Web and Multimedia Environments
Combine traditional media with new technologies to create digital and web environments, game design, art installations, presentations, and performances.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree
The web and multimedia environments major is offered in the four-year bachelor of fine arts degree program. Our BFA curriculum is rooted in the
Core Four curriculum—fundamental courses that are structured to enrich each student's professional development over four years. Course Descriptions
WMM 3010 Installation and Performance 3
This course 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 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 to interactive, screen-based publication and display formats; commercial websites and Internet art; DVD magazines and algorithmic art; information design; and digital storytelling. Creative as well as investigative approaches to network-driven concepts are encouraged. Machine-to-machine as well as human-machine interactions are presented.
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. The course will focus on various media technologies in their current state, as well as key events and people along the evolutionary way. Students examine how digital and electronic media emerge, as well as how artistic and technical practice merge. Students will develop in-depth knowledge of web and multimedia themes through focused engagements with key artists, inventions, events, and experiments. Overall, this survey course provides select examples and histories of electronic and digital media, and the effect these media have had on art, technology and daily life. Class sessions are primarily lecture-based, but will involve some discussion as well. Students may complete short writing assignments, online postings, and in-class examinations.
WMM 3030 Virtual Environments 3
This course is concerned with virtual worlds developed entirely within the digital realm. Students learn how to write and develop ideas for nonlinear narratives and characters and also 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 course 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
The objective of this course is to further supplement the programming needs of students enrolled in all Web and Multimedia Environments courses. Students are taught a range of practical skills in advanced programming specifically related to database design and development. In addition, students are exposed to a more creative approach, recognizing programming and computational experimentation as an art medium. Issues of structure, 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 and games. Some issues covered include random events, interactive states, user input, game rules and structure, difficulty levels, physics, and artificial intelligence.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Media 2
WMM 3050 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 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 design process: research, ideation, iteration, refinement, and implementation. Posters, mark-making, 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 pre-approved 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 135 hours at the internship site and keeping a journal of hours and activities.
Prerequisites: Professional Practice
WMM 5040 Advanced Web and Multimedia Environments Seminar 3
This seminar “reunites” students after their varied/customized experiences of the Web and Multimedia Environments curriculum. After exploring more specific and detailed issues related to their individual interests, 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 in preparation for the development of the Senior Project.
Prerequisites: at least one 5000-level course, Database Computational Design, successful Junior Review or permission of the instructor
WMM 5100 Senior Project 6
During the 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, a position paper, individual and group discussions, informational meetings, and a presentation to the college.
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 and Performance WMM 5020 Advanced Web and Screen 3
Building on the cumulative experiences of the 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 the area of web- and screen-based design. 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 and Screen WMM 5030 Advanced Virtual Environments 3
This course 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
This course is an introduction to creative thinking that develops skills in research, observation, interpretation, and self-expression. There is an emphasis on learning new ways to read and see the world and how 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
This course 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 spaces, 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.
FDN 1312 Foundation: Media 2 3
Building on the skills acquired in Foundation: Media 1, this course 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, and historical trends in Western art history from prehistoric times through the nineteenth century. This course is designed to encourage a critical understanding of the meaning and function of art objects, architecture, and design artifacts within their original historical contexts. The final section of this course deals with the emergence of modernity in art. Class sessions consist primarily of lecture with some discussion. Students will 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 contemporary cultural theory, popular culture, and contemporary art and design. Topics include anti-aesthetic challenges to modernist aesthetics, the rise of consumerism, the proliferation of the designed object, and the transition from source-oriented media to user oriented media, among others. The course is a roughly equal mix of lecture and discussion. Students will produce short writing assignments and will complete written exams consisting of identification and essay questions.
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 will allow students to concentrate on experiential and practical approaches to writing. Assigned course materials will explore a variety of texts and objects. By the end of the course students will 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 1. 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 will become increasingly adept at utilizing a wide variety of research tools, from published books to online search engines. The final project will be 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.
Second-Year Studio Foundation 4 FDN 1411 Ideation and Process 3
Everything we make has its beginning as an idea, which takes form as the 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. This course is designed to introduce students to the variety, tools, and foundations of a professional practice. Students upgrade websites and documentation, enter contests, and create a professional presentation of their work as well as hear from guest speakers from a wide range of disciplines. Classes consist of lectures, student presentations, and guest speakers.
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