Ontario College of Art & Design

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DESIGN PROGRAMS: INTRODUCTION

OCAD provides a student-centred learning environment beginning with first-year students where a common base of design knowledge, skills and processes are acquired with an emphasis on concept development and investigation, rather than specialization.

The Faculty of Design has an extensive curriculum and has developed a series of key philosophical and thematic curricular strategies that provide links between programs, and facilitate student pathways.

The “Design and Humanity” philosophy is prevalent amongst all design programs and reinforced through a spine of design process courses entitled Think Tank 1: Awareness, Think Tank 2: Consideration and Think Tank 3: Action which are open to Design students from all disciplines, and which encourage research, discussion, collaboration, strategy development and material solutions.

A second strategic curricular element, called expansion studios allow students to pursue breadth and depth of knowledge in all programs through a variety of selective course offerings beginning in the third year. Students may elect to do introductory courses that expand their knowledge into other program areas, or they may choose to take courses in one area for more focused study.

As these expansion studios are interdisciplinary in nature, students from a number of (appropriate) disciplines will have access to them, again providing multi-disciplinary experience and broadening their understanding of other disciplines and at the same time deepening their understanding of their own. These expansion studios allow our students to take multiple pathways through the curriculum to complete their programs.

A third strategic curricular offering is that of program minors. Throughout the university, in both Art, Design and Liberal Studies optional minor programs have been developed. Students may declare a minor in Furniture, Graphic Design, Sustainability, Photography or Material Art & Design to mention a few, and complete the required additional courses for that specific minor.

A fourth organization element in the design curriculum is the identification of core studio practice in the form of core studios. These studios form the essential spine of every program and are designated as “C” or “K” courses and usually have a higher credit value, and higher pass requirement to denote their importance.

Another key element in the design curriculum is the liberal studies complement. At the end of each program area, a list of recommended liberal studies offerings that augment and support specific program knowledge is identified, and students are recommended to choose appropriate options.

The Faculty of Design provides an educational environment to encourage innovation, and an opportunity to explore OCAD's large community of practicing artists and designers. Contacts made and friendships established will last through the years of study and into the professional world.

Last Modified:1/24/2012 12:57:15 PM