Leslie Blum

The Development and Implementation of an Interdisciplinary Foundation Program at FIT/SUNY: Thinking, Making, Doing

Leslie Blum and Donna David
Fashion Institute of Technology/State University of New York

ABSTRACT
Before students can undertake sophisticated environmental graphic design (EGD) projects, they must learn very basic skills in visualizing three-dimensional space, working in scale and “making things.” Because these skills span traditional educational boundaries and departmental programs, they often fall between the cracks. This paper explains the design of an innovative interdisciplinary foundation program at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), a part of the State University of New York, which incorporates “learning by doing” and teaches skills that cross the disciplines.

The program contains the traditional components of an introductory Communication Design or Graphic Design program: typography, layout, color, computer skills, design history and a generous offering of liberal arts courses. In addition, the program concentrates on integrating three-dimensional visualization, incorporating the concept of “scale," introducing “time” and “space” as part of visual language and design basics, strengthening presentation skills and professionalism, and strengthening hand skills by “making things.”

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