Design Foundations


Incoming students to the School of Design at DAAP share an intensive and generative first semester experience. All students in all programs take three studio courses (Drawing I, 2D Design, 3D Design) and Art History for Design Majors.


Drawing I | DSGN 1000

…the intensive study of hand drawing and sketching as an essential foundational skill for visual research, design thinking and problem solving, and visual communication. Students learn basic linear perspective, observational drawing skills, specialized language relative to drawing and design, craftsmanship, and the ability to translate observed and imagined physical phenomena into two dimensional “paper space”.

 2D Design | DSGN 1010

…the study and application of the principles of two-dimensional design. Students are introduced to the compositional field and compositional practice, figure/ground relationships, scalar and proportional shifts, pattern and texture, value, color theory, typography, spatial illusion, narrative sequence and visual complexity.

 3D Design | DSGN 1020

…the development and analysis of form and the fundamental elements of three-dimensional design. Students learn about material qualities and capacities, shape and volume, weight and emphasis, fabric and skin, geometric and organic figures, kinetics.

 History of Art for Design Majors | ARTH 1011

...the history of art, art objects and the built environment with special emphasis given to how their evolution is specific to the history of design. Movements, monuments, and figures in art and design from the 18th century to the 21st century are covered. Students learn to evaluate and analyze the formal qualities of the important works of art and the built environment. They also learn to investigate how these creations reflect contemporary, social, political, religious, and philosophical contexts.


These four courses introduce students to the precedents, ideas, materials and methods used in the design professions and serve as the foundation for those majoring in Communication, Industrial or Fashion Design.