Media, Social Practice, and Design
The Media, Social Practice, and Design area is home to Photography, Graphic Design and Intermedia. Studying in MSPD provides students the opportunity to develop the visual vocabulary, social responsibility, and cross-media literacies required by the rapidly changing contemporary world. Studio laboratories are updated annually with cutting edge digital imaging equipment and high-definition video production facilities to provide students in MSPD up-to-date learning environments. Our programs stress interdisciplinarity, community engagement, and the union between theory and practice. Our rich visiting artist series introduces students to national and international leaders in the field, while a varied, diverse, and professionally active faculty ensures that the area is contemporary in its approach and pluralistic in its scope.
The Animation curriculum enables students to work across the disciplines Graphic Design, Photography and Intermedia as represented in the Media, Social Practice and Design Area. Wide varieties of skills are explored to animate images into motion graphics, produce digital video to create imaginative stories and adding voice and sound through the post-production process. Combining art and technology, students will use powerful computer hardware and industry level animation software to perform tasks in the entire animation pipeline from preproduction to post production. Concept art, storyboarding, character design, computer modeling, texturing, rigging, lighting, animation, rendering, compositing and sound design are all areas students will have the opportunity to conceptualize. The media theater showcases animation on a 40 foot screen and has advanced technology in place to support the concepts and practices of the future, such as motion capture cameras, stereoscopic imaging, face recognition software and advanced render farming. The Animation discipline understands its cross disciplinary nature and uses in visualization, education, commercials, TV, movies and video games in the context of history, culture and society.
The photography discipline at the University of Iowa is an exciting experience for creative students in the visual arts to realize their ideas through image-making processes that embrace the digital photograph, HD video capture and sound, large format photography and the traditional black and white darkroom. The discipline prepares students to meet a wide range of professional challenges and enables graduates (BA, BFA, MA, MFA), to pursue a vast scope of career opportunities. The program stresses visual literacy, exploration of new technologies and concepts and encourages a student to develop a personal aesthetic that is synthesized with an understanding of photography's history and cultural relevance. A full range of courses is offered. Students have access to state of the art digital classrooms with Flextight and Aztek drum scanners and Epson plotting printers up to 44 inches, all orchestrated by Colorbyte printing software. The shooting studio is state of the art, including medium format cameras, leaf digital backs with live computer capture and professional grade lighting equipment.
The University of Iowa Graphic Design discipline encourages students to develop appropriate conceptual and technical problem solving skills enabling successful and meaningful visual communication. It is our goal to prepare students for the field where they will be independently thinking, socially conscious professionals.
The Graphic Design discipline understands the value and power of good design and is firmly committed to design as a social catalyst. Since 2006 upper level students have been invited to take part in the Donate Design initiative. This service-learning design studio provides pro-bono visual and conceptual expertise to local and regional non-profit organizations. Past projects include identity development, branding strategies, web development, social media engagement, print collateral and more.
Both Undergraduate and Graduate Graphic Design students are encouraged to enrich their educational experience by taking advantage of the many University of Iowa resources and programs ranging from The Center for the Book to the Tippe College of Business.
Founded in 1968, Intermedia at Iowa was the first interdisciplinary art program in the country. Today, graduate students and faculty in the Intermedia discipline continue that commitment to experimental art and hybrid practices through creative research and work in time-based media, performance, installation, New Media and community-based and social practices.