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Foundation Curriculum

Show All Foundation Year Course Descriptions
Fall - Foundation (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Life Drawing I or
Creative Practices I
FNDT180 or
Life Drawing I

Sequenced instruction provides rigorous training in the use of gesture, anatomy, and structural figure drafting. Drawing the human figure from the inside out fosters an understanding of complex visual relationships. Upon completion of the course, students are able to analyze the human form and to view it as a complex perceptual model for the larger realm of visual experience.

Creative Practices I

A first semester Foundation course focused on studying, researching and exploring practices of creativity that bridge art/design disciplines. Through a variety of methodologies, lecture, research and discussion, Creative Practices I provides students opportunities to develop perceptual abilities in ways that incite curiosity and engagement with inquiry. Learning to ‘see’, students question their assumptions of what and how they observe complex visual relationships, locate bias, and develop awareness of context and intentionality of their own work and that of peers and exemplars. Projects are self-directed and non-discipline specific.

Principles of Design FNDT115 2
Principles of Design

This course is a sequenced investigation of various organizing principles using traditional and contemporary media. Students learn fundamentals of value manipulation as determinants of visual order. Elements of visual literacy provide a basis for the study of compositional fundamentals, including focal point(s), directional elements, and visual weight.

Drawing and Building Form FNDT160 3
Drawing and Building Form

Students study form in both two-dimensional rendering and three-dimensional building through drawing and building objects. Skills of relational measurement, compositional organization, and the placement of form in space inform both drawing and form-building activities. Drawing techniques such as perspective and isometric projection facilitate successful form generation.

Lab fee: $30

Writing in the Digital Age ENGL107 3
Writing in the Digital Age

Students will explore the ongoing cultural, technological and social changes that impact our ways of reading and writing, and what does it mean to be literate in the digital world. A minimum grade of "C" (2.0) is required to pass this course.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of ENGL090 or placement through the Writing Placement Assessment.

Introduction to Visual Culture AHCS120 3
Introduction to Visual Culture

Introduces issues and theories that are critical to the field of Visual Culture and representation in art and design.

Spring - Foundation (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Life Drawing II or
Creative Practices II
FNDT182 or
Life Drawing II

Structural drawing and perceptual skills are expanded through study of the figure's relation to environment, life-scale, movement, and draping. Students discover individual sensibilities of mark making and aspects of personal vision, through a variety of traditional and experimental drawing media and techniques.

Prerequisite: FNDT180 Life Drawing I
Recommended for students planning to select Digital Media, Fashion Design or Toy Design as their major.

Creative Practices II

A second-semester Foundation course focused on exploring practices of creativity that bridge art/design disciplines. Students are exposed to a diverse range of concepts, materials, and methods for working creatively. In-class activities promote the documentation of individual creative processes and the synthesis of intuitive, culturally constructed, and personal impulses into inventive visual responses.

Prerequisite: FNDT180 Life Drawing I or FNDT172 Creative Practices I.
Recommended for students planning to enter Product Design, open to students interested in any major.

Connections through Color and Design CAIL101 3
Connections through Color and Design

A second-semester Creative Action studio course introducing students to contextually-based problem solving using fundamentals of color and design. Students learn Munsell color theory and practical aspects of color mixing such as value, hue and chroma. Students apply these skills in solving problems that engage the larger community, transdisciplinary practice, research, and collaboration.

Form and Space or
Drawing—Expanded Practices
FNDT161 or
Form and Space

Students employ acquired skills transferred from Drawing and Building Form to explore and exploit materials as well as to discover unique processes in creating novel form. The study of three-dimensional design expands to encompass meaning construction, composition and research as students engage the more complex issues of form and space.

Prerequisite: FNDT160 Drawing and Building Form
Recommended for students planning to select A/L/I, Fashion Design or Product Design as their major.

Drawing—Expanded Practices

Students transfer and expand on observational drawing skills acquired from Drawing and Building Form with the application of color and addition of problem finding and complexity of idea. Acquisition of research skills, and the introduction of more varied drawing media, methods and materials fosters students’ realization of aspects of personal vision.

Prerequisite: FNDT 160 Drawing & Building Form

Elective FNDT145 1

Foundation year students can pick any Foundation Elective to fulfil this requirement. See the department or the Course Catalog for more information.

Birth of the Modern AHCS121 3
Birth of the Modern

Explores the key issues, problems, and events in art, history, music, literature, science, and design associated with and resulting from the social and cultural changes that occurred in the modern world.

Ways of Knowing LIBS114 3
Ways of Knowing

An interdisciplinary theme/issue driven project based course for first year students. This course will be paired with another course in a different discipline that is exploring a similar issue/theme. See Department for course offerings.


The curriculum displayed is meant to provide an overview of the current semester’s offerings in this department; it does not represent all degree requirements for the Major or Area of Emphasis. These can be found in each student’s Course Catalog (identified by the year in which one would have entered the college as a Foundation student), which can be found here. If you have questions regarding your specific curricular requirements and/or Course Catalog, please contact Academic Advisement Coordinator Carrie Malcom at or (310) 846-2550.