The Foundation year consists of two yearlong courses, Light, Color, Design and Visualization and Representation and two semester-long courses, Space, Form, Process, and Time and Movement. Six-hour studio classes allow for sustained and focused looking, learning, and making. These courses focus on the fundamentals of art and design while pushing students through a series of conceptually challenging prompts to strengthen skills and hone their craft.

In addition to the Foundation Studio Core Courses, students will take Themes in Art and Culture I and II (HAD 111 and HAD 112), and Introduction to Literary and Critical Studies I (HMS 101A) in the first semester and one course of their choice from the General Education in the second semester. Fashion majors have their own first-year program. Film and Photo majors have a modified first year program. Transfer students will be evaluated for advanced standing, with proper documentation (transcript and portfolio) by the Office of Admissions.

Fall Semester

FDC 140 Visualization and Representation 3 credits
FDC 160 Light, Color, Design Lab 3 credits

Spring Semester

FDC 141 Visualization and Representation Concept 3 credits
FDC 161 Light, Color, Design Studio 3 credits

Courses taken in either Fall or Spring Semester (alternating)

FDC 150 Space, Form, Process 3 credits
FDC 180 Time and Movement 3 credits

Course Descriptions


FDC 140:  Drawing I: Visualization / Representation    

In Foundation, drawing is the process of creating structures on the page that are analogies to structures both in the world and the imagination. The practice of drawing is a means of investigation to develop visual thinking and spatial and structural awareness. Students gain proficiency in the drawing process and develop analytical and expressive fluency in the language of the mark. Figure drawing is a critical practice to realize complex arrangements of parts as a unified whole with vitality, empathy and movement. In studio practice and extended projects students develop a range of abilities to visualize and communicate three-dimensional information on the two-dimensional surface.

FDC 141: Visualization/Representation/Concept

Drawing II builds on and extends the concepts and skills of the first semester. Students learn to use value in conjunction with line to achieve a synthesis of form, space, composition, and content. Projects will increase in ambition and the development of concept will be addressed through increased emphasis on student agency, analysis, iteration, evaluation, and group critiques. The course is designed to address the range of formal issues, processes, and material practices students will encounter as they move into the more specialized areas in the school.

FDC 150: Space, Form, and Process

Space, Form, and Process introduces the student to the fundamental principles and dynamics of the physical world. Students will work with a range of materials and develop an understanding of their character and appropriateness for particular solutions. The training of the eye [observation], mind [analysis] and hand [realization] will result in comprehension and sensitivity to the three-dimensional experience. Pragmatic application will provide context, connections and meaning. Project based learning will parallel cognition of fundamental principles. Students’ work will demonstrate the ability to analyze and articulate principles, materials, and relationships.

FDC 160: Light, Color, and Design Lab 

In Light, Color, and Design Lab the student is immersed in the experience of light, sensitized to color and its attributes, and familiarized with the elements, principles, and process of design. Through a series of cumulative and interwoven exercises, students explore how color and design are interlinked and apply this understanding to projects in a wide range of media. Skills and concepts mastered in this semester allow students to conceive and create work that applies color and design with purpose.

FDC_161: Light, Color, Design Studio

Light, Color, and Design Studio is a workshop to develop ideas independently and collaboratively through an extended studio process to create authentic new work that applies the elements, principles, and relationships of light, color, and design to communicate purpose and intent. LCD Studio follows and builds on the work of LCD Lab. Through applying their knowledge to new challenges, students grow in conceptual ability, visual awareness, initiative, and self-knowledge, informing their lives and their future studies.

FDC_180: Time and Movement 

Time and Movement introduces the student to the fundamentals of ordering information in time. Students will create, acquire, manipulate, animate, choreograph, and distribute digital content across multiple platforms and outputs. The course begins with constructing the illusion of movement with sequences of still images and moves through various modes of filming and editing sound and moving images from the linear to the interactive. The student will learn the basic and fundamental principles of animation and motion design, digital photography and videography, sound design, and interactivity. Students will have a basic proficiency in the tools needed to create time-based work and will understand ideas of order and interaction. In a world where increasingly everything is moving and interactive, these skills and concepts are essential for all artists and designers.