By Ashley Wiley
Every undergraduate student at SCAD is required to take foundation classes to learn the basic formal elements and principles of design, and to develop the skills to create professional looking pieces of work. Even the writing majors are required to take a few of these courses.
For writing majors, the idea of taking classes in drawing and design can be intimidating. With so few writing students, they are likely to be the only of their kind in drawing and design classes, and it can seem like a difficult thing to face with little support. Fourth-year professional writing student, Malee Moua, comments, “It’s like SCAD is playing a cruel joke on us. Making writing majors try their hardest, then put up their chicken scratch next to frickin’ Rembrandt. And then to make it worse, everyone critiques us on the same scale.”
Currently to get a Bachelors of Fine Arts in writing at SCAD, students are required to take four design classes: Elements and Organization, Color Theory, 3D Design, and 4D Design. Writing students must also take two directed foundation classes that the student picks from a list of drawing and more design classes.
First-year professional writing student, Dana Clark, said, “We are in an art school, so expecting not to take any art classes is silly, but I still don’t see why we have to take so many in design.”
“It’s an interesting question, but one worth asking,” said first-year professional writing and game design student, Jared Steinberg, after being asked if foundation classes were useful to him as a writer. He went on to say he did not understand the usefulness of his design classes but found that “the drawing classes have been very useful. They have made me think about things in different ways and that alone has helped me with my writing.”
Moua said that her best experiences were in 3D Design. “For the first time I felt like I was excelling in a foundation class. I was so happy, because I was on the bottom for so long.” She even tried writing a letter to the Foundation Department asking why the classes were necessary for her major. She never got a reply.
For the most part ,writing majors have found their foundation classes to be unpleasant experiences that they found little connection to. But it doesn’t look like SCAD plans on changing the curriculum for writing majors anytime soon, so why not make the best of it. “I’ve learned that I am capable of creating visual art. I’ve learned that I really enjoy creating three dimensional pieces. I discovered a lot about myself, which was nice,” said Moua who tries to look on the bright side of things.