2D Design (Foundations)

2D Design engages students with problem-oriented assignments.

The structure of such assignments integrates various media found in the traditional studio with concepts that are utilized in today’s diverse creative fields. From typography to installation, small scale to large scale designs, students develop a foundation of knowledge necessary for success in all fields of visual art and design. In an effort to encourage conceptual development while developing a technical studio practice, students choose a theme to be studied throughout the semester. This allows the students to truly delve into a topic and explore it from a variety of angles while broadening their understanding of problem-based design structure..

'Virtual' themed collage


Eliminate the Grid


Eliminate the Grid

This assignment is an experiment in typographical forms. Students are given a standard series of letters in the same font. They then print and copy the letters in various scales to have a variety of options while designing this piece. Students chose words such as love & hate, happiness, education, with one letter occupying one square in the 3×3 grid.

Materials: color copy / Xerox copy.


Visual Vocabulary

Visual Vocabulary: cut paper mounted to matboard.

Visual Vocabulary

Students are given a list of 2D vocabulary words that they must define and illustrate via abstraction visualization.

Materials: cardstock, glue, matboard.



'Silence' themed collage

Photo-Collage Assignment

Students were required to create a photo-collage that represents a theme they have explored throughout the semester. No digital editing is allowed, and no trimming or cropping is used.

Materials: photographs, matboard.




The image below is an example of a group project. Here students were required to install a piece that contained multiple parts, each transforming into the next such that the imagery is still recognizable but changing from piece to piece. This required a great deal of planning and collaboration on their part, and it offered the students a way to rethink their semester-long themes and how these themes relate to those in their peer group. Below, the themes of the individual students were that of Vietnamese identity, Fairy Tales, and Feminism. The group chose The Story of Tấm and Cám, considered the Vietnamese version of Cinderella, and illustrated the various elements through styles that reflect the incorporated themes. The piece was installed in a stairwell on-campus.

Materials: black posterboard or construction paper.