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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Timea Tihanyi
ART 355
Seattle Campus

Materials in Context for Interdisciplinary Practice

Focuses on exploring the meanings, uses, and visual/sculptural potentials of both traditional and innovative new materials, both natural and man-made.

Class description

This interdisciplinary studio course focuses on exploring the meanings, uses, and visual/sculptural potentials of both traditional and innovative new materials, both natural and man-made synthetic ones. In large extent we will be exploring the sculptural use of handmade paper, wool felt and resinous materials. Beginning with a series of exercises that delve into the physical properties of materials, the class will broaden its scope weekly to consider the function and meaning of these materials in various physical and cultural contexts. Part research, part hands-on material exploration which may take the form of 2D, 3D or time-based media, the class will look at both the physical properties of materials as well as their interconnected meanings when presented in context: social, political, personal, scientific, sculptural, historical, etc. Demonstrations will cover various techniques, such as felting wool, working with handmade paper and other natural fibers (flat and over armature), and mold making casting processes for synthetic materials. Experimentation with traditional making methods and inventive novel processes is desired, in order to understand and redefine the forms, material qualities, functions and roles these objects can take. You will expand the scope of your skills and concepts while working on a variety of assignments. Bring your curiosity!

Student learning goals

Gain experience with a variety of natural and synthetic materials (wool, paper, fabric, plastics, etc...). Broaden your skill set with different techniques of construction.

Further your understanding of sculptural concepts, formal elements of 2D, 3D, 4D constructions, and their relationship in space and time.

Broaden your understanding of how materials function in various contexts and how these interactions between context material and meaning play a role in forming our tactile environment and contemporary visual culture.

Gain familiarity with major contemporary art movements and their representatives.

Develop projects for your portfolio.

Most importantly: Challenge yourself! Strive to fresh ideas! Be creative.

General method of instruction

This is an interdisciplinary studio course, consisting of a series of studio assignments, which may take the form of 2D, 3D or time-based media. Class time will be spent on technical demonstrations, studio worktime, project consultations, and critiques. Please expect to commit a reasonable amount of studio time/week outside of class for completing assignments. Consultation and demos on unfamiliar materials and techniques are always available upon your request.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites. Experience with 3D materials and methods of construction, as well as previous studio art courses are helpful but not required.

Class assignments and grading

Your final grade will be determined by the following: 40%:Participation and Preparedness (critiques, in-class projects, class discussions) + Professional manner (turning in projects on time, individual effort, commitment,progress) 60% Quality of projects based on the following criteria: thought process, design, craft, development, experimentation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Timea Tihanyi
Date: 05/03/2013