by Abby

Everything You Need To Know About the Design Core: The Classes

Ah, design core. If you’re interested in a four-year design program then you’ve probably heard a bit about it already, but it’s hard to know exactly what to expect before you’re actually in it. While it’s a very challenging set of classes, I really did enjoy my experience in the core program and grew a lot as a designer. I’ll be covering the important things you should know about the core to best prepare yourself starting with the classes you’ll take.

Breakdown of the Classes

There are two studio courses and two lectures in the design core. Both of the studio courses also have a supplementary lecture.

  • DSN S 102- Design Studio I (4.0 Credits)

This studio class introduces you to the unique process of design thinking and is divided into four projects. These projects each have several phases so you will learn how to take an idea or a response and transform it into a finished piece while also learning how to present your work and critique other people’s work along the way.

  • DSN S 131- Design Representation (4.0 Credits)

This is your introductory drawing studio. You’ll learn how to sketch, what makes a good composition, and different methods for drawing three-dimensional objects both from observation and from your imagination. Don’t worry if you don’t have any previous drawing experience- you’ll start from the very basics and get to explore different mediums like pencils, micron pens, colored pencils, and charcoal.

  • DSN S 183- Design Cultures (3.0 Credits)

This is a lecture course that focuses on the historical and cultural context of design, especially focused on design in the Midwest. You’ll have readings, papers, and tests throughout the semester and by the end of the class, you’ll also have a solid understanding of some important design problems.

  • DSN S 115- Design Seminar (.5 Credits)

This is an orientation lecture to introduce you to the different majors in the College of Design and how the application process works. You’ll complete useful assignments like creating a class plan for your year in the core, discussing majors you’re interested in, and reflecting on events you’ve attended on campus so far. It’s a very short class and is pass/fail so make sure you turn in all of your work and go to class so you don’t have to retake it. If you’re in the Design Exchange Learning Community, you’ll take the one credit DSN S 110: Design Exchange Seminar instead of DSN S 115.

Along with these four design courses, you’ll also take 18 credits of general education electives in your core year including humanities, math/science, and social sciences classes. You’ll also be placed in ENGL 150 or ENGL 250 based on your ACT/SAT scores and transfer credits.

Next up, I’ll be covering what you need to know about design critiques and how grading works in the design core!

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