The mission of the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design is to offer professional career education in the design fields leading to professional degrees and accreditation. Coupled with University academic courses, SASD curricula works to expand students’ abilities to recognize, understand, and solve design problems using culturally- and environmentally-appropriate methodologies. SASD is committed to advancing the purpose of best-practices design in all areas of the human and natural environment.
The SASD Design programs are built to emphasize the importance of practical, theoretical, and professional activities and practices in the various design fields. Students learn about the fundamentals and details of design; their application to real-world use; design’s impact on the user population; and the various means and methods needed to take their designs from concept to reality. SASD Design facilities include studio spaces, computer labs, libraries, and an inspiring location. We have a large international community with contacts in other countries to exchange ideas, and we are proud of our international designer-in-residence program.
Each design student has a space for in-class assignments with a choice of five computer design labs, a clean room for large-scale mock-ups and a well-equipped model shop and a photography studio. In addition to the full time faculty, practicing professional designers are invited to teach studio courses ensuring that the student receives a practical and current education.
An important semester event is the Portfolio Finals Review; professional designers, serving as visiting critics, are invited to a portfolio review in a celebration of the students’ semester work. An aggressive summer internship program for the sophomore and junior students is key to their professional success. The senior thesis reinforces this internship experience. With the combination of a professional, robust portfolio and extensive internship experience our graduates are well prepared for an exciting and fulfilling career.
We have a strong Computer Aided Design (CAD) emphasis balanced by traditional skill development. We use powerful programs that include Vellum 3D, form•Z, Photoshop, Illustrator, IronCAD, Alias Studio, Maya, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, Flash, and Solidworks, AutoCAD, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Photoshop (as well as the entire suite of Adobe apps). An example of our cutting-edge use of technology is the Junior industrial design studio, where students use the computer to directly create prototypes using stereolithography through a local high technology company.
Connecticut has a spectacular history of innovation, invention, engineering, illustration, and design. Connecticut has the highest patents per capita. Many well-established corporations and a rapidly growing array of new high technology companies are in the immediate area. Bridgeport Machines, Dictaphone, Pitney Bowes, Remington, and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation are next door and the World Headquarters of General Electric is in the nearby town of Fairfield. Evo, Product Ventures, Group Four Design, and 9th Wave are just a sample of the consulting animation, advertising, and interior design design firms a short distance from Bridgeport.
Learning Outcomes and Assessments
SASD promotes student learning and performance through various means designed to maximize students’ skills, knowledge base, and production abilities. Each program (Graphic Design, Industrial Design, and Interior Design) utilizes the following in pursuit of these objectives.
- Demonstrate ability to identify, analyze, and solve design problems.
Assessment: Portfolio projects and project research.
Demonstrate mastery of design tools, techniques, and concepts in design.
Assessment: Projects and portfolios that evidence craftsmanship and adherence to project parameters.
Demonstrate an understanding of the aesthetics of form development, and of the history and current state of design.
Assessment: Projects, papers, and presentations for art and design history courses; in studio courses, projects that appropriately reference historical precedents.
Demonstrate proficiency in selection and use of relevant technologies in design. Abilities to use available technical and industrial processes to produce a design product, and to design and implement such a process.
Assessment: Project and portfolio materials planned to be feasibly reproducible by industrial means rather than by one-off or by hand.
Demonstrate an understanding of the cultural and societal connections linking design trends and processes as well as a knowledge of business practices and of the market place.
Assessment: Projects and portfolio solutions that are culturally- and audience-appropriate for the problem as posed by the business and market briefs for the project.