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Pensole: Curriculum

Design Intensive students will experience a breadth of academic topics in a holistic setting: Professional Practices, Communication Practices, Design Process, Research Methods, Prototype Development, Digital Imaging/CAD, Materials+Process, Color Fundamentals/Color Strategy. Click here (link to copy below) for more information on the course descriptions/outcomes.

Professional Practices

Students are exposed to the expectations of the professional environment in the design industry. Emphasis is placed on developing students’ presentation skills, resumes, preparation for job interviews, development of professional portfolios, websites, and networking.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. strong presentation skills
  2. tailored resume
  3. professional portfolio
  4. website
  5. network(ing) 

Communication Practices

Students will develop skills to strengthen communication practices in the design industry. This will include time management, story telling, research, presentations, interaction and relationship skills as well as networking to include digital (social)networking.

Learning Outcomes:

  • interaction skills
  • relationship skills
  • preparation skills
  • presentation skills
  • writing skills
  • story telling
  • consumer research

Design Process

Students are introduced to the design process and how it applies to various design fields. With a focus in two-dimensional work, students will be taught through lecture, demos, individual assignments, and critiques. Guest lectures from individuals who are active in the industry, one-on-one mentorship, and case studies will help students gain an understanding of the industry. Team work will also be explored to further the exposure students have to real world work environments. Students will learn to balance the importance of individual work as it pertains to teamwork; finding creative solutions to effectively solve problems in multiple facets.

Learning Outcomes:

complete understanding of a design brief and how to use it as a guide for your work

  • 2D sketching
  • critique practices
  • individual work
  • team work

Prototype Development

Students are introduced to the techniques and materials for translating 2D designs into physical 3D models. Implementing tech packs and best materials practices and processes to quickly turn out prototypes to help refine the design/manufacturing process. Students gain a depth of knowledge into the making of product on both small and large scales. Workshop safety and etiquette will be covered.

Learning Outcomes:

  • creating a tech pack
  • reading a tech pack
  • material properties
  • material exploration
  • prototyping / making
  • prototyping vs. mass production 

Digital Imaging/CAD

In this course students develop digital visualization techniques as it applies to their specific track of study. Foundations of Adobe Illustrator are taught across the board. Advanced Illustrator, CAD and Autodesk Fusion 360 are explored when tracks branch into advanced tech pack work for their specific discipline.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Adobe Illustrator/Adobe Photoshop
  • CAD
  • Autodesk Fusion 360

Materials and Process

Deep dive into raw materials for footwear and soft goods industries. Identification and manufacturing processes for multiple types of materials introduced and how they influence the design process. Emphasis on material characteristics for intended performance, functional qualities of materials, vendor relationships, sustainability, manufacturing and best practices. Materials covered: Textiles, Synthetics, Leather, Natural, and Polymers. Students will build a personal catalog of all materials covered in this course as a reference for future use.

Learning Outcomes:

  • material differences
  • material qualities
  • understanding of material manufacturing
  • understanding of material testing
  • vendor relationships
  • personal catalog/reference tool

Color Fundamentals/Color Strategy

Students will explore the basic principles of design as it relates to color. This class will be lecture/lab based; teaching through demonstration and workshop formats. Key points as they relate to design principles: components of color, color psychology, color application, color proportion, the influence of color on materials and the relationship between color and the material it is applied to. In conjunction with Strategy, students will learn to mix color from pigment to create a color scale based on hues and tints. The second part of the class will be more digital in nature. Focus will be on creating color palettes to support product story and applying color to line art of individual projects as well as collections.

Learning Outcomes:

  • color strategy
  • color application
  • mood boards
  • storytelling