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Course List

View a list of courses in the First Year Experience.

Click a Course's Title to read its description .

Course # Course Title Credits
FF 111 Forum 3.00 credits
In this yearlong rigorous transdisciplinary thematic studio experience, students from a variety of majors investigate ways of being a creative person in today’s world. Topics include contemporary practice, social and global issues, personal and professional development, historical and theoretical perspectives, as well as MICA-specific initiatives. Through creative work, dialogue, the written word, research and presentations, students work individually and in groups to reflect critically on course content as they consider the rich array of possibilities for twenty-first century art and design. The course culminates in a self-reflective portfolio presentation integrating all first year courses.

First year students only

FF 112 Forum II 3.00 credits
In this yearlong rigorous transdisciplinary thematic studio experience, students from a variety of majors investigate ways of being a creative person in today’s world. Topics include contemporary practice, social and global issues, personal and professional development, historical and theoretical perspectives, as well as MICA-specific initiatives. Through creative work, dialogue, the written word, research and presentations, students work individually and in groups to reflect critically on course content as they consider the rich array of possibilities for twenty-first century art and design. The course culminates in a self-reflective portfolio presentation integrating all first year courses.

FF 120A Found and Focused 3.00 credits
In order to invent visual languages and formulate fresh ideas, contemporary artists and designers find materials in the world around them on which to base their creative explorations. In this immersive color and design course, students employ appropriation, collage, assemblage, photomontage, and décollage to investigate meanings, contexts and cultural implications of visual organization and color interaction. Working in an experimental and iterative manner, with materials ranging from liquid to print and from lens to light, students begin to develop their own visual language as they increase their understanding of color and design.

FF 120B Surface and Screen 3.00 credits
Patterns are everywhere around us: embedded in surfaces, situated in screens, and emerging from everyday interaction, connection, and communication. In this immersive color and design course, students attend to pattern in all its physical and metaphorical manifestations in order to explore the ways in which image and idea emerge from the organization of form and the interaction of color. Using iterative and experimental processes, students engage with contemporary notions of visual literacy, abstraction, composition, and cultural agency – in order to deepen their understanding of color and design while developing their own visual language.

FF 130A Prototype/Situate/Fabricate 3.00 credits
Contemporary artists and designers create, represent, respond to, and reflect – on form, function and structures in space – by prototyping their ideas, by situating themselves and the objects they make in real and imagined worlds, and by abricating forms that address real-world problems or that prompt us to articulate new ones. As developing artists and designers, students in this course create, represent, respond, and reflect in order to prototype, situate, and fabricate structures in space. Students experience these ways of working through additive and subtractive fabrication, digital and analog approaches, engagement with diverse materials, and research of ecological, social, and cultural implications of the impact on the built world.

FF 130B Body/World/Machine 3.00 credits
As the boundaries between body, world, and machine continue to grow increasingly blurry, contemporary artists and designers share a world that is mediated by technologies. Using a variety of studio approaches, students explore the role of the body, social space, and the media through intensive studio production in a range of formats. To support student development of concept and craft, students are challenged to integrate emerging understandings of history and theory with creative output.

FF 140A Haptics and Optics 3.00 credits
Through a range of processes, from historical photographic techniques to digital capture and compositing, students explore the interactions between time, the lens, and the tactile world. In so doing, students are invited to investigate contemporary questions and practices that exist at the intersection of photography, film, video, audio, book and animation. This research leads to the production and presentation of time-based works that exist between and beyond the usual media constraints.

FF 140B Cartographies 3.00 credits
The earliest maps are thought to have been created to help people find their way and to reduce fear of the unknown. Maps continue to tell stories beyond mere geographic location, inspiring us to ask questions and consider possible routes. In this course, students analyze patterns in their own reality, and working both independently and collaboratively, use time-based media to invent new cartographies.

FF 148 Finding Baltimore 3.00 credits
In this course, Baltimore is not a place but a process of self discovery -- a “finding” of sorts that provides students with the opportunity to think critically about their place in the world. As a group, students will travel throughout the City; interact with a host of people from different walks of life; visit new, wonderful, and unusual places; and investigate the important issues and themes of the day. Students will keep a visual diary of their ideas, opinions and feelings about these interactions and make artwork in a wide variety of media. Students also have the opportunity to work with local elementary school children or senior citizens -- and produce small murals or other site specific artwork. This course emphasizes the importance of “being there,” present in the moment and fully cognizant of one’s own relationship to a real, living environment. The vast majority of class sessions will be held “somewhere” in Baltimore. Students will carpool. Guest speakers and community artists will visit with students throughout the semester.

First year students only

FF 161 Drawing:Tradition & Innovation 3.00 credits
Drawing is an active form of thinking and a cultivable skill that can be used to support a range of art and design disciplines. This studio intensive course explores the principles, techniques, media, and applications of drawing through analog-based perceptual drawing practice. Central to this course is the “Tradition and Innovation Research Project,” in which each student researches a historical tradition of drawing, presents on that chosen tradition, and, in a culminating sustained project, creates a drawing or set of drawings that innovates on that tradition.

FF 162 Drawing:Contemporary Practice 3.00 credits
Drawing in the twenty-first century is a dynamic field of inquiry characterized by a range of material and conceptual approaches. Building on analog and digital experiences from Drawing: Tradition and Innovation, this course provides students opportunities to enhance their drawing practice using a variety of media to: investigate the lens and the frame as formal and conceptual tools; articulate structural aspects of dimension and space; and explore aspects of time through sequential or iterative processes.