Leave it to the architects who always want to redesign something. This time, it’s the entire New Jersey School of Architecture at NJIT reinvented with a new name: College of Architecture and Design (CAD). Within the College another new entity will reside-- School of Art + Design (SA+D).
Art? Design? Don’t most people associate NJIT with science and technology?
Well, not anymore. Just ask Ida Torres, an aspiring interior designer, who transferred from Rutgers University-Newark to number among the 45 inaugural freshmen.
“I love it here, ” exclaimed the Jersey City resident. “The minute I walked up the ramp to tour the facilities, I knew that this is where my life is going to change. This program is much more career-oriented than my previous studies. Every professor is teaching from real-world experience, and that makes an impact on a student. And the good news is, if you like what you hear, there’s a good chance you’re going to love who you become.”
Glenn Goldman, professor and director of the new school, pointed out that the first class has drawn an interesting mix of students. “In addition to first-time freshmen,” he said, “we have transfers from both community colleges and four-year colleges, plus internal transfers from architecture and engineering. We now have a place at NJIT for creative designers who don’t want to be architects.”
All SA+D students take a common foundation year that emphasizes graphic design, digital design, color theory and art history. After the first year, students pursue their chosen major. Three degree programs are currently available.
The Bachelor of Science in industrial design focuses on developing new products for living by addressing style, function, quality and safety of manufactured goods.
The Bachelor of Arts in digital design features concentrations in entertainment, and interactive media and production. The program gives students the chance to develop skills in graphic design, creating virtual environments, set design for games and movies, advertising and marketing, exhibit design, and animation and special effects creation.
The Bachelor of Arts in interior design teaches design and how to rehabilitate interior spaces and facilities with an understanding of spatial organization, user needs, building systems, lighting design, sustainability and aesthetics.
A fourth degree, an innovative Bachelor of Fine Arts, is pending approval.
Urs Gauchat, dean of the College of Architecture and Design, said that the new school is a natural next step for the College, because the architecture program has engendered the “creative energy, design expertise and technological competence” to support the new design programs. He said the new emphasis on arts and design is also an important new direction for NJIT.
“NJIT aspires to be a more comprehensive public university. You can’t do that on technical programs alone,” he said. “And design is increasingly important in today’s marketplace, often the sole distinguishing characteristic that decides the success of a product. Design is the key to reinvigorating manufacturing in the United States.”
Goldman said that the new school benefits from a combination of factors that make its programs uniquely appealing — expertise in digital design, synergy with the School of Architecture, and ties to a technological university.
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