Interactive Media Arts (Minor)

Program Description

Interactive Media Arts (IMA) encourages students to explore the expressive possibilities of emerging media. Our students are challenged to combine practice and theory, connecting technical skills with historical knowledge, cultural understanding, and conceptual thinking. Areas of expertise include the development of software, the manipulation of digital media, the fabrication of material objects, the production of electronic devices, the construction of virtual and physical spaces, media theory, interactive installation, and the philosophy of technology. Our curriculum, community, and active learning environment facilitate student acquisition of both conceptual insights and practical skills, encouraging our students to explore their personal interests whilst engaging both critically and creatively with new technologies.

All IMA majors take a required foundation course, What is New Media? A course designed to give students a strong theoretical and historical background in new media arts. They may then choose between 3 other foundation courses: Interaction Lab, Communications Lab, and Creative Coding Lab. Interaction Lab introduces students to the fields of interaction design, physical computing, and digital fabrication and provides students with foundational skills in electronics prototyping and an introduction to basic computer programming. Communications Lab introduces students to concepts and tools in order to produce multimedia content for print, photography, audio, and video. Creative Coding Lab introduces students to the fundamentals of computation, software design, and web technologies.

Students then choose from a range of electives across the disciplines of art & design, humanities, science, and computation, with great freedom to make selections based on their personal interest and future career goals. Starting from their sophomore year, students are introduced to advanced labs and seminars where they can sharpen their technical skills, learn about professional environments and develop richer and more complex conceptual frameworks. Every student will receive guidance in their choices and - in their junior and senior years - be encouraged to specialize in a particular area of concentration. All majors finish with a two semester Capstone Studio course based on a topic of their own choosing. The IMA capstone synthesizes theoretical research and practice to produce an emerging media project that is critically informed by a related research essay.