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Foundation Studio Mission

The Foundation (FNDT) Program at Otis College is a rigorous first-year experience designed to empower a diverse community of makers as they build fundamental skills, critical thinking, problem-solving, research methodologies, social responsibility, and meaningful communication skills in Art and Design.

Fall Semester Courses

Courses Course Number Credit
Form and Figure (FNDT) 100 3
Design and Color (FNDT) 101 3
Contemporary Studio + Creative Action (FNDT) CAIL 102 3
Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS)   3
Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS)   3
Total   15

Spring Semester Courses

Courses Course Number Credit
Choose two courses from the listed options:
1. Expanded Studio Drawing (FNDT)
2. Expanded Studio Dimensional Studies (FNDT)
3. Expanded Studio Transmedia (FNDT)
3 + 3
Major Studio Electives    3
Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS)   3
Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS)   3
Total   15

Course Descriptions

  • Fall Course Descriptions

    Course Title 1: Form and Figure (CRN: 100)
    This course provides a comprehensive study in drawing from observation. Students begin by learning to draw a simple geometrical form, progressing to rendering objects within a compositional setting and drawing the entire human figure based on an investigation of its anatomical structures. Students will develop an awareness of the playful, rhythmic relationships between various components of a compositional setting and the human form, constructing drawings which reflect their unique vision. Drawing techniques such as perspective and isometric projection facilitate successful form generation. Skills of relational measurement, compositional organization, and the accurate placement of form in space, will inform all drawing activities such as drawing objects, figures, and environments, which will enhance students’ perceptual abilities.

    Course Title 2: Design and Color (CRN: 101)
    Students will create innovative and impactful designs by learning and applying essential elements including, line, shape, color, texture, space, balance, contrast, and rhythm. Utilizing digital and analog tools, students will engage in diverse design challenges, enhancing their problem-solving and critical thinking skills, as well as developing their visual literacy and communication abilities. Through this course, students will learn fundamental concepts relevant to today’s creative industries, laying a solid foundation for further explorations.

    Course Title 3: Contemporary Studio + Creative Action (CAIL 102)
    Students explore the built environment, analyzing its physical, spatial, and temporal elements. This course introduces students to art and design fundamentals, including scale, material, measurement, context, and function. They will explore innovative and sustainable solutions using fabrication, technology, studio labs, and joint activities with other classes. This course includes the Creative Action & Integrated Learning (CAIL) component, which encourages engagement with the city of Los Angeles. Students will participate in site visits, lectures, and relevant readings that highlight cultural, social, political, ecological, or economic aspects of responsive design. Throughout the course, students will also develop professionalism and collaboration skills.

  • Spring Course Descriptions

    The Expanded Studio courses offer students the opportunity to choose two individual classes from topics in three areas of focus: Drawing, Dimensional Studies, and Transmedia. These classes forge connections between disciplines and techniques. Students will deepen their inquiries into creative problem solving, critical thinking, and conceptual development, along with advancing core proficiencies, as they tailor an individualized educational experience that prepares them for future success.

    Course Title 1: Expanded Studio Drawing (CRN: 103)
    These courses are designed to support students in preparation for their chosen majors. Students will experiment with various materials and mediums while exploring a broad spectrum of approaches to drawing as an active form of thinking, seeing, and understanding.

    Course Title 2: Expanded Studio Dimensional Studies (CRN: 104)
    Dimensional Studies explores the tangible world, built environment, and object making. Courses are offered in a variety of mediums and investigate a range of topics including spatial analysis and thinking, material experimentation, form design, digital fabrication, hand skills, and building strategies while creating in 3 dimensional and 4-dimensional space.

    Course Title 3: Expanded Studio Transmedia (CRN: 105)
    Transmedia explores strategies for visual communication. A range of cross-disciplinary studio courses investigate multi-model applications for conveying bold ideas through form. Courses invite innovative approaches to contemporary media, strengthening fluency in design principles and cultural literacy.

    2nd Semester Three Areas of Study with Rotating Topics

    Rotating Topics for Course Title 1: Expanded Studio Drawing

    Course Title: Expanded Studio Drawing (CRN: 103_A): Drawing from Observation
    Working from direct observation, students will investigate the world around them. The life room and diverse spatial environments, ranging from the studio to exterior spaces, becomes the arena for students to examine and explore notions of concept and culture as components of drawing. Art-historical references from the cave paintings of Lascaux to contemporary art practices will introduce students to composition, color, scale, proportion, depth, volume, and other organizing principles in service of constructing meaning and making a compelling drawing from life.

    Course Title: Expanded Studio Drawing (CRN: 103_C): Experimental Drawing
    Students will discover how to incorporate theory and practice through experimenting with traditional and non-traditional drawing mediums including, light, sound, body, performance and how drawing relates to new technologies and other media. An exploration of drawing as a concept, challenging what drawing currently is and what drawing can become. Special emphasis is given to drawing as a fundamental means for thinking, playing, taking risks and problem-solving.

    Rotating Topics for Course Title 2: Expanded Studio Dimensional Studies

    Course Title: Expanded Studio Dimensional Studies (CRN: 104_A): Body By Design
    This course explores art and design for and about the human and more-than-human body. By focusing on the scale and interaction, the coursework will Investigate making objects in relation to the body. It will incorporate elements such as silhouette, scale, textiles, fibers, sculpture, wearables, time, while considering topics such as disability access, social and political dimension of body and identity, post-humanism, cyborg, anime. Research themes could deal with fashion, ergonomics, participatory/performance art (open media, clay, or fiber).

    Course Title: Expanded Studio Dimensional Studies (CRN: 104_B): World-Building
    This course explores the built environment and storytelling. Spatial investigations focus on scale, materials, construction, site, atmosphere, human needs, and innovation. Students analyze the 3D design objects that populate our world within the context of materiality, function, contemporary living, location, social and political issues. Course invests in making skills and innovative use of materials and processes, including ceramics/3D printing.

    Rotating Topics for Course Title 3: Expanded Studio Transmedia

    Course Title: Expanded Studio Transmedia (CRN: 105_A): Design Cultures
    This course asks students to explore and apply design principles for visual communication across a variety of cultural contexts and contemporary media. A hands-on digital skills lab enhances this course, as students learn to navigate the networked relation between media, platforms, technology and information. Projects, discussion, and regular critique develop skills to engage with pressing cultural and social issues in art-design practice.

    Course Title: Expanded Studio Transmedia (CRN: 104_C): Documentary Strategies
    This course centers the use of film, video, photography, audio practices and time-based media to investigate documentary concepts and communicate novel ideas. Instruction emphasizes the technical (best practices for using digital equipment) and the conceptual (idea development and critical inquiry) to explore creative possibilities of multi-modal communication. Students will engage with field-work methodologies to create interactive, installation, sound, and/or performance works.