A Message from the Director Emeritus of the School of Art + Design
Welcome to the School of Art + Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology!
The Hillier College of Architecture and Design is an exciting place to be with a diverse set of highly qualified students and faculty engaged in the study and exploration of art and design at a variety of scales and sizes. Within the Hillier College, the School of Art + Design contains a constellation of growing programs which broaden the offerings of a truly comprehensive university with the addition of complementary areas of design study. Overlapping but distinct programs that address the design of spaces and products – both real and virtual – are offered in Digital Design, Industrial Design, and Interior Design. The School of Art + Design at NJIT is an extraordinary place to study and to grow; to listen and to engage in meaningful dialog; to challenge oneself and the world. It is a place where creativity thrives, and design is practiced as a knowledge-based discipline; a place where students and faculty alike bring their considerable acumen and talents to the solving of problems. The resources and opportunities available in the New York City/ Northern New Jersey metropolitan area range from access to some of the world’s finest museums, to an opportunity to meet and study with active industry representatives and practicing artists and designers engaged in shaping our environment. The Hillier College of Architecture and Design provides an engaged community of artists, architects, researchers, and designers interested in creating at all scales; and a structured format in which to start one’s future.
The School's offerings are set in a bipolar context: urban, physical, and very real on the one hand; virtual, digital, and experimental on the other. Within this spectrum students prepare to design our future.
The Bauhaus set a standard for design and design education early in the Modernist era. The school’s director, Walter Gropius, proclaimed “Art and Technology: A New Unity” (1923). An important goal was the application of technology in design as it celebrated industrial products of the early twentieth century. It is in the original spirit of the Bauhaus that the NJIT School of Art + Design emphasizes both fundamental, long-standing principles of form and order and art and design, as well as the complete integration and use of 21st century information technology and digital media within the processes and products of the various design professions housed here. We try to maintain the best of the past and require students to study the history of art and design and utilize traditional media in various classes. But from the very start, we also deal with (and require the use of) computer graphics, digital archiving, and multiple-media projects while retaining accountability to the basic principles of design.
In all four years, students pursue their studies with creativity and intellectual rigor, preparing themselves to work and/or continue study after graduation; and to take their place as leaders in their professions and in society. Our programs are structured in a 1-2-1 format. Regardless of the discipline or degree being pursued, our students begin their studies together in a foundation year learning basic skills and principles of design, utilizing both analog and digital media, and studying the history of their chosen professions. They also spend approximately half of their time studying traditional, and important, subjects like English, Humanities, and Mathematics – the cornerstones of any solid undergraduate education.
The middle years of the undergraduate programs are all discipline-specific, with the education focused on design of products (Industrial Design), spaces (Interior Design), or virtual applications/multimedia/entertainment (Digital Design). All three programs are generalist in approach. In other words, the School of Art + Design seeks to provide the broadest possible exposure to the different applications available within each discipline. We believe that this provides our students the best opportunity to acquire the skills, knowledge, and flexibility to successfully pursue a variety of career options. The success of our graduates and the national recognition achieved by our programs have validated this approach.
A unique aspect of the final year of the undergraduate programs at the School of Art + Design is the Collaborative Design Studio during which the students from the various disciplines come together again to work on common ventures, simulating a professional environment in which each student brings his or her discipline-specific knowledge to a team working on a complex project. Like the Bauhaus, the School of Art + Design places all of the design disciplines on “equal footing” recognizing the important role each has in shaping the future. The final year is the culminating year of the program that provides time for both joint work with the benefits of cross-pollination through exposure to different programs and designers; and individual, comprehensive study within one’s discipline.
I invite you to visit us (virtually or in person) and share in the excitement we have about our future. Join us as we build tomorrow.