The success of this program is based on the fact that we work with who is here – right here – right now. Therefore, courses and instruction are continually evolving. The students and faculty are from all over the world and bring to the school the diversity of their experience. This creates an extraordinary learning environment.
– Chloe Briggs, Chair of Foundation
Foundation, the first year of our four-year BFA degree programs in Communication Design, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Interior Design and Photography, taught either in-person or online, is built on the philosophy that there are fundamental approaches, skills, and knowledge to be learned that are common to all creative disciplines. We encourage our students to have a cross-disciplinary foundation attitude: to take risks, suspend disbelief, and generally be open to new experiences and ways of looking at the world.
Emphasis is placed on craft and skill across disciplines and media: drawing, photography, design, video, 3D forms, etc. A primary goal of our foundation year is to give students confidence in their ability to manifest their ideas. In this way, you will gain the ability to be flexible and innovative with tools and a variety of media, which is the key to success in any creative discipline.
The studio and academic components of the program are dedicated to using Paris or your immediate environment (for those studying in the Foundation Online: Pathways to Paris) as an ‘extended classroom’, drawing upon the city’s rich resources to inform and inspire student learning.Foundation is a diagnostic program to help you choose the best direction for your future creative practice; throughout the year students take part in events and workshops designed to introduce the specificities of each major offered at Paris College of Art.
The mix of social and cultural contexts from which the students and faculty come creates a unique Foundation year. In this environment, you are encouraged to think seriously about what contributions you, as an artist or designer, can potentially make to the world.
The Foundation year curriculum gives students the flexibility to explore media and ways of working that will prepare them for their major area of study. Each semester, students take a course on ways of seeing, choosing between Drawing or Photography. In the fall semester of Materials & Dimensions, students work in printmaking, photography, & 3D, while in the spring semester they choose to focus on one of these areas. While the required credit load for the Foundation year is 30 credits, students are strongly encouraged to take an elective in the area they plan to focus on for their degree. In addition, the curriculum includes a year long course in Intro to Digital Media, two semesters of Critical Thinking & Writing, as well as Art History courses both semesters.
Foundation Year also can be achieved online through a different program: 'Foundation Online: Pathway to Paris.'
Ways of Seeing: Drawing or Photography
Materials and Dimensions I & II
Introduction to Digital Media I & II
City as Studio
Introduction to Art & Design
Critical Thinking & Writing I & II
Paris Yesterday and Tomorrow: history, art and urban culture