CCS Crafts Becomes Craft and Material Studies

October 14, 2020

The College for Creative Studies (CCS) Crafts department has changed its name to Craft and Material Studies, effective Fall 2020 semester. One of only a handful of academic institutions to offer a standalone program, CCS Craft and Material Studies focuses on rigorous, hands-on skill building — from traditional approaches to the contemporary and experimental. The department offers programs in Ceramics, Fiber and Textiles, Furniture, Glass, and Metalsmithing and Jewelry and encourages students to explore the expressive possibilities between and within disciplines.

“We felt that the name change better expresses what we do in our four-year program,” said glass artist and department Chair Kim Harty. “We look at materials through their cultural histories and physical, optical and chemical properties. We want students to learn the different ways that materials have been used in different sectors of culture and society.”

Craft and Material Studies also addresses the varied and interdisciplinary ways artists work within contemporary art contexts, including explorations using unconventional materials, digital media and performance, and documentary methods such as photography, video and text. “I think the change helps employers understand that CCS is offering a more expansive education in these fields,” Harty added.

“We want to be competitive for students who are really great at, or attracted to, making things and may be concerned about translating that passion into a career. We want those students to understand that Craft and Material Studies can prepare you for a variety of careers in industry, non-profit, small-scale design and manufacturing and entrepreneurship.”

Craft and Material Studies graduates typically work in a wide range of industries and fields, including at companies like Nike, Target and General Motors; at museums like the Flint Institute of Arts and the Henry Ford Museum; and many have founded a variety of businesses and studios locally and nationally.

Recently, the department created a series of shared foundational courses, including “Material Research Methods.” And now students within the department, or from other CCS programs, can minor in Digital Fabrication, a series of five courses in which students learn to design and model objects through computer aided design (CAD) and are encouraged to develop innovative processes via experimentation.

For more information on the Craft and Material Studies program at CCS, please go here.


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