship
Critical Studies

Fall

Course
Studio Practice
Critique Seminar
Creative Entrepreneurship
Practicum

Spring

Course
Studio Practice
Critique Seminar
Practicum
Elective

Course Descriptions

Critique Seminar

Through Critique Seminar, students engage in thorough, critical analysis of work-in- progress. Frequent discussions and critiques with visiting artists, designers and guest critics help students develop skills in rhetoric.

Creative Entrepreneurship

Creative Entrepreneurship courses provide a comprehensive introduction to establishing and sustaining a creative entrepreneurial endeavor, with an emphasis on professional arts practices and strategies for small businesses.

Critical Studies

In Critical Studies, students develop in- depth knowledge of social and environmental movements in craft and design history, articulate positions concerning contemporary craft and design theory, and place current trends in making into a global context.

Practicum

The Practicum is similar to a Thesis, but emphasizes a practical application of knowledge or skill in a new way. Students conduct in-depth, practice-based research in producing a capstone project that is understood in relationship to its cultural context as well as the student’s career path.

Electives

Electives allow students to hone techniques in making, participate in internships, global studios, or further pursue couses in history, theory, and criticism. Students are required to take two electives at level 200 to 600. Graduate level options at 500 and above include Applied Systems Thinking, Design Ecologies, Critical Pedagogy, Critical Inquiry, Integrated Practice, Contemporary Print Seminar

Studio Practice

With student's individual spaces located in a workshop environment, Studio Practice embraces an approach to design rooted in the culture of making. Students work one on one with a different mentor each semester to address their specific interests and goals.

Curricular Themes

Each semester in the MFA Applied Craft + Design program we focus on vital themes that make a lifelong creative practice viable. These themes are explored within AC+D’s curriculum through making, collaboration and iteration.


Semester 1

PRACTICE PROCESS-HABIT-RHYTHM

Establishing a productive + rigorous creative, iterative practice.

Go wild. Look far and wide, produce in abundance. Emphasize disciplined continuous making, physical embodiment of ideas, thinking with the hands.


Semester 2

VOICE NARRATIVE-MATERIALS-IDENTITY

Identifying + elaborating upon what you bring to your material(s).

Focus on your relationship with materials and processes, and develop this dialogue. Articulate what it is about how you use materials and explore processes that bring specificity to your work.


Semester 3

STAKEHOLDER AUDIENCE-USER-CLIENT-ENVIRONMENT

Addressing who + what is served by your practice.

Analyze the system you/your work operates in and the dynamics at play. Understand, apply and draw connections between your work and its context.


Semester 4

VISION DIRECTION-ACTUALIZATION-APPLICATION

Fulfilling the promise of your work.

Realize a major project (Thesis). Establish a decision-making process that is responsive to change, that you can communicate, and that can generalize to your practice after you graduate. Challenge yourself to develop rhetoric regarding that expresses the importance of your work in the world today.

Questions?

Reach out to MFA in Applied Craft + Design Chair, Sara Huston, to schedule a tour or to learn more about the program.

Get in touch