Curriculum | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Design Curriculum

The M.A. in Interdisciplinary Design is a three semester, 30 credit hour program that can be completed in one year. Our program is unique in that it builds upon designers' traditional design skills by deepening students' experiences in traditional visual communication (branding, packaging, typography) while introducing them to eMerging specialized fields of sustainable green design, film and video, and interactive design. Students develop design foundations, a knowledge of communication methodologies, design praxis, and problem solving techniques. These communication systems are modified and adapted to varying forms of media – from print, video to the web – so that students may become flexible and responsible designers working within a rapidly shifting global culture. Graduates will be prepared to work in design industries as well as bring these skills to associated venues. Courses are offered on a rotating basis.

Program Requirements

+MA Curriculum

30 credits with optional training available for Adobe and Apple software programs.

Communication
VCD510 Visual Communication Design: Branding

This course offers a systematic approach to concept development and the problem-solving process applied to brand construction. Students build visual identities for a variety of organizations through generative design processes for communication goals. Particular attention is given to logo and typemark development, photography/illustration, use of the grid system, color story, typography and messaging.

3
VCD520 Visual Communication Design: Typography

This course examines the concrete and conceptual aspects of typography as a communications tool. Typographic history, anatomy of form, type specimens, and grid structures, serve as foundations for the intersections between form and meaning. Typographic projects will range from typographic compositional studies, expressive typography, to information-focused typographic design systems.

3
VCD530 Print Design

This course introduces students to the roles that graphic design plays in society as shapers of style and ritual within contexts of community and commerce. The class will work collaboratively in the development of concepts, process design, layout, scheduling, production and the construction, expense, and production of the print publication artifact.

3
VCD540 History of Communication Design

To be determined

3
Film & Digital Technology
FDT550 Media Project I: Digital Video Production

Presents technical practices of digital video production: nonlinear editing, foundations of alternative screenwriting, videography, sound production, and other media-related processes are explored. Additional fee: Computing fee.

3
FDT571 e-Merging Media I

Maps ways the web can be utilized for the production of alternative narratives. Enables students to analyze and create works online using web-cams, streaming media, and interactive web-based projects. Additional fees: Course Computing fee

3
FDT650 Media Project II: Advanced Digital Video Productio

Introduces students to Avid non-linear editing system, the most widely used system within the industry. Students will have a chance to explore the ways in which the Avid DV Xpress can enhance traditional editing techniques. Addtional Fee(s): Course Computing Fee

3
FDT671 Emerging Media II: Advanced Web Design

Focuses on the technical through advanced study. Students will produce DVD, CD-Rom, and other interactive projects. Additional Fees: Course Computing Fee

3
Technology Workshops
FDT510 Lab: Adobe Illustrator

This one credit supplemental lab explores the practical applications of today's computer hardware and graphic design software. The focus of the class will be on gathering critical knowledge and gaining basic mastery of a powerful design visualization and creative production tool. The ab will cover one of the essential design applications: Adobe Illustrator on the Macintosh platform.

1
FDT530 InDesign Lab

This one credit supplemental course will provide students with a foundational knowledge of the InDesign interface. Students will earn foundations of InDesign, threading text-boxes, importing photos and styling images, utilize baseline grid, hyphenation, and libraries to create simple and complex layout compositions

1
FDT520 Lab: Adobe Photoshop

This one credit supplemental lab explores the practical applications of today's computer hardware and graphic design software. The focus of the class will be on gathering critical knowledge and gaining basic mastery of a powerful design visualization and creative production tool. The Lab will cover one of the essential design applications: Adobe Photoshop on the Macintosh platform.

1
FDT500 Lab: Final Cut Pro X

This is a 2-credit supplemental course that will provide students with a foundational knowledge of Final Cut Pro X. In this hands-on course, students work with practical approaches to video editing, from basic techniques to Final Cut Pro's powerful advanced features. This is an Apple Certified Training Course. Additional Fee(s): Course Computing LAB Fee.

2
Interior Architecture
IAR520 Architecture Studio II

This studio addresses problem identification and problem solving in the context of medium to large-scale projects of modest scope. Emphasis is placed on human factors, space planning, spatial experience, scale, basic elements of 2-D and 3-D design, concept devlopment, space planning, scale, textiles, and color with respect to user needs.

3
Thesis Interdisciplinary
VCD590 Masters Thesis in Interdisciplinary Design: Applied

This capstone course celebrates innovation, imagination, and creative solutions to design projects. The objective of this course is to enable students to synthesize design history and theory to demonstrate conceptual understanding of the aesthetic and technical aspects of design that combine inquiry, research, creative problem-solving, and design prototyping.

3