“Design, stripped to its essence, can be defined as the human nature to shape and make our environment in ways without precedent in nature, to serve our needs and give meaning to our lives.” —John Haskett, Professor of Design at Chicago’s Illinois Institute of Technology
As Graphic Designers, in order to understand our world and help shape it, we must understand how information goes from data to message. This mission for graphic design as a liberal art is constantly reshaped by the amazing acceleration in the advancements in the global reach of digital and print communications. Incredibly, our lives can be shaped by the actions of just a few people if these individuals are capable of effectively utilizing the latest digital means of communications to create massive change. People with command of the technology can use channels of graphic communication to effectively alter our world.
HOW AND WHY WE EDUCATE DESIGN STUDENTS
Our opportunities as faculty in art and design extend well beyond teaching competency in the aesthetics and technology required of our arts and crafts. There is a commitment to examining morality, justice, and responsibility in the context of contemporary society, as well as an understanding of how we can contribute to Sacred Heart University’s challenge to its students to “think critically, analyze carefully, evaluate with a sense of justice and proportion, and convey conclusions in an intelligible and articulate fashion.” It requires that these gifts and goals be used to help students understand how they have opportunities to undertake projects and studies that can contribute to the betterment of the community. It also challenges us to help students develop as large a worldwide view as possible through the study of our specialties.
Although our students work with some of our country’s most recognized companies, Graphic Design in the liberal arts environment is not vocational training. Technique and technology are essential parts of any designer’s education, and Art & Design offers state-of-the-art development that must be accomplished in order to achieve the broader goals of an education in the liberals arts through Graphic Design. But an essential part of the liberal arts experience is to provide a continuous study and understanding of issues raised by other disciplines in order to provide the broadest understanding of our own discipline. Design is about meaning and how meaning can be created. The richness of the design experience rests in our study of many disciplines of knowledge.
We also recognize that state-of-the-art technology is indispensable to our artistic achievements in contemporary graphic design. It allows us to engage the world in productive ways. The most up-to-date hardware and software allow our students the opportunities to exploit the technology required for the necessary exploration of meaning in order that they are used in a positive manner for the good of individuals, clients, and society as a whole. As graphic designers we seek to apply this meaning to current issues addressed by science, technology, politics, ethics, and the arts, as well as a myriad of other disciplines. It is our goal that our students develop in the areas of leadership and responsibility. In doing so, we will help our students make significant contributions in whatever aspects of life they endeavor.
“The cause of the human person will only be served if knowledge is joined to conscience.” [Pope John Paul II, 11 January 1997] Our program in Art & Design at Sacred Heart University focuses on the central idea of joining technology, art, and knowledge to conscience that is at the heart of the idea of a university.