The Diploma in Art and Design - Foundation Studies course at Central Saint Martins is based at the Archway campus, which is where all studio teaching sessions, technical workshop access and additional study support sessions are delivered.
Foundation students have access to and are expected to use the library, learning zones, loan store, student centre, lecture theatres, digital print facilities and the Lethaby Gallery via the King's Cross campus.
This course is part of the Access and Progression to Higher Education Programme.
There are two modes of study:
- The diagnostic mode allows you to spend time within each of the four curriculum areas before specialisation. This mode is best suited to students who are not yet certain of a particular subject
- The specialist mode is for students who are confident of their future direction. This mode allows you to apply directly to one of the four curriculum areas.
The four curriculum areas are:
Each curriculum area is sub-divided into pathways. Please see curriculum area pages for further information about the curriculum areas and their pathway options.
Whichever mode you choose, over the first 10 weeks (Part One of the course) you will rotate through a series of projects that will ask you to experiment with a range of materials and processes that support ideas development within art and design. After this initial period of investigation and experimentation you will be guided, through tutorials and assessment, to the specialist pathway that best suits your interests and abilities.
3DDA 3-Dimensional Design and Architecture Curriculum Area
The 3DDA Curriculum Area is ideal for those with a passion for making. Students will explore a range of materials in the context of structure, form and surface. They will learn to use tools and machinery and acquire new making skills. The technical knowledge and understanding helps students to solve creative problems.
In 3DDA we explore design, craft and conceptual approaches to creative idea development. The scale we work in ranges from tiny objects worn on the body to hand held products, to furniture, to large architectural structures and proposals for whole cities. Students will be taught rigorous methods of research and visual communication, as well as professional ways of presenting 3-dimensional outcomes to audiences.
Product Design and Ceramics
This Pathway is for students who are inspired to design and make objects to enrich our daily life. We encourage a contemporary and experimental approach to Product Design and Ceramics. This is led by thorough research, design aesthetics, hands-on exploration of a wide range of materials and related hand making & manufacturing techniques. Students explore 3D objects within the context of materiality, function, meaning, location, contemporary living, social and political issues and the environment. They learn to identify target audiences and analyse peoples’ consumer behaviour in order to discover what they need and aspire too. There are three approaches to Product Design and Ceramics: ‘design for production’, ‘conceptual approach’ and ‘focus on making skills & innovative use of materials’.
Those who enjoy designing through making acquire the necessary skills to hand build their designs, making extensive use of the workshop facilities at the college. Ceramic outcomes can be fully functional, fired and completed in the BA workshops. All students use model making in the design process and some then commission components from specialist manufacturing companies e.g. laser cutting, casting, digital printing. We teach the core skills of research, design, experimentation, development, testing and making so that our students are prepared to progress onto a range of undergraduate courses including BA Product Design and BA Ceramic Design at Central Saint Martins. Our students’ 3D outcomes range from design products and consumer goods to furniture and objects for the home.
Jewellery, Footwear and Fashion Accessories
This pathway is for students who are interested in exploring new and innovative, as well as traditional and contemporary approaches to designing for the body.
Jewellery explores the decorative, intimate, meaningful or symbolic quality of objects worn on the body. Design concepts explore tradition and culture, social and political issues, as well as personal ideas.
Footwear and Fashion Accessories are rapidly growing sectors of the fashion industry, which is responding to current trends for the catwalk, the retail industry and contemporary craft practice. Outcomes can be diverse and may incorporate jewellery, footwear, bags, headpieces and new products. There is an emphasis on exploring a diversity of materials, acquiring a wide range of making skills and considering manufacturing methods in both, industry and the designer/maker context.
You will focus on:
- perceptions of preciousness and beauty
- perceptions of value and status
- skilful and sensitive handling of materials
- design, materials, technology and craftsmanship.
Outcomes may evoke questions and debate, be amusing, ironic and enigmatic, be sentimental or superstitious, indicate a personal history, declare a relationship to others and raise issues of identity.
Architecture and Spatial Design
This pathway explores the structures that shape the built environment and the spaces inside and around them. Spatial and architectural investigations will focus on: scale - site - atmosphere - light - materials - context - function - human needs - innovative propositions - solutions - multidisciplinary approaches.
Spatial and architectural concepts are based on the exploration of cultural, social, political and economic issues. Design idea development might touch on anything from narrative to environmentalism or radical strategies for inhabitation. Outcomes may be rooted in architecture, interiors, landscape or urbanism.
The Foundation Diploma in Art and Design runs for 32 weeks full time over one year and is divided into three parts.
Each part is made up of units and each unit has a credit value. Units are the basic building blocks of your course and can be described as a self-contained package of learning defined in terms of learning time. This includes taught time, independent study, access to resources, and assessment.
Each part is made up of 40 credits. Part One consists of 40 Level Three credits and Parts Two and Three consist of 40 Level four credits each.
To progress to Part Two you're expected to complete the units of Part One successfully.
To progress to Part Three (i.e. Unit Seven) you're expected to complete all previous units successfully. To be awarded a Foundation Diploma you must accumulate 120 credits in total. This means you'll need to complete all units of the course in order to gain the Foundation Diploma.
You’re expected to attend Monday to Thursday 10.30am – 4.30pm, and occasionally on a Friday for workshop inductions and additional classes.