Design I (Art1213)

Sample Syllabus

(Check with instructor for updates.)

Instructor: Edna Williams
Office: 124D Art Building
Office Phone: 581-2450
Office Hours: By appointment


Design I, 3 hours credit. An introductory class concentrating on two and three dimensional forms which emphasizes design elements and their organizational principles. Laboratory 9 hours per week.


During the progression of this course students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a knowledge of design components and vocabulary through analysis and articulation of art works both verbally and in a writing format.
  2. Develop a working knowledge and understanding of the elements of art: line, shape, form, color, and texture through problem solving exercises.
  3. Develop a working knowledge and understanding of the principles of design: proportion, balance, contrast, rhythm, emphasis and unity through problem solving exercises.
  4. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the relationships between design and content.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to use a journal in the creative process. Perceptual awareness, recording of data, and synthesis of ideas are involved in the documentation of the creative process.
  6. Discuss criteria relevant to the classification of forms as visual fine art.
  7. Discuss works of art in relation to a variety of theories of art and approaches to art criticism.
  8. Utilize the computer to create imagery which illustrates design concepts.


  1. The Nature of Art - Components of a work of Art: subject matter, content and form
  2. Form - Preliminary factors of form organization Principles of organization - balance, harmony, variety, dominance, economy, space, proportion, movement.
  3. Line - Functions and properties of line.
  4. Shape - Introduction, definition and uses of shapes.
  5. Value - Value relationships, descriptive and expressive uses of value Decorative value patterns, compositional functions of value
  6. Texture - Nature and types of texture, texture and composition, art media
  7. Color - Nature of color, uses of color, color harmonies
  8. Originality and creativity - the use of a journal in the creative process
  9. Design synectics and synthesis of ideas

Required Text:

Ocvirk, Stinson, Wigg, Bonne, Art Fundamentals Theory and Practice. Wm.C. Brown Publisher, Dubuque, IA, 1990.


Gill, Sarah, The Critic Sees: A Guide to Art Criticism. Kendall / Hunt Publishing Co., Dubuque, Iowa, 1991.

MATERIALS (available at Sadler's, Hobby Lobby, or Bookstore - UTRECHT):

Supplies will be announced as needed throughout the semester, therefore it is not essential for you to purchase all at this time. UTRECHT catalog (1-800-352-4638)

Supplies needed as the semester progresses (Do NOT buy these now):


You are required to:

  1. Keep a design notebook/sketchbook/journal that contains all class notes, handouts, design assignments, written analysis, selected readings, sketches - documentation of your creative process.
  2. Complete a weekly vocabulary test, Mid-term, and Final Examination
  3. Participate in your group discussions and analysis of art works. (video)
  4. Assemble a portfolio of all design problem assignments
  5. Final Design Project (assigned at least 3 weeks prior to exam date)
  6. Attend class regularly and be prepared with materials.
  7. Participate in all class critiques (oral and written).

DO NOT BE ABSENT ON CRITIQUE DAYS or show up without your work.


You will be graded using a numerical grading system on the following:

  1. Vocabulary tests (graded weekly - 100 pts. each)
  2. Written analysis of art works ( in design notebook - 1 00 pts. each)
  3. Sketchbook/journal - documentation of creative process (design & content)
  4. Design problem solutions - 100 pts. each
  5. Class participation, critique activity (oral and written), attendance
  6. Final Design Project - apr. 300 pts.
  7. Design Portfolio - presentation of all assignments ( end of semester) - TOTAL pts.

Presentation of each design problem (according to specific criteria provided), design in relation to content, and technical expertise will be carefully considered for individual and overall design evaluation.


Attendance is of utmost importance - especially with a T TH format. Due to the extensive nature of the material which will be presented and discussed in class, excessive absences (more than 2) will effect your semester grade. Interactive class discussion, slide-lectures, modeling of formal analysis, presentation of art theory and fine art criteria will be the format for most class sessions. Studio days will be few - efficient use of this time is expected.

Low grades are influenced by the following factors:

  1. Late arrivals and early departures.
  2. Late/ incomplete assignments.
  3. Low motivation/ personal progress.
  4. Non-participation in class critiques.
  5. Absences.

Courses Taught Home