Web and Multimedia Environments
Animation. Code. Algorithms.
Create for the web and for the screen.
Shape the future of digital works.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree
Web and multimedia environments majors learn to combine traditional media with new technologies to create digital and web environments, game design, art installations, presentations, and performances.
Web and multimedia environments is a major offered in the four-year BFA degree program. Our BFA curriculum is rooted by
Core Four—foundation courses that enhance students' professional development.
WMM 3010 Installation and Performance 3
This class offers an in-depth exploration of the art and design concepts related to physical space: whether defined as an art installation, live performance, museum exhibition design, or retail environment. Participants study a variety of points of intersection between human interaction, physical spaces/objects, and technology. A variety of sensing and tracking technologies are surveyed and implemented. High and low technologies are reviewed from the perspective of various modes of artist/performer/audience-customer interaction.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Media 2
WMM 3020 Web and Screen 3
Building on their initial exposure to web design and development in Foundation: Media 1 and 2, students engage in a thorough examination of current web-publishing standards, concepts, and development tools. Topics covered in this course range from web design and development—including Internet-based art practices, interactive screen-based publication formats, commercial websites, generative and algorithmic art, information design, and digital storytelling—to broader screen-based aesthetics and practices. Machine-to-machine as well as human-machine interactions are presented. Creative and investigative approaches to network-driven concepts are encouraged.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Media 2
AH 3378 History of Web and Multimedia 3
This course examines the artistic and technical evolution of electronic and digital media. Students explore how these media develop, as well as how artistic and technical practices merge. Students gain an in-depth knowledge of web and multimedia concepts through focused engagement with key artists, inventions, events, and experiments. This course seeks to map the impact of these media on art, technology, and daily life. Classes are primarily lecture with some discussion. Students take examinations and complete research assignments.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Art and Design: History 2 (may be taken concurrently) or instructor permission
WMM 3030 Virtual Environments 3
This class is concerned with virtual worlds developed entirely within the digital realm. Students learn how to write and develop ideas for nonlinear narratives and characters as well as how to build and/or modify fully functional virtual environments for single and multiple users. Issues covered include interface design, interaction, character design, animation, nonlinear structure, rules, and algorithms. Additionally, the class offers a thorough survey and study of programming concepts related to development of games and simulated environments.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Media 2
WMM 3040 Database Computational Design 3
This course further supplements the programming needs of students enrolled in all web and multimedia environments classes. Students are taught a range of practical programming skills and concepts and are exposed to the creative approach of recognizing programming and computational experimentation as an art medium. Coding structures, data organization, and generative and algorithmic strategies are emphasized. This course provides an opportunity for in-depth investigation of topics and programming problems of special interest to students developing interactive environments, multimedia installations, and screen-based works. Some topics covered include generative algorithms, data-mining, random events, interactive states, user input, physics, the systematic combination of media, and artificial intelligence.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Media 2
WMM 3065 Sound 3
Designed to acquaint students technically and conceptually with the medium of sound, this course provides a basic working vocabulary for understanding, discussing, and producing sounds. Topics covered include basic perceptual concepts and fundamentals of composing sound such as pitch, rhythm, duration, and volume. Students complete a series of assigned projects designed to demonstrate and assess competencies with microphones, studio recording, and digital editing, mixing, and processing.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Media 2
GRD 2000 Introduction to Graphic Design 3
This course provides students with an overview of graphic design practice. Students concentrate on building visual language and communication skills as well as the vocabulary necessary for critical analysis. Topics covered include basic visual and typographic principles, type and image integration, composition, sequence, and craft. Students are also introduced to the design process, which includes research, ideation, iteration, refinement, and implementation. Image/image-series, logotypes, mark-making, digital presentations, and booklets are possible outcomes of this course.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 2D, Foundation: Drawing 1, Foundation: Media 1, Foundation: Media 2 (Foundation: Drawing 1 and Foundation: Media 2 may be taken concurrently
MA 4000 Professional Practice 3
The primary focus of this class is to provide Media Arts students with the tools that will enable to enter professional practice immediately following graduation. Each student is required to produce a polished résumé, artist statement, website, professional identity system, and portfolio. Topics include long-range goal creation and planning; financial, legal, and other business considerations; grant writing; and communication and marketing skills involving verbal, written, and visual presentations. Topics are presented through lectures, critiques, and presentations by experts in the field.
Prerequisites: Junior standing
WMM 4010 Internship 3
Internships provide an opportunity for students to gain practical experience in a particular career area and valuable on-the-job skills. Internships may be arranged by the Director of Career Services or initiated by students. All internships must be preapproved through the Career Services Office. For an internship to be approved, a mentor relationship and learning experience should exist beyond a simple employment opportunity. Three-credit internships require working 120 hours at the internship site and keeping a journal of hours and activities.
Prerequisites: Professional Practice
WMM 5040 Advanced WMM Seminar 3
Special Topic: Class in Residence
In this seminar students expand their understanding of practice within a cross-media platform. Students engage in intensive theoretical and critical studies in tandem with the development of advanced projects. Special emphasis is given to hybrid media and experimental exploration. Given that this course is open to all majors, students have an opportunity to engage and interact with those studying different fields, challenge and expand their knowledge and vocabulary, and gain a deeper understanding of interdisciplinary practice.
Prerequisites: Approval by faculty
WMM 5100 Senior Project 6
During senior year, each web and multimedia environments major is required to develop and complete a substantial project in a specific field of study. This course provides a forum for the critical evaluation of this work and curatorial guidance in preparation for the Commencement Exhibition. Course content includes critical readings, position paper, individual and group discussion, informational meetings, and a presentation to the college on this work. Required for all seniors.
Prerequisites: Successful Junior Review, senior standing
Select two of: 6 WMM 5010 Advanced Installation and Performance 3
This course expands the technical expertise, creative vocabulary, and conceptual sophistication of students interested in installation and performance. While working on substantially more complex and individualized projects, students are encouraged to develop a more personal direction and sensibility. Special emphasis is placed on an investigation of practical concerns related to positioning and implementation of the projects in specific environments such as galleries, museums, performance venues, or retail environments.
Prerequisites: Installation + Performance WMM 5020 Advanced Web and Screen 3
Building on the cumulative experiences of web and multimedia environments students, this course presents an opportunity for students to engage in and develop a more specific and individualized body of work in screen- and web-based practices. Critical class reviews and discussions, readings, lectures, and demonstrations support the development of large-scale projects. Students are encouraged to further identify and develop specific career goals in their field of practice.
Prerequisites: Web + Screen WMM 5030 Advanced Virtual Environments 3
This class provides students with an opportunity to further refine their creative, technical, and programmatic skills while working on larger-scale, sophisticated projects. Students engage in studies of theoretical, critical, and cultural concepts relevant to the design, development, implementation, and impact of games in contemporary society. Students are encouraged to investigate and identify their career plans and recognize their potential role in the context of the gaming industry. Specific career models and skill sets are discussed in relation to specialized aspects of game design and development.
Prerequisites: Virtual Environments
First-Year Studio Foundation 15 FDN 1111 Foundation: 2D 3
Foundation: 2D is an introduction to creative thinking that develops students’ skills in research, observation, interpretation, and self-expression. An emphasis is placed on exploring new ways to read and see the world, as well as new ways to report on it. Students learn basic two-dimensional principles through the use of various media, tools, materials, and processes. As a result, students develop a visual and verbal language for analyzing, organizing, shaping, and communicating two-dimensional form and meaning.
FDN 1112 Foundation: 3D 3
This course is an introduction to understanding of visual creation for the development of knowledge, imagination, and perception. Students are introduced to basic three-dimensional concepts as well as materials and technical production processes. Classroom activities include shop demonstrations of tools and techniques, information, lectures, and discussions appropriate to promote the balanced fusion of practice and theory.
FDN 1211 Foundation: Drawing 1 3
Foundation: Drawing 1 is an introductory drawing course designed to prepare students for study in all majors of the college. Students develop basic drawing skills, including the ability to perceive and express visual relationships, organize a two-dimensional composition, and depict and manipulate form, space, and light. Students work from direct observation of still life, interior space, and landscape.
FDN 1311 Foundation: Media 1 3
Students are introduced to the digital resources at MCAD while exploring digital media and laptop computing. Areas covered include the Service Bureau, student servers, Media Center, and digital resources. Students discuss media and media artists as well as study various software applications including Adobe Photoshop and web development tools.
Prerequisites: None FDN 1312 Foundation: Media 2 3
Building on the skills acquired in Foundation: Media 1, this class takes up more advanced software applications. Through discussions and lectures, students explore various modes of media presentation, the power of moving images, and web work. Using a variety of software and hardware, students learn the basics of nonlinear editing, sound recording, and video recording.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Media 1
First-Year Liberal Arts Foundation 12 AH 1701 Introduction to Art and Design History 1 3
The objective of this course is to familiarize students with the major stylistic, thematic, cultural, and historical transformations in Western and non-Western art history from prehistoric times to the nineteenth century. This course helps students develop critical tools for the interpretation and understanding of the meaning and function of art objects, architecture, and design artifacts within their original historical contexts. Class sessions consist primarily of lecture with some discussion. Students take in-class examinations and complete short essay assignments.
AH 1702 Introduction to Art and Design History 2 3
This course introduces students to issues in modern art, popular culture, and contemporary art and design. Topics might include the expanding audience for art, the transformation of the art market, the impact of new technologies, the changing status of the artist, and the role of art in society. This course is taught as a seminar with some lecture. Students take in-class examinations and complete short essay assignments.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Art and Design: History 1
EN 1100 Reading and Writing 1 3
Effective writing requires innovative thinking and creative engagement. Students in this course focus on building a writing portfolio by developing college-level writing skills and using these skills to produce a variety of assignments. Regular writing workshops allow students to concentrate on experiential and practical approaches to writing. Students explore a variety of texts and objects through class assignments. By the end of the course students have the foundational skills to be reflective and eloquent writers. Class sessions are composed of seminar discussions, group work, and writing workshops. Course requirements include participation, presentations, directed group work and research assignments, and a portfolio of seven essays.
EN 1200 Reading and Writing 2 3
Key to the creative and critical nature of college-level writing is the idea that students explore a topic by developing a thesis that changes as they ask questions, explore ideas, and conduct research. To that end, this course extends and concentrates the thinking and communication skills introduced in Reading and Writing I. The foci of this course are developing a thesis; engaging in critical and sustained research; and drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading a finished research project. As a result, students become increasingly adept at utilizing a wide variety of research tools, from published books to online search engines. The final project is a completed research paper and a visual presentation using programs such as PowerPoint. Class sessions are composed of seminar discussions, research exercises, presentations and debates, and writing workshops. Course requirements include participation, presentations, a research journal, a major research paper, and a final research presentation.
Prerequisites: Reading and Writing 1
Second-Year Studio Foundation 4 FDN 1411 Ideation and Process 3
Everything we make has its beginning as an idea, which takes form as an artist/designer makes a series of decisions to guide its creative evolution. This course is designed to help students explore the development of new ideas and their own process of making. Students also create visual tools to track their creative process from idea through construction and then to post production analysis. The course consists of discussions, critiques, exercises, and visual logs.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing FDN 1412 Sophomore Seminar: Contemporary Practice 1
Practice is more than working methods: it’s the context, marketing, and creative space that maintain creative work. Contemporary Practice introduces students to the foundations, variety, and tools of a professional practice. Students upgrade websites and documentation, enter contests, and create professional presentations of their work. Classes consist of lectures, student presentations, and guest speakers from a wide range of disciplines.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing
varying Studio Electives 23
Web and Multimedia majors take 23 elective studio credits in any media they choose.
Liberal Arts Electives
varying Liberal Arts Electives 24
Web and Multimedia Environments majors take liberal arts electives in the following distribution:
Art History (6 credits)
Scientific Perspectives (3 credits)
Economic and Mathematical Systems (3 credits)
Global Perspectives (3 credits)
Political Thought and Ethics (3 credits)
Creative and Professional Writing (3 credits)
Liberal Arts Capstone Course (3 credits)
internships at organizations such as galleries, ad agencies, and cultural institutions—both local and international—allow students to l earn about the industry, enhance their skills, network, and build their portfolios. Previous students have interned at the following organizations, among many others:
Adapted Studio, New York ▪ Big Time Attic ▪ Eyetography ▪ Futurefarmers, California ▪ Minneapolis Institute of Arts ▪ MotionSix Creative, Illinois ▪ Rhymesayers Entertainment ▪ The Push Institute