Course Descriptions will have the most up-to-date course descriptions.


Freshmen Seminar - Art History   |   Art History  |  Studio Art Design

Freshmen - seminar Art History


ARHI 13182 - FA Univ. Sem.:  Critical Moments in Classical Art & Culture

First Year Students only   A history of art in the Greco-Roman world will be illustrated and discussed through the analysis of a series of artistic and cultural crises.  An overall view of cultural and artistic evolution will be constructed through an understanding of these key points of transition.  Among the critical moments to be examined will be the meeting of the Minoans and Mycenaeans, renewed contacts with East following the Greek Dark Ages, the Persian Wars, the fall of Athens, the coming of the Etruscans, the Roman conquest of Greece, the invention of concrete, and the death of the Roman Republic.  3 credits


ARHI 13182 - FA Univ. Sem.:  What is an image?

First Year Students only   What is an image? What are the different visual media in which images occur? How do images produce meaning? In this class, we will explore a variety of critical perspectives for examining art and visual culture at the college level, and examine case studies that include works of painting, sculpture, photography, cinema, and graphic novels. Recurring topics will be the relationships between imitation and reality, between the visible and the invisible, between replicas and originals, between words and images, and between art and technological innovation. The class will include visits to the Snite Museum, the Hesburgh Library Special Collections, and two film screenings.  3 credits


ARHI 13182 - Fine Arts Univ. Seminar: Photography from the Daguerreotype to the iPhone

First Year Students only   This course will examine the history of photography, from its inception to its current proliferation as a vernacular practice through social media.  While the course places a particular emphasis on photography's developing relationship with art and visual culture as a whole, we will study its early beginnings in order to understand its associations, uses, and roles, and the ways in which it was thought to hold advantages or disadvantages for art and society.  We will look at primary sources that consider its shifting relationship to art, science, and media, and the debates validating the use of a camera as an artistic tool. In addition to thinking theoretically about photography's history, the course looks closely at a number of art photographers and a variety of means of photographic experimentation and misuse and makes frequent use of The Snite Museum in doing so. Finally, in thinking about and examining vernacular photography (and its ubiquity due to new technology and social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and so forth), we will consider how it participates in or departs from photography's previous roles -- sometimes mimicking the look of fine art (the popularity of “selfies” is just one example), other times trying hard to look messy and amateurish.  3 credits


ARHI 13182 01 FA Univ. Sem.:  World Art at the Snite Museum

First Year Students only   Students in this seminar will study and write about a wide range of works of art in Notre Dame's Snite Museum. Works to be studied include art objects from antiquity to the present made in the Americas, Africa, and Europe. Seminar meetings will consist of a consideration of focus objects and their historical contexts and discussion of reading and writing assignments. Writing assignments will include several short papers and a longer one to be submitted at the end of the semester. 3 credits


ARHI 13182 02 FA Univ. Sem.:  Notre Dame and Its Artifacts

First Year Students only   The subject of this seminar is the history of the University of Notre Dame.  Using artifacts as our primary source, we will explore the university’s past.  Since its founding in 1842 by Reverend Edward Sorin, Notre Dame has accumulated a remarkable array of things and objects.  Rare medieval manuscripts, specimens of extinct mosquitoes, pearl-handled revolvers, seventeenth-century Dutch paintings, Native American clothing, and a professional wrestler’s robe are just a few of the objects that can be found on our campus.  3 credits




ARHI 20100/60100 - Introduction to Ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt

This course will examine the origins of western art and architecture, beginning with a brief look at the Bronze Age cultures of the Near East and Egypt, then focusing in detail on Greece and Rome, from the Minoan and Mycenaean world of the second millennium B.C.E. to the rule of the Roman emperor Constantine in the fourth century C.E. Among the monuments to be considered are ziggurats, palaces, and the luxuriously furnished royal graves of Mesopotamia; the pyramids at Giza in Egypt and their funerary sculpture; the immense processional temple of Amon at Luxor; the Bronze Age palaces of Minos on Crete--the home of the monstrous Minotaur--and Agamemnon at Aycanae, with their colorful frescoes and processional approaches; the great funerary pots of early Athens and the subsequent traditions of red and black figure vase painting; architectural and freestanding sculpture of the Archaic and Classical periods; the Periclean Acropolis in Athens, with its monumental gateway and shining centerpiece, the Parthenon; and finally, among the cultural riches of Rome, the painted houses and villas of Pompeii; the tradition of republican and Imperial portraiture; the Imperial fora; the exquisitely carved Altar of Peace of Augustus; the Colosseum; & the Pantheon of the Philhellene Emperor Hadrian.  3 credits. Cross-lists with CLAS 20400.


ARHI 20200 - Introduction to Medieval Art

The Middle Ages – the period that spanned from the fourth through the fifteenth century in Europe and the Mediterranean – left us extraordinary works of art and architecture that still powerfully affect the modern imagination. This class explores the visual arts of the medieval world, ranging from the basilicas of Early Christian Rome to the monasteries of Romanesque France and Gothic cathedrals such as Chartres and Notre-Dame. We will cover an exciting wealth of monuments, objects and images, investigating their original context in the history and society of the Middle Ages, and their place within broader cultural phenomena such as monasticism, pilgrimage, and the development of the Christian liturgy. 3 credits


ARHI 20231 - Art & Architecture of the Medieval World

This class explores the development of art & architecture in the medieval Mediterranean world (ca. 300 to 1300). In this survey, our goal will be to expand the conventional understanding of medieval art by studying moments and sites of artistic interaction between Western European, Byzantine, and Islamic cultures. In the course of the semester, we will explore artworks and monuments in places such as Dura Europos, Palermo, Rome, Baghdad, Damascus, Venice, Jerusalem, Cordoba, Constantinople, Thessaloniki, & Ravenna. Our discussions will cover a variety of themes, including the circulation of artifacts; the relationship between Christian basilicas and Islamic mosques; the problem of religious imagery; the rise of the cult of saints; and questions of cultural appropriation. Readings will include both primary sources in translation & secondary literature, and the class will introduce students to a variety of methodological approaches. The class will include visits to the Snite Museum and the Hesburgh Library Special Collections.  3 credits


ARHI 20300 - Introduction to Renaissance Art

This course will survey the major trends in the art of Italy and northern Europe from roughly 1300-1575.  It will concentration on such major figures as Giotto, Donatello, Masaccio, Botticelli, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian in Italy, and the Limbourg Brothers, Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Hieronymous Bosch, Albrecht Durer, Matthias Grunewald, and Pieter Brueghel in the north.  It will consider such themes as artistic production and technique, public and private spirituality, naturalism, narrative, and the changing status of the artist.  3 credits


ARHI 20310 - Introduction to Western Art from Leonardo to Warhol

This course provides an introduction to key works and themes in Western art from the Renaissance to the twentieth century.  Focusing on a selection of key monuments, artists, and examples of art historical scholarship, and by looking back to classical values and models as well as forward to contemporary debates, we will explore various ways in which Western art has been made, used, and interpreted.  The course will concentrate on building fundamental analytic skills necessary to the study of art, and will consider works of art both from an aesthetic perspective and in the context of the individual, cultural, social, and economic conditions of their production and reception.  Topics will include an investigation of the history of the discipline, the use of objects, and a consideration of how the various practices and processes known as “art” have engaged society and the world. By looking at - and talking about - specific aesthetic phenomena, the course will survey the general history of modern representation and its alternatives. 3 credits


ARHI 20440 - Introduction to Twentieth Century Art

This course will introduce students to major developments in 20th-century art, primarily in Europe and the United States. Emphasis will be placed on modernist and avant-garde practices and their relevance for art up to the present. The first half of the course will trace Modernism’s unfolding in the avant-garde practices of the late- nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, ending with Modernism’s eventual destruction in the authoritarian politics of the thirties, of World War II and the Holocaust. The second half of the course will address art production after this chasm: the neo-avant-gardes in Europe and the United States will be considered in their attempts to construct continuity and repetitions of the heroic modernist legacies of the past. Among the movements analyzed: Cubism, Dada and Surrealism, Russian Constructivism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, and Conceptual.   3 credits


ARHI 20540 Rome: The Eternal City

In this class, we will explore the urban topography of the city of Rome from the first century BC to the year 2000 AD, or roughly the period from the emperor Augustus to the projects by Richard Meier, Zaha Hadid, and others to celebrate the Jubilee at the end of the second millennium.  In our discussion of how buildings shape and are shaped to form the city, we will consider contemporary drawings, prints, texts, maps, and a range of other evidence. Special focus will be placed on critical strategies for understanding urban sites. In addition to the city of Rome, this course will focus on developing your skills as critical readers and writers.  3 credits


ARHI 20560 - Gateway to Global Art History

This course surveys the art of the world from prehistory to the present. It centers on a sequence of art objects from the Snite Museum, the Hesburgh Libraries’ Special Collections, and elsewhere on the Notre Dame campus, linking them to well-known monuments of art history from the University’s Global Gateways in Beijing, Chicago, Dublin, Jerusalem, London, and Rome. Students in the course will gain a familiarity with the history of art and develop skills in visual literacy and critical thinking.  3 credits


ARHI 20800 - Inca and Colonial Peru

This course studies the art and architecture of Peru during the time of Inca dominance in the fifteenth century through the period of Spanish colonial rule in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. It examines the ways in which the visual culture of the Inca was transformed in the wake of the Spanish invasion and conquest of Peru. It considers the persistence and transformation of indigenous American materials, techniques, object types and iconographies; the emergence of new iconographies and genres; and the foundation and development of Spanish colonial towns. 3 credits


ARHI 20805 - Art and Architecture of Colonial Mexico

This course studies painting, sculpture, and architecture produced in Mexico during the period of Spanish colonial rule ca. 1520-1820. It begins with the art of the Aztecs, the indigenous culture whose powerful empire was centered in Tenochtitlan (today, Mexico City), and examines the ways in which visual culture was transformed in the wake of the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the early sixteenth century. Among topics to be considered are the art and architecture of Spanish colonial missions, the persistence and transformation of indigenous American materials, techniques, object types, and iconographies; the emergence of new iconographies and genres; the visual culture of colonial governance, and the foundation and development of new towns


ARHI 30120/60120 - Greek Art and Architecture

This course analyzes and traces the development of Greek architecture, painting, and sculpture in the historical period, from the eighth through the second centuries BC, with some consideration of prehistoric Greek forebears of the Mycenaean Age.  Particular emphasis is placed upon monumental art, its historical and cultural contexts, and how it reflects changing attitudes towards the gods, human achievement, and the relationship between the divine and the human.   3 credits. Cross-lists with CLAS 30405 and ARCH 40211.


ARHI 30125 - The Buried History of an Ancient City: ND’s Excavations at Butrint

This course examines the archaeology of the ancient Greco-Roman city of Butrint (Buthrotum), an Ionian seaport situated uniquely between Greece and Italy. On the basis of current archaeological research sponsored by the University of Notre Dame, the course investigates the development of the city over 3,000 years, covering its origins as a Greek colonial trading post in the 8th century B.C., its founding as a Roman colony under Augustus in the late 1st  century B.C., its Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman settlements, and its current status as the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the country of Albania. Students learn to analyze ancient artifacts and material remains, which range from buildings, inscriptions, coins, and statues to pottery, glass, bones, and seeds. The discussion includes the methods, results, and theory of archaeological research, particularly in the area of field excavation. The ancient city and its material remains are examined in the context of Mediterranean history. Major themes to be explored include ancient urbanism, colonization, acculturation, imperialism, government, the natural environment, architecture, religion, and ethnic identity.  3 credits. Cross-lists with CLAS 30417.


ARHI 30131 - Arch. of Pompeii & Herculaneum: Daily Life in the Ancient Roman World

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79 buried two thriving Roman cities, Pompeii and Herculaneum, in a prison of volcanic stone. The rediscovery of the cities in modern times has revealed graphic scenes of the final days and an unparalleled glimpse of life in the ancient Roman world. The course examines the history of excavations and the material record. Topics to be discussed include public life (forum, temples, baths, inns, taverns), domestic life (homes, villas), entertainment (amphitheater), art (wall paintings, mosaics, sculpture), writings (ancient literary sources, epigraphy, graffiti), the afterlife (tombs), urban design, civil engineering, the economy, and themes related to Roman society (family, slavery, religion, government, traditions, diet).  3 credits. Cross-lists with CLAS 30416.


ARHI 30204 - Medieval Murals and Mosaics

This class explores the development of monumental mosaic and fresco in the Middle Ages through key monuments in places like Rome, Constantinople, Thessaloniki, Palermo, and Venice. A central goal for the course will be to understand the ways in which mural paintings and mosaics distinguish themselves from other visual media in the medieval world. We will consider the relationship between murals and their architectural setting and how the relative size of wall paintings and mosaics impacts the way beholders relate to and understand them. We will also examine the many different functions of medieval murals, as media for story-telling, as liturgical instruments, and as vehicles for the transmission of knowledge, theological doctrines, or political propaganda. 3 credits


ARHI 30205 - Word & Image in Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts

Illuminated manuscripts are among the most extraordinary works of art produced in the Middle Ages. Their design, integrating different kinds of miniatures with the layout of handwritten texts, reveals the rich and complex imagination of medieval scribes, artists, and the patrons who commissioned the work. The course proceeds chronologically, studying European manuscripts from Late Antiquity up to the advent of the printed book. Taking a hands-on approach which will draw on several facsimiles in Rare Books and Special Collections in Hesburgh Library, the course will examine the interactions between word, image, and medium, and the connections that link the transmission of texts and images to the makers of illuminated manuscripts and their patrons. 3 credits


ARHI 30313/60313 - Art of the High Renaissance in Florence and Rome

Fulfills Fine Arts Requirement   Leonardo, Michelangelo, Bramante, and Raphael provide the basis for a study of one of the most impressive periods of artistic activity in Italy - the High Renaissance in Florence and Rome. It was Leonardo da Vinci's revolutionary example that imposed extraordinary artistic and intellectual changes on an entire generation of painters, sculptors, and architects. Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, the new Republic of Florence, and the imperial papacy of Julius II recognized that the genius of Leonardo, Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael, and others, could be brought into the service of the State. Under Julius, the Papal State became the supreme state in Italy, and for the first time in centuries, the papacy ranked as a great European power. With the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's (redesigned on a colossal scale by Bramante), the Vatican Palace (its city facade and Belvedere by Bramante, and papal apartments decorated by Raphael), and the Papal tomb (designed by Michelangelo), Rome, for the first time since the time of the Caesars, became the center of Western art.  3 credits


ARHI 30350 – Survey of Italian Baroque Art

This course surveys Italian painting, sculpture, and architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries, a period that also witnessed the foundation and suppression of the Jesuit Order, the Counter-Reformation, absolute monarchy, and democratic nations. Thus, the course begins with the "new Rome" of Pope Sixtus V, which attracted pilgrims and artists from all over Europe, and ends with the early years of Enlightenment. From Northern Italy came Caravaggio and the Carracci, artists who were responsible for creating a new style based upon High Renaissance principles and a new kind of naturalism derived from the study of life. There was Bernini, whose architectural and sculptural monuments almost single-handedly gave Rome its Baroque character. Other artists and architects of this era under discussion include such diverse personalities as Borromini, Guarini, Algardi, Artemisia Gentileschi, and the great ceiling painters Pietro da Cortona, Baciccio, Pozzo, and Tiepolo. 3 credits.  cross-lists with: ROIT  30620.


ARHI 30373 - Art in America 

This course examines American visual and material cultures from the pre-colonial era to the present day. Providing a broad, historical account and considering a variety of media from paintings and sculptures to quilts, photographs, world's fairs, and fashion styles, this survey explores American art within the context of cultural, social, economic, political, and philosophical developments. In particular, it considers the role that American art has played in the formation of national identity and understandings of class, race, gender, and ethnicity.  3 credits. Cross-lists with AMST 30152.


ARHI 30375 - Building Europe: 1600-1750

This class examines architecture and urban planning in one of Europe’s most dynamic eras.  During that time, capital cities like Paris, London, St. Petersburg, and Madrid were created. Elites used palaces, country houses, and gardens to project their power and status.  Astounding churches and monasteries were created to heighten the intensity of religious experience.  Architecture in the form of theaters and observatories, libraries and universities, served the secular activities of the urban public.  3 credits


ARHI 30420/60420 19th Century European Art

Open to all majors; fulfills Fine Arts requirement. This course will explore the complexities of 19th-century modern art and its history. Providing both a general thematic overview and a series of specific case studies, it will examine a wide variety of figures, movements, and practices within the arts in Western Europe from Neo-Classicism to Romanticism, Realism to Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism to Symbolism. It will situate these movements within the social, political, and historical contexts in which they arose— primarily, the forces of revolution, industrialization, urbanization, and neo-imperialism in France, England, Spain, and Germany.  Crucially, it will also trace the transformation of Paris as the artistic center of the 19th century and it will consider the history of critical modernism through the rise of mass-media technologies (such as photography) and the aesthetic accomplishments of a burgeoning avant-garde. The class will visit The Art Institute of Chicago to view special exhibitions related to topics in the course3 credits


ARHI 30482/60484 - Contemporary Art:  Art Now

This course offers students an introduction to the theories and practices of contemporary art with a focus on artwork since 1980.  We will investigate its varied, multi-faceted terrain, and examine key themes and ideas that have been explored in recent years.  These include such topics as the artist as curator, the museum reconsidered, art and politics, the emergence of DIY approaches, and the rise in interest in new media and materials. Special attention will be paid to the way that new media and formats, like digital photography, sound, and installation, have changed the scope and reception of art now. 3 credits


ARHI 30484– Off the Wall: Post WWII American Art

The 1950s, we’re told, were America’s “best” years:  an idyllic era of suburban family togetherness, television shows like Leave it to Beaver, Disneyland (which opened in Anaheim in 1955), and really big cars.  Magazine publisher Henry Luce and other mid-century American power-brokers promoted the postwar US on hegemonic terms: as a unified nation defined by a liberal political economy and by the expectations and desires of middle-class citizens united by the shared goals of upward social mobility and consumerism (white collar jobs, home ownership), college educations, family/suburban lifestyles, etc.  This was called the “consensus model” of American identity.  Not surprisingly, this ideal of America and these normative expectations about “being” American created a number of tensions in post-World War II America.  First, the goals themselves were unattainable for some Americans due to the nation’s persistent habits of racism, sexism, class preference, and homophobia.  Second, some Americans felt restricted and restrained by expectations of middle-class conformity, among other things.  This led to a number of counter-hegemonic cultural expressions: from art that came off the wall to artists who went on the road.  This course examines those American artists and their rebellions, from artists like Jackson Pollock – who took his paintings “off the wall” and made them on the floor – to writers like Jack Kerouac, whose novel “On the Road” was published in 1957.  It surveys American art from the Great Depression of the 1930s through the early 1970s, looking at art styles and movements including Regionalism, Abstract Expressionism, Beat, Funk, Pop, Minimalism, Conceptual art, Psychedelia,, Earthworks, Feminist Art, and the Black Art Movement.  Themes include the “triumph of American painting” after World War II, links between art and politics, the development of postwar art theory, and intersections between the avant-garde, popular culture, and consumer culture.  A special “Elvis Day” examines post-World War II youth culture and counter-hegemonic rebellion. 3 credits.  cross-lists with AMST 30135.


ARHI 30486 American Ruins

American ruins are increasingly visible today, from images of urban decay and piles of debris in Detroit and Gary to movies and novels (The Book of Eli, The Road) depicting post-apocalyptic "ruinscapes" of abandoned towns, derelict factories, crumbling monuments, and deserted shopping malls, variously populated by zombies, vampires, and survivalists. Ruins typical signify "disaster," "failure," "defeat," and "the past." Why, then, in a nation that has repeatedly defined itself in terms of promise, progress, and success-the American Dream-are visions of ruin, real and imagined, so prevalent today? This class explores the history and meaning of American ruins, relating contemporary fascination with ruins ("ruin porn") to currently held attitudes about modernity, technology, citizenship, consumerism, the rule of law, and the environment. Course materials include novels, films, and photographs; coursework includes field trips (to Detroit and Gary), essays, and discussion. 3 credits. cross-lists with AMST 30116.


ARHI 30488– Public Art & Memory in America

Public art is a major facet of modern and contemporary American culture and is often controversial: in the 1980s, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was criticized by some for being anti-American, in the 1990s, the Smithsonian canceled an exhibit on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima after certain members of Congress said it was not patriotically correct, in the 2000s, the design and construction of the national September 11 Memorial (dedicated in New York in 2011) was beset by protests.  This course examines the politics and aesthetics of public art in American from the perspectives of its producers and audience. What is public art?  Why is it made? Who is it for?  How and why does it embody tensions in American culture and society regarding identity, authority, and taste?  Specific topics to be explored include American memorials and remembrance rituals, the development of the public art industry, community art projects (such as murals), national arts programs and policies, landscape architecture, tourism, museums, and national fairs.  Our objectives are to recognize how public art shapes and directs local and national understanding of history and memory, self and society, in the United States.  The course includes field trips; students will develop their own Wiki Public Art pages. 3 credits.  cross-lists with AMST 30197.


ARHI 30489 – Art in Chicago

This course will take as its starting point a particular collection in Chicago upon which to draw.  This semester we will look primarily at paintings, sculptures, photographs, and installations at the Art Institute of Chicago.  Drawing heavily on its strong holdings in modern and contemporary European and American art, each class session will be devoted to the careful research and analysis of one or two objects in the collection.  We will read art historical texts that contextualize each work, allowing us to practice engagement at the visual, critical, and art historical levels.   We will focus on looking at and writing on visual subjects, so discussion, writing, and participation will be essential components of the course.  Some of the artists on whom we will focus on include Cassatt, Gauguin, Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, O’Keeffe, Pollock, Warhol, and Sherman.  At least one trip to Chicago will be a required part of the course.  3 credits


ARHI 30490/60491 – Contemporary Art

Through a diverse range of practices, materials, and technologies, recent developments in art have pushed the boundaries of what art can be. The consequences of these actions have been viewed as both positive and negative. The novel forms and materials, the reduced concern for craft, and the increasingly conceptual nature of this art are often seen as alienating, bizarre, and elitist. Yet the art of our time has also opened up new venues and spaces where it can be experienced, it has expanded into digital and ephemeral practices, it addresses previously excluded audiences, and it has redefined the roles of artist and beholder/participant. It has also moved beyond the borders of Europe and the United States to operate on an increasingly global stage. The course introduces students to the major movements and artists of the postwar period to the present, with emphasis on the historical and social contexts, critical debates, and the relationships developed internationally among artists and their works. 3 credits


ARHI 30532 - African American Art  

In the fall of 2018, the Snite Museum of Art will host “Solidary and Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection”, a major exhibition of art made since 1940 by African-American artists.  This special class will focus on this exhibition, including museum visits, guest speakers, and talks with visiting artists, as it examines how black artists have used painting, sculpture, and mixed media to raise questions about personal, racial, and national identity.  3 credits. Cross-lists with AMST 30149.


ARHI 30540 - PhotoFutures: Collecting Art for Notre Dame

PhotoFutures is a collaborative collecting group at the Snite Museum of Art that acquires contemporary photography for the University of Notre Dame. This is a zero-credit course.  Designed for students of any major, this five-session co-curricular program combines issues related to museum collecting, contemporary photography, and socially-engaged artistic practice. Students will critique individual photographs and evaluate artists¿ portfolios, and also engage in critical discussions with the artists themselves, Snite curators, and select faculty whose expertise provides different lenses through which to consider the photographs. Ultimately, students will develop their own collecting criteria to choose a photograph for an acquisition that adds value to the permanent collection of the Snite Museum and supports the mission of the University.  The topic for PhotoFutures will be announced and more spots in the program will open up at the beginning of the fall semester.   0 credits


ARHI 33111 - Archaeology & Material Culture

We usually think of fieldwork and excavation as being the essence of archaeology, but much of what we know about the past is learned in the laboratory, where we study the artifacts brought in from the field. A rough rule of thumb states that two hours of lab time are needed for every hour spent in the field, so in reality, lab work may be even more important than field work in archaeology. This course is a laboratory class that will use many different activities to teach you about how archaeologists organize, preserve, and study archaeological artifacts to learn about the past. This class provides an in-depth introduction to basic laboratory methods for the organization, curation, and analysis of pottery, stone tools, metals, soil samples, and floral and faunal remains. By the end of the semester, you will engage in a hands-on application of course principles by conducting a research project on materials from Notre Dame’s archaeological collections.  Cross-lists with ANTH 43255. 3 credits


ARHI 33408/63408 01 - Seminar: Pop, Fluxus, Minimalism

Open to majors only or by permission.  This seminar traces the development of three developments of post-WWII art—Pop, Fluxus, Minimalism—as they emerged, nearly simultaneously, in New York in the early 1960s. More than the visual arts, the course considers the “expanded media” of Pop, Fluxus, and Minimalism (music, dance, performance, design) within the context of their art historical precedents, critical, and political aspects. Seminar discussions emphasize formal analysis, theoretical exploration, and social conditions. Readings will include critical histories and artists’ writings.  Artists to be studied include Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol; George Maciunas, Yoko Ono, George Brecht, Nam June Paik, Alison Knowles; John Cage, Tony Conrad; Robert Morris, Yvonne Rainer, Paul Sharits, Robert Smithson, and Eva Hesse, among others.  Experimental Cinema collaboration with the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center is a crucial part of the course.  3 credits


ARHI 40121/60121 - Greek Architecture

In this course, the development of Greek monumental architecture, and the major problems that define it, will be traced from the 8th to the 2nd centuries BC, from the late Geometric through the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods. Among themes to be examined are the relationship between landscape and religious architecture, the humanization of temple divinities, the architectural expression of religious tradition and specific history, architectural procession and hieratic direction, emblem and narration in architectural sculpture, symbolism and allusion through architectural order, religious revival and archaism, and the breaking of architectural and religious canon.  Cross-lists with CLAS 30405. 3 credits


ARHI 40150 - Topography of Ancient Rome

The course examines in detail the buildings and monuments of ancient Rome from the Archaic Period to the beginning of Late Antiquity (8th century B.C. to 4th century A.D.). The primary aim of the course is to consider the problems related to the identification, reconstruction, chronology, and scholarly interpretation(s) of Rome's ancient structures. Students will investigate the history of excavations in Rome, analyze ancient literary sources, evaluate ancient art and architecture, and examine epigraphic, numismatic, and other material evidence related to Rome's ancient physical makeup. This close examination of the city of ancient Rome in its historical context also explores how urban organization, civic infrastructure, public monuments, and domestic buildings reflect the social, political, and religious outlook of Roman society.  Cross-lists with CLAS 40406. 3 credits


ARHI 40470/60470 - Twentieth-Century Architecture

This course is a survey of the significant themes, movements, buildings, and architects in 20th-century architecture. Rather than validate a single design ideology such as Modernism, Postmodernism, or Classicism, this account portrays the history of architecture as the manifestation-in design terms-of a continuing debate concerning what constitutes an appropriate architecture for this century. Topics include developments in building technologies, attempts to integrate political and architectural ideologies, the evolution of design theories, modern urbanism, and important building types in modern architecture such as factories, skyscrapers, and housing. Class format consists of lecture and discussion with assigned readings, one midterm exam, a final exam, and one written assignment.  Cross-lists with ARCH 50221. 3 credits


ARHI 40580/60580 - History of Design: Form, Values, and Technology

This course will provide a historical perspective on the development of industrial and product design in the modern era. In the modern era, design has been a powerful tool for shaping the development of technology and articulating the values of modern culture. The role of the modern designer as both a facilitator and a critic of industrial technology will be examined.  Cross-lists with ARCH 50811. 3 credits.


ARHI 43205/63205 - Topics in Medieval Art: Art & Science in the Middle Ages

This class will explore the relationship between art and science in the Middle Ages. In particular, we will examine the ways in which medieval painters, sculptors, and architects engaged with the cultural phenomenon of “encyclopedism” by creating artworks that sought to capture all the world’s knowledge in a single visual program. In our exploration of this topic we will consider a wide range of works, from medieval maps and scientific manuscripts to large-scale tapestries and the architectural programs of the great Gothic cathedrals. Central themes include text-image relationships and the role of pictorial tech-niques, such as allegory, personification, & analogy for visualizing complex ideas. We will also examine the representation of knowledge in medieval poetry and see how medieval authors employed ekphrasis to create visual artworks within their texts to serve as placeholders for encyclopedic learning. 3 credits


ARHI 43306 – Sem.: Early Italian Renaissance Art

This seminar examines developments in Early Italian Renaissance art through a close study of the collections of the Snite Museum of Art, especially the fourteenth- and fifteenth-century artworks in its Kress Collection.  The class meets frequently in the galleries of the Snite itself in order to discuss artworks directly.  Our museum-based focus will take into account the physical conditions of the works we study, including their facture, present state of conservation, and their storage and display.  This class also offers the opportunity to learn about Renaissance artists’ working processed through hands-on work.


ARHI 43405/63405 - Topics in Modern Art: Gender and Performance

Open to majors only or by permission.  This seminar considers the theoretical and cultural implications of the genre of performance art as it emerged around shifting notions of the body in the 20th century.  It will examine the historical precedents of “live-art” practice in Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, Gutai, and ‘Action’ painting, and it will study the expansion of traditional media (as performance/performative) into new forms of cultural expression in the 1960s and beyond. Accordingly, the class will look at a range of central issues that have framed the debates around performance and the body, including: the gendering of artwork and reception; the ethics of audience participation; the reliance on ‘indexical’ media (photography, film, video); the structures of language and desire; the rhetorical use of autobiography; the relationship between violence, trauma, and ritual; the notion of 'radical presence'; and the limits of public/private spheres around discourses of the body. Seminar discussion will emphasize formal analysis, theoretical exploration, and social context. Readings will include critical histories, theories, and artists’ writings. Cross-lists with GSC 43522.  3 credits


ARHI 43481/63481 Topics in Contemporary Art: Contemporary art and the Everyday

This seminar on contemporary art will look at the realm of the every day as it relates theoretically, materially, and historically to recent artistic practices. By examining artworks that take, for instance, the spaces of home or the spaces of entertainment as source, subject, or material point of departure, we will consider how these sites have been mined for their position as places outside of the realm of professional artistic practices.  Looking at the use of such things as domestic and everyday materials and objects in art, as well as works that mimic everyday routines (housekeeping, childrearing, crafting, playing, etc.) will comprise a large role in our investigations. Consideration will also be given to the ways in which artists have incorporated subsets of the every day, such as play, the amateur, and the banal, into their creative processes and products.  3 credits


ARHI 43801/63801 – Cuba: Architecture & Urbanism

The seminar will provide a historical perspective on Cuba’s urbanism and architecture, and its cross-cultural, European influence, and immediate regional background.  A series of presentations will allow students to identify, recognize as distinguish the main features of Cuban architecture and urbanism and relate them to the universal culture.  The seminar will introduce students to the concept of cultural landscapes.  Critical thinking will allow the students to relate research and theoretical content with historic preservation themes as well as practical design knowledge.  The seminar will focus on the study of Havana, the capital and most important city of Cuba.  The chronological study of Havana and its history and urban evolution will provide a comprehensive understanding of its rich heritage and cultural identity.  The course will encompass the past, present and a vision for the future of Havana. 3 credits


ARHI 4857X  - Honors Senior Thesis

The Senior Thesis, normally between 20 and 30 pages in length, is done under the direction of one of the regular art history faculty, who serves as an advisor. It is expected to demonstrate the student's ability to treat an important art historical topic in a manner which shows her/his writing skills and methodological training. It is expected that the thesis will be suitable for submission as a writing sample for those students intending to apply to art history graduate programs.


ARHI 63570-01 - Graduate Seminar

Permission required.  This seminar will ponder how contemporary art engages society, culture, and politics. We will consider a variety of strategies that artists use to investigate topics such as globalization, the privatization of the public sphere, and environmental sustainability. We will examine such phenomena as the rise in collectively-oriented practices and artistic collaborations, the spread of international exhibitions, and "relational" aesthetics. Students should be prepared to do theoretical readings and analytic writing and to actively participate in class discussion.


Studio art

ARST 10100   2-D Foundations
BA/BFA Core  
The fundamentals of two-dimensional design consist of the strategies and tools an artist or designer uses to organize visual images, colors, and content into a unified and dynamic composition. Students will identify design strategies and visual vocabularies, research the history of their usage and recognize their contemporary applications. Through project-based work using traditional and digital mediums and techniques, students will explore contemporary approaches to idea conception, critical thinking, and problem-solving.  2D Foundations is for students entering the art and design programs to provide the foundation of personal creative practices for visual communication, conceptualization, process and technique that will continue to evolve and refine in upper-level studio and design courses.  3 credits

ARST 10201  - Drawing I 


This course deals with form depiction in its many aspects and modes, and is intended for beginning students as well as advanced students who need additional experience in drawing. 3 credits


ARST 10601 - 3-D Foundations - Basic Sculpture


The fundamentals of three-dimensional design consist of the strategies and tools an artist or designer uses to generate ideas for and execution of form in space. Through research, conceptualization and production students discover the power of making sculptural objects- how they function or change function, how they make a viewer move through and engage a space, how they transform ordinary objects into the extraordinary and transform perception and environment. Students will create projects using a variety of traditional and contemporary sculptural mediums, techniques, and tools and be exposed to industrial applications and visual vocabularies. 3D Foundations is for students entering the art and design program to provide the foundation of personal creative practices for visual communication, conceptualization, process and technique that will continue to evolve and refine in upper-level studio and design courses. 3 credits


ARST 20101 - Ceramics I

This course examines basic techniques of wheel-thrown and hand-built clay structures for sculpture and pottery. 3 credits


ARST 20301 -  Painting I

This course is an introduction to oil painting techniques and to stretcher and canvas preparation.  The emphasis is on finding a personal direction.  3 credits


ARST 20303 - Watercolor I

Open to all students. This course is an introduction to the watercolor medium and deals with a variety of methods, materials, and techniques (both realistic and abstract) with special emphasis on color and composition. 3 credits


ARST 20401 - Photography I

BA Core Option/BFA Core

Open to junior or sophomore majors and freshmen intended majors. This course is an introduction to the tools, materials, and processes of black and white photography.  Lectures and demonstrations expose students to both traditional and contemporary practices in photography.  Critiques of ongoing work encourage students to begin discovering and developing their individual strengths and interests in the medium. A 35mm camera with manual shutter speed and "F" stop is needed.  3 credits


ARST 20501 -  Silkscreen I

This course is an introduction to stencil processes & printing.  Hand-drawn & photographic stencil-making techniques are explored.  Mono-printing & discovery of unique aspects of serigraphy are encouraged.  Emphasis is on exploration of color and development of student's ideas and methodologies.  3 credits


ARST 20502 - Printmaking 101

This is an introductory course for non-majors and majors.  Students are exposed to beginning level printmaking techniques including digital applications, relief, etching, non-press printing, and letterpress.  Contemporary developments, on-line printmaking, and recent artwork are features with which students will become familiar.  The course is project-oriented and has one collaborative project included with the individually directed assignments.  3 credits


ARST 20505 -  Artists Books and Papermaking

This introductory course explores the making of artists' books and papermaking.  Students learn basic bookbinding techniques for books and printing techniques for postcards and posters.  They also learn how to make hand-made papers.  Part of the focus is on historical books, as well as on what contemporary artists are doing with books.  3 credits


ARST 20506 - Relief Printing:  Studio Class

In this course students will be introduced to relief printmaking processes, learning traditional techniques of carving and printing both wood and linoleum relief blocks.  The contemporary approaches to relief processes through digital media experimentation via inkjet printers, a laser cutter, or a CNC router will be introduced.  The course will be administered through lecture, process demos, in-class work time, and peer/individual critiques.  3 credits


ARST 20520  - Photo Printmaking

Students will learn a variety of photo-based printmaking processes, including, but not limited to: photolithography, photo-etching, sunography, digital printing. The projects are designed to expose students to the many photo processes available in the printmaking arena while also developing their own concepts. Students will view a variety of prints produced using photo techniques made by professional artists as well as historical prints.  3 credits


ARST 20602 - Wood Sculpture

Open to all students. This course uses wood as a primary medium. Emphasis is placed on individual concept and design. Students learn the use of hand and power tools as well as techniques of joining, laminating, fabricating, and carving. 3 credits


ARST 20603 - Metal Foundry

Open to all students. The course focuses on work in cast aluminum and cast bronze sculptures.  Students learn basic welding techniques using oxygen and acetylene, arc and heliarc welding.  Mold making, work in wax, and metal finishing techniques are also explored. 3 credits


ARST 20604 -  Metal Sculpture I

Open to all students. Metal is the medium of choice in this course designed to explore three-dimensional design with a variety of projects grounded in historical precedents. Students become familiar with as many metalworking techniques as time and safety allow, such as gas and arc welding, basic forge work, and several methods of piercing, cutting, and alternative joinery. 3 credits


ARST 20606   Figure Sculpture

Open to all students. This course focuses on creating sculpture from observation of figurative aids and from live male and female models both clothed and nude.  In addition, the course incorporates historical and contemporary figurative sculptors as the class progresses to creating figurative sculptures in a contemporary art context.  This course can be taken by beginning students with no art background or as a continuation of art courses.  3 credits


ARST 30102   Ceramics II

Prerequisite:  Ceramics I. This course explores advanced processes in clay for pottery & sculpture plus techniques of glazing.


ARST 30402 - Extreme Photography

Today's innovative technologies offer photographers exciting new ways to image the world we live in. Extreme Photography is a course that will explore several exciting picture-making technologies to produce creative still photographs and video. Photographic projects will explore various technologies including GoPro action video, aerial drone photography, time-lapse photography, 3d scanning, photogrammetry, computer vision and computational photography. The course will also include presentations and discussions about the creative and commercial applications of these technologies and the impact they are having on media and culture. Students who do not meet the Photo 1 prerequisite will need to demonstrate equivalent knowledge with digital cameras, software and workflow in advance of enrollment in the course.  3 credits


ARST 30405 - Photography II: Digital Workshop

Pre-requisite ARST 21401 Photo. I  This is a level II course in the photography sequence and builds upon the experiences gained in Photography I. Digital constructions, Photoshop software techniques, studio lighting and time-based projects are explored. Presentations, assignments, and critiques promote visual and technical skill building, helping students continue defining their creative interest and technical expertise. A digital SLR with manual focus and exposure controls is required; or, students may check out departmental cameras to complete assignments A portable hard drive compatible with the Apple OS platform is required for storing personal files. The course is taught on the Apple OS platform.  3 credits


ARST 30502 - Poster Shop

Students will create posters and broadsides using relief, silkscreen and inkjet printing.  These media offer powerful imaging techniques that range from hand-drawn/cut stencils to digital impressions.  A variety of surfaces and applications will be explored.  Art historical sources such as propaganda and political posters, concert promotions and urban graphics will propel creative projects.  3 credits


ARST 30503 -  Experimental Silkscreen

This course uses screen print stenciling processes in experimental ways. Students learn to make 3D forms, built installations, artist books, animations, and expressive monotypes. Hand-drawn and photographic processes are used. Collaboration, dialogue, and discovery of the unique potentialities of serigraphy are encouraged. Open to students with and without prior screen-printing experience.  3 credits


ARST 30606 - Sculpture II:  Material Play

 Prerequisites:  any sculpture class or DESN 20101 or DESN 20201 or DESN 30XXX. In keeping with the postmodern aesthetic landscape this studio art course will explore the use of non-traditional materials in sculptural applications. Through a series of mixed media projects, students will investigate, select, compose, and construct with a range of alternative materials and processes to create engaging and contemporary three-dimensional works. Each project will be supplemented by brief readings pertinent to the conceptual goals of the work. 


ARST 30608 - Digital Fabrication for Sculptors

Prerequisites:  any sculpture course or DESN 20201 or DESN 30XXX. This course will focus on digital fabrication, and rapid prototyping processes and materials. Students will learn the basics of designing in digital space, creating prototypes on a CNC laser and 3D printer, and finally applying hands-on tools and processes to create a sculpture.  3 credits


ARST 40203 Figure Drawing, Multilevel

Open to all students. The emphasis is on drawing in all its aspects:  materials, methods, techniques, composition, design, and personal expression. The human figure is the subject matter.  While anatomy is studied, the course is not an anatomy class.  Male and female models, clothed and nude, are used.   3 credits


ARST 40308 - Multilevel Painting and Drawing

Painting and drawing are the most direct means of visual expression that contemporary artists employ to articulate their concerns. This course extends and develops the skills and concepts initiated in Painting 1 and/or Drawing 1. Students are engaged in projects that allow them to hone their technical skills while they define and develop their individual concerns as well as the formal means through which to communicate them.   3 credits


ARST   40408 The Photographic Portrait

Portraits have been one of the most significant and sustaining forms of representation within the history of all images. This course examines the various styles and thematic approaches to the photographic portrait from historical forms to conceptual artworks. Innovative forms such as the moving image, digital manipulation, and social networking will be explored. Students will create portraits employing commercial lighting techniques in both the lighting studio and on location. Offered fall or spring semester. 3 credits


ARST 40610/60610 -  Installation Art: Space, Time & Body

Prerequisites any one of the following: 3D Foundations, metal sculpture, wood sculpture, foundry, industrial design, architectural design, painting, printmaking, drawing, and photography.   This studio art/seminar course will explore the history and theory of what is referred to as “installation art”. Through a series of readings and individual projects, students will design and construct installation works that investigate the activation and use of space through various combinations of 2D, 3D, & 4D strategies. Projects will be designed to emphasize relevant topics such as site- specificity, design for the body, architectural interventions and use of multisensory stimuli to convey contemporary art concepts.  


ARST 43701 - Senior Seminar

Required for senior BFA students; open to seniors registered for BA Thesis. By permission for non-thesis senior BA students. The course will focus on creating a dialogue across disciplines and introducing contemporary issues and practices in art, art criticism, and design. Thematic topics will be introduced in order to present alternative and integrated points of view from all areas of study represented by the art history, studio, and design fields. Critical writing and directed readings will be assigned throughout the semester. A focus on research approaches, exhibitions, and curatorial practices will be central to our approach to the various areas. Lectures, visiting artist interviews, gallery visits, and student presentations will be components of the course.  1 credit


ARST47770 - Berlin SONAR: Architecture and Design in Contemporary Germany

In this class, students will acquire the visual skills and analytical tools to read and understand the city of Berlin with all its cultural expressions. The course is interdisciplinary and encourages students to use a wide range of different media for projects that range from painting, sculpture, photography, video, and urban sketching to essays, documentary forms or literary texts, and concludes with a joint presentation at the end of the semester. Students will learn to convert their individual Berlin experience into creative projects.  The class will be taught in three block seminars on campus, where we will learn to critically analyze the key components of Berlin’s culture, past and present. The course will culminate in a one-week excursion to Berlin in May 2017 where we will explore museums and urban environments and meet with protagonists of Berlin’s current cultural life.  Cross-lists with GE 33411. 3 credits


ARST 48X03 - BFA Thesis

BFA majors.  Prerequisite:  B.F.A. Candidacy.

The B.F.A. Thesis is defined by an independent thesis project, continuing for two semesters during the senior year. The B.F.A. Thesis is a personal visual statement that is the culmination of a student's collective development within the department. The B.F.A. Thesis can be the extension of an ongoing body of work or a defining project. The thesis project is supported by a written statement defining the project, which is due at the end of the first senior semester. The thesis project culminates in the second senior semester with a B.F.A. Thesis Exhibition. The B.F.A. Thesis student signs up with a faculty member working in the student's area of interest, who serves as an advisor for the thesis project.


ARST 62704 - Professional Practices

Graduate majors only   Required of all MFA candidates each semester. This team-taught seminar/critique meets each week to critique ongoing graduate student work and to discuss issues related to contemporary art practice.  1 credit


ARST 63250 - Painting/Printmaking Graduate Seminar

 Graduate majors only   Required of all MFA candidates each semester. This team-taught seminar/critique meets each week to critique ongoing graduate student work and to discuss issues related to contemporary art practice.  1 credit


ARST 63450 -  Photography Graduate Seminar

Graduate majors only   Required of all MFA candidates each semester. A team-taught seminar/critique that brings together all the photography faculty and graduate students in a weekly dialogue focusing on issues in contemporary art as they relate to student research. This course is required of all photography candidates each semester leading to and including the M.F.A. thesis year.  1 credit


ARST 63650 -  Ceramic/Sculpture Grad. Seminar

Graduate majors only.   This is a course required of all ceramic and sculpture MFA candidates during each semester leading to & including the MFA thesis year. This team-taught seminar brings together all of the ceramic and sculpture faculty and graduate students in a weekly dialogue focusing on contemporary issues as they pertain to student research. Discussions originating from directed readings, art criticism and methods of conceptual presentation will address pertinent issues that help guide graduate students through the MFA program.  1 credit




DESN 20101 - VCD 1:  Fundamentals of Design: Elements, Theory, & Methods 

Fundamentals of Design is a gateway course for Visual Communication Design that introduces students to basic design elements like color, form, composition and typography. This course explores and develops an understanding of the delicate balance between design elements and how they have been skillfully used over time to create some of the most persuasive images and enduring messages. The course is an exercise in deconstruction and reconstruction of visual images using design elements as tools. Through assignments, students work digitally to explore color, form, composition, texture and typography; first individually and then in conjunction with other elements. Initial assignments are short and focus on the understanding of a singular element. As the course progresses, students are expected to use experiences from these short assignments and use them as building block for more complex projects. Above all, the course builds a vigorous foundation that allows students to acquire visual skillsets that serve as a firm foundation for advanced level courses in Visual Communication Design. 3 credits.



DESN 20115  - VCD 2: Typography: History, application, and art of typography

Prerequisites: DESN 20101. This second course in Visual Communication Design focuses on the art of typography, its history, and the use of type as a critical element in the visual world by building on key concepts introduced in Fundamentals of Design. Students will gain fluency in typography and its systematic application to traditional and modern media. This studio-based design course is structured as a series of projects exploring message-making and type as image. Students will learn the origins and constructions of typography; how the visual translation of type influences human perception and understanding; and how textual messaging is evolving to include iconographic elements by exploring a variety of applications such as icons, symbols, alphabets, posters, animations, and non-traditional books. 3 credits



DESN 20120 - VCD 3:  Web Design: Web-based interactivity for desktop and mobile

Prerequisite: DESN 20101. The course offered in the Visual Communication Design sequence focuses on the design of online interactive communications for web-enabled platforms including desktop and mobile devices. Students will gain understanding of designing web-based experiences for different users and different web-enabled devices. This studio-based design course is structured as a series of projects and exercises exploring user-centered design principles and how they are applied to hierarchical and navigational structures, interface, web typography, imagery, sound, and motion. Students will be introduced to user-experience (UX) design and user testing as it relates to web-based experiences and as a tool to define and refine the problems the students are trying to solve.   3 credits


DESN 20200 -  ID: Rapid Visualization

Open to all students. This cross-disciplinary course in rapid sketching and rendering technique serves studio art, design, and architecture. The course is intended for students entering studio practice for the first time as well as for advanced students who wish to deepen their visualization & illustration skills.   3 credits


DESN 20201   ID: Intro. To Product Development

This foundation 3-D design studio begins as a natural extension of Basic Design.  Students are encouraged to think and work in three-dimensional media. A series of fundamental design problems are assigned during the course of the semester.  Emphasis is placed on the transformation of imagination from mind to paper to model.  Computer-aided design (CAD) is also introduced into assignments.  3 credits


DESN 20203 - Design Matters: Introduction to Design Thinking

Traditionally, design has been used to connote the process by which the physical artifacts of the objects and communications around us come into being. But over the last decade, design has come more and more to describe not only the development of objects but the process by which one shapes the interactions and experiences of people with the systems, services and organizations around us. A deeply human-centered approach to problem-solving, design thinking is centered around identifying and reframing complex problems, and solving them through a more creative, iterative and hands-on approach.  This course will follow a series of overlapping modules that will introduce the student to the various steps employed in the design thinking process and becoming familiar with the tools and methodologies used. The course will feature a hybrid seminar format with lectures and case studies followed by hands-on exercises and practical applications of the theories in the form of team projects. At the conclusion of the course, students should be able to articulate the tenants of the design thinking process and apply those methodologies to problems of a variety of disciplines from science and engineering to business and the liberal arts. If there are no seats available, please contact the art department ( and the instructor to indicate interest and to sign-up for the waitlist. The course is the gateway for the Collaborative Innovation minor. Only students enrolled or have completed the course may sign up for the minor. There are only limited seats for juniors and no seats available for seniors with special approval.   3 credits


DESN 20204/60204 - Design Research Practices

Prerequisite: Design Matters (DESN 20203). With an orientation towards problem identification and the translation of research insights into implications informing the design process, students will learn how to develop a research plan and deploy an array of research methods including interviews, observation, shadowing, contextual inquiry, participatory observation and co-creative development. The course combines lecture with studio practice, with student teams engaging in human-centered, project-based work, sponsored by outside corporate organizations and non-profit social entities. This course is offered every semester and is open to Collaborative Innovation Minors and Design Majors.


DESN 21102 -  Visual Communication Design Software Tutorial

Co-requisites: DESN 20101.   This one-credit course will focus on Adobe Creative Suite software. The class will meet one evening per week throughout the course of the semester. Programs and topics to be covered will be Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, proper file preparation, font access & usage. 1 credit


DESN 21202 - ID: Digital Visualization Lab

Co-requisites: DESN 20200.   This one-credit course will focus on Adobe Creative Suite software. The class will meet one evening per week throughout the course of the semester. Programs and topics to be covered will be Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, proper file preparation, font access and usage as well as others.  1 credit


DESN 21203 - D Think Lab

This once weekly lab session is a mandatory requirement for students enrolled in the Design Thinking course. These sessions focus on practical application of the topics and materials presented in class with students working in teams to employ techniques and methodology on assigned projects. This hands-on lab will have students exploring the research, brainstorming, ideation, iterative prototyping and presentation techniques that lead to creative innovation and disruptive breakthroughs applicable to students of any discipline.   3 credits


DESN 30111 - Visual Communication Design 5: Scale Graphics for the Urban Environment

Prerequisites:   DESN 20101 or DESN 20201. Development of environmental graphics and design systems in urban environments for the three-dimensional spaces.  It explores graphic renditions that ergonomically relate to the human body.  The students work collaboratively to adapt design skills for the built environment, connecting people to the spaces they navigate and inhabit through visual messaging with an emphasis on transformation.  Projects will explore signage and large-scale graphics.  3 credits


DESN 30131 - Visual Communication Design 6: Motion design using kinetic messages

Prerequisites:   DESN 20101 or DESN 20201.   MATERIALS FEE.   Exploration of narrative, visual and aural principles to best convey a time-based message through a series of project assignments. Effective use of motion graphics through sketching, storyboarding, kinetic type, animation, narration, and soundtracks. Media delivery may include digital signage, web, broadcast and other public venues such as a planetarium. Survey of the technological aspects to motion media including principles of digital animation, video output devices, and planning for application in a space.  3 credits


DESN 30132 -  Applied Multimedia Tech.

Fully literate citizens are able to use the language of digital media as well as text.  They can access, understand, analyze, and produce sound, images, and video.  By the end of this course, students will be able to operate media recorders and develop media messages using Audacity, Photoshop, and Premiere.  They will also be able to use media language describe and critique several kinds of messages.  Projects include an edited audio recording, a set of posters, and a video.  Two exams assess knowledge of media language and the ability to critique media.  Students also produce an electronic portfolio to document their media literacy.  Cross-lists with CDT 30423. 3 credits.


DESN 30140 - VCD 7:  Interaction Design

Prerequisites:  Section 01 for majors -  DESN 20101 or DESN 20201.   Section 02 for MCI minors – DESN 20203 Evaluation, design and simulation of user interaction with a computer or product interface. Development of interfaces through wireframes, sketches, renderings, illustrations, modeling and animatic sequences. Exploration of user testing and research methods for generative, participatory and evaluative stages of design.  3 credits


DESN 30190 – Programming for Video Game Development

The purpose of this course is to provide students with experience in various aspects of programming for ideo game development.  No prior programming experience is necessary and students will proceed at their own pace.  In addition to several programming projects that utilize gaming APIs or frameworks, students will also be exposed to level design (map creation), 3D construction techniques, custom textures, sound design, and lighting effects. 3D game development will utilize the Hammer Editor, part of the Half-Life 2 video game modding Software Development Kit (Source SDK) and its associated tools.  Additional third-party (and often free) utilities will also be necessary.  Students will work on their own or in teams in a final project agreed upon with the instructor.  Students will need to provide their own Windows compatible computer or laptop or a Mac running Windows under BootCamp.  3 credits


DESN 30200 – ID: Advanced Visualization

Prerequisites: DESN 20200. The course serves advanced design students in enhancing digital visualization and storytelling.  Emphasis is placed on articulating ideas through practical techniques applicable to traditional and digital methods. Rapid Visualization is a pre-requisite for this class.  3 credits


DESN 30203 - ID: Professional Practice

 Prerequisites:  DESN-20201 And DESN-30205* Or DESN-30209. This advanced level studio is directed toward the product design student who is preparing to enter either graduate school or professional practice.  Fulfillment of this studio requires the completion of one research and design project.  In addition, portfolios and resumes are prepared.  Emphasis is placed on knowledge, analytical skills, logic, creativity, and excellence in visual communication.  3 credits


DESN 30204 - ID2: Intermediate Product Development

Prerequisites:  DESN 30209 (Can be taken concurrently). This course exposes Art and Design students to common low and high production manufacturing processes.  Students use these methods to execute their own original designs.  Students are introduced to plastic thermoforming, injection molding, sheet and profile extrusion, blow-molding, rotational molding, reaction-injection, molding and open mold laminating.  Metal processes include roll forming, foundry sand casting, die-casting, extrusion, stamping, anodizing, and plating.  3 credits


DESN 30208 -  3D Digital Production

Department Approval Required.   Interested in pursuing a career in feature animation, special effects, or video games?  This class will be your first step in learning the tools and techniques of 3D digital content creation for the entertainment industry.  Students will learn the basics of modeling, texturing, animation, lighting, and rendering using the industry-standard program, Autodesk Maya.  Through video tutorials and production lessons, students will get hands-on, practical experience in the major areas of digital content creation in Maya.  Students will also learn foundational principles of animation and 3D design through weekly lectures, screenings of feature animated films, and interactive play-throughs of modern console video games.  This class will require a significant amount of individual work in the DPAC 3D Animation Lab outside of class time.  3 credits


DESN 30209 -  ID: Digital Solid Modeling

Co-requisite:  DESN 31212      MATERIALS FEE  This course is an introduction to various digital design techniques and workflows used by industrial designers.  Students will explore design processes integrating digital tablet sketching and computer-aided design (CAD) in order to develop and effectively communicate design concepts.  The course is aimed at students seeking to expand their 3-D visualization skills into a digital medium.  Software introduced will include Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and Solidworks 3-D.  3 credits


DESN 31190 -  Programming for Video Games Development

The purpose of this course is to provide students with experience in various aspects of programming for video game development.  No prior programming experience is necessary and students will proceed at their own pace.  In addition to several programming projects that utilize gaming APIs or frameworks, students will also be exposed to level design (map creation), 3D construction techniques, custom textures, sound design, and lighting effects.  3D game development will utilize the Hammer Editor, part of the Half-life 2 video game modding Software Development Kit (Source SDK) and its associated tools.  Additional third-party (and often free) utilities will also be necessary.  Students will work on their own or in teams on a final project agreed upon with the instructor.  Students will need to provide their own Windows compatible computer or laptop or a Mac running windows under BootCamp.  Cross-lists with CDT 31150 and PSY 30676. 3 credits 


DESN 31212   ID: Rapid Prototyping Lab

Co-requisite:  DESN 30209.  The Rapid Prototyping evening tutorial sessions will enable students making physical 3D prototypes from digital files that are virtually modeled in the ID: Digital Solid Modeling or ID: Digital 3D courses. Instruction in file preparation and safe machine operation will lead to prototype output from a CNC milling machine, 3D printer and digital laser cutter.  1 credit


DESN 30140 - VCD 7:  Interaction Design of Device User Interface

Evaluation, design and simulation of user interaction with a computer or product interface.  Development of interfaces through wireframes, sketches, renderings, illustrations, modeling and animatic sequences.  Exploration of user testing and research methods for generative, participatory and evaluative stages of design.  Pre-requisite: DESN 20101 or DESN 20201; cross-lists with CAPP 41562.  3 credits


DESN 33208/63208 - Global Visual Culture

Visual anthropology involves the cross-cultural study of images in communication and the use of images as a method for doing anthropology. This course proceeds through a non-linear integration of visual themes including water, earth, light, fire, flesh and blood with analytical themes including aesthetics, poetics, violence, history, materiality and subjectivity. We explore still photography, film, and popular media in domains from ethnography, social documentary, war photojournalism, to high art. Students watch, read and write about, and generate visual products of their own in multiple media.


DESN 40100 - VCD 8:  Social Design: Initiatives, Challenges & Innovation

MATERIALS FEE.  This advanced course in visual communication includes a travel component to India. The course is for students to understand social advocacy within both a global context (India) and local context (South Bend). Students understand their role as designers/collaborators/catalysts through real-life experiences. Students from diverse discipline create a multi-disciplinary team that focuses on complex problems that combine and delicately balance strategic thinking with innovation. During the initial part of the course, in July, students travel to India for 3 weeks to work with students from India and then return here to commence the course during the Fall semester. Working with students from India, the goal is to understand these multifarious problems within a new paradigm and socio-economic parameter of a rapidly evolving country and its pluralistic culture and returning to Notre Dame with renewed and re-energized perspectives on those very same issues to examine and address them locally. There is a course fee for the 3-week travel component to India. Acceptance to this course is based on the review of the application available with the instructor at and can be accessed at  3 credits


DESN 40101 - VCD 9Packaging Design: Professional Practice

Prerequisite: VCD2 or VCD3

This advanced level course in Visual Communication Design is open to all design students and explores the role that packaging plays in the way we encounter our material, consumer world. It helps connect and establish a symbiotic relationship between exterior (surface) and interior (content). Package design not only plays a vital role in grafting content, imagery, and messages onto beautiful and functional objects but also helps in creating expectations and relationships with the product. The projects in this studio-based course will involve developing an understanding of visual systems that inform - and dimensional forms that inspire people to make purchasing decisions. Students will become proficient at blending two- and three-dimensional ideas; consider cultural and multi-lingual needs; and learn to address shopping habits as they shift between physical and online environments. Students will research the social aspects tied to consumerism and evaluate the environmental impact of material choices and production decisions.  3 credits


DESN 40120 - Visual Communication Design 10: Visualization of Data

MATERIALS FEE.   Visualization and sequencing of complex or abstract subject matter for the purpose of informing, educating or training the end-user. The design process includes the acquisition of information and data to become a subject matter expert on a project topic. Development of topics through the parsing of information, focusing of subject, sketching, illustration and graphical data representation. Delivery of information through an interactive, user-driven experience possibly exploring handheld devices. 3 credits


DESN 40200 - ID3: Advanced Product Development- Social Design

Prerequisite: DESN 20201   MATERIALS FEE.  This advanced course in industrial design explores contemporary issues related to designing objects for social good to positively impact the lives of people, society and the environment in an innovative way.  Working within a human-centered design process including the identification of real-world problems, direct research of user needs, as well as business and technological realities, we will design product solutions and build innovation around people's experiences.  Class projects will focus on designing and testing solutions that help people, but also how those ideas are brought forth and effectively executed in the complex world of today.  3 credits


DESN 40201/60201 - ID:  Collaborative Design Development

This cross-disciplinary course will develop and harness useful innovation through an association of expertise from business/marketing, management entrepreneurship, chemistry, engineering, anthropology, graphic design, and industrial design. Collaborating teams of graduate and undergraduate students will engage several product development cycles, beginning with an identification of need or opportunity and concluding with comprehensive proof of concept, tests of function, specified manufacturing processes, and an appropriately resolved, aesthetically pleasing product or system. All collaborative team members will be engaged throughout the research and developmental process. Each participant will share in rotating leadership responsibilities, providing direction within their specific areas of expertise and in the context of a sequential course outline. 

Note 1: In addition to the structured projects, students may propose other opportunities for collaboration.   Note 2: This course will build process portfolio by addressing real challenges.


DESN 40655 -  Tech Concepts of Visual FX

Departmental Approval.  This class seeks to introduce students to some basic concepts of computer-generated imagery as it is used in the field of visual effects and to delve into some of the technical underpinnings of the field. While some focus will rely on artistic critique and evaluation, must of the emphasis of the class will be placed on understanding fundamental concepts of 3D modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering, and compositing.  Those who excel in the visual effects industry are those who have both a strong aesthetic sense coupled with a solid understanding of what the software being used is doing “under the hood.”  This class, therefore, will seek to stress both aspects of the industry.  From a methodology standpoint, the class will consist of lectures several projects that will be worked on both in-class and out of class, scripting, many tutorials, and open discussion.  3 credits Cross-lists with CSE 40655 and CDT 40430.


DESN 40821 - Advanced Furniture

Departmental Approval. Students construct furniture of original design.  They learn to understand furniture’s relationship to architectural context.  Spring semester.  3 credits


DESN 45310   Design Internship

Permission required. This course provides an opportunity for the design student to earn credit at an approved design office.


DESN 47X71/67X71   Special Studies 

Permission required. Independent study in design: research or creative projects. Open to upper level/graduate students with permission of the instructor.


DESN 48X03   BFA Thesis  

BFA majors.  Prerequisite:  B.F.A. Candidacy. The B.F.A. Thesis is defined by an independent thesis project, continuing for two semesters during the senior year. The B.F.A. Thesis is a personal visual statement that is the culmination of a student's collective development within the department. The B.F.A. Thesis can be the extension of an ongoing body of work or a defining project. The thesis project is supported by a written statement defining the project, which is due at the end of the first senior semester. The thesis project culminates in the second senior semester with a B.F.A. Thesis Exhibition. The B.F.A. Thesis student signs up with a faculty member working in the student's area of interest, who serves as an advisor for the thesis project.


DESN 63350   Design Graduate Seminar

Graduate majors only. Required of all MFA candidates each semester. This team-taught seminar/critique meets each week to critique ongoing graduate student work and to discuss issues related to contemporary art practice.


DESN 78308   Thesis Direction

Graduate majors only. Research and writing on an approved subject under the direction of a faculty member.