This paper outlines the development of a sophomore core course, Art 295: Visual Thinking, designed to introduce students to semiotics as a critical tool to analyze visual material, and to foster a lively dialogue among studio, graphic design and art history majors. The course aimed at pushing students beyond their inclination to approach images from a singular perspective: historical, artistic or commercial. Semiotics were used to make students realize that images constitute a system of signs ruled by a common internal and external code both in art and graphic design, and that artistic and commercial categories were not implicitly mutually exclusive.
Drawing heavily from the practical experience in the classroom, this paper addresses the pedagogical successes in bridging disciplines’ boundaries and in training students to think critically about their role as active viewers who construct meaning.
|Keywords:||Pedagogy, Semiotics, Visual Culture|
Art , Art History, Chapman University, Orange, CA, USA
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