Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS)
This course will focus on integrating visual art practice and scientific methods as a means of observing, understanding, interpreting and creatively responding to human driven disturbances and the restoration of nature, focusing on the urban environment and ecologies of New York City. Students will study modern and contemporary works of art responding to ecologies of undisturbed and urban environments. Readings, discussion and lab work will complement visiting speakers, and field trips. We will also consider artistic and scientific mapping of alternate ecologies such as institutional power structures. Students will be visualize their scientific observations and creative responses through drawing, graphing, 2D mixed media, mapping modelling and sculpture. Previous art experience not required.
How can biological processes inspire and improve businesses, communication and community structures? How can biomaterials inspire new design strategies? This course will investigate idea making and problem solving using the principles of biomimicry - a nature-inspired, sustainably-focused design strategy. A study of biological principles and systems will serve as a springboard to create original projects centered on student interests. It is expected that participants will come from different academic backgrounds such as entrepreneurship, fine arts, social science, and communication. In the words of Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry Is it a design discipline, a branch of science, a problem-solving method, a sustainability ethos, a movement, a stance toward nature, a new way of viewing and valuing biodiversity? Yes, yes, and yes.
The Interdisciplinary Studies internship is an advanced course open to majors with junior or senior standing. Placements depend on the availability of suitable positions and must amount to a minimum of 135 hours per semester. The instructor, along with the site placement supervisor, will guide and evaluate the quality of the work. Internships must relate to at least one of the student's areas of focus or proficiencies within the IDS major and will provide the student with an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills gained through coursework. During an internship, students must maintain a comprehensive daily log or blog of personal work activities and write a final reflection paper demonstrating how the internship relates to concepts introduced by IDS coursework and how it raises new questions for the student about the field/work in question.
The Senior Capstone Seminar in IDS is a two-semester seminar open to senior IDS majors. The Capstone will build on and expand skills learned in COM 3002 Media and Communication Research Methods. Students will research and produce an interdisciplinary project on an aspect of their chosen areas of focus within the IDS major (for example, Environmental Studies and American Studies or American Studies and Women's & Gender Studies). During the first semester (Part I), students will conduct research. By the end of the first semester, students will write a proposal for a final project.
The Senior Capstone Seminar in IDS is a two-semester seminar in which students produce an interdisciplinary project on an aspect of their chosen areas of focus within the IDS major (for example, Environmental Studies and American Studies or American Studies and Women's & Gender Studies). Part II of the Capstone will build on Part I and on skills learned in COM 3002 Media and Communication Research Methods. Part II of the seminar is devoted to writing the final paper or producing the final project and conducting additional research as necessary. Students may write papers or produce other types of projects: short films, photo essays, virtual exhibits, social practice art projects, digital mapping or storytelling projects, NGO proposals, business plans, etc. All projects regardless of media must oral, written, & digital components.