The 2D Design department actively explores the relationship between writing, criticism, and production with an emphasis on experimental visual forms and experiences. The results of these investigations often exist at the threshold between design and art.
The 3D Design department is an experimental laboratory that explores human needs as expressed in the furniture and products we live with. It straddles the contexts of industrial design as it relates to mass production and fine design, situated in the overlap between design, fine art, and craft.
The 4D Design department explores the myriad ways that the physical world around us has become infused with an undercurrent of flowing data, turning everyday experiences into connected, feedback-driven interactions that transform every aspect of culture and society.
The Architecture department fundamentally challenges and repositions space, design, production, and meaning. Our work seeks alternative and experimental approaches to architectural practice and aspires to shape the cultural and built environment by continually reshaping our own architectural and urban professions.
The landscape of ceramics is a vast open-ended question, with links to design, the crafts, the art world, industry and engineering. At Cranbrook, we see these links as a language to explore and as a way into our work.
Fiber is an ever-shifting practice that is grounded in the centuries-old traditions, forms, and materials of textile production and manipulation. Whether the work we produce manifests itself as a sculptural form, garment, functional object, tapestry weaving, socially engaged community practice, digital output, or something else we cannot currently name, we embrace it as a mode of exploration.
The Metalsmithing department questions the meaning, value, and significance of objects, techniques and materials through the explorative process and practice of making—and in relation to both current artistic trends and movements, and developments in the wider context of contemporary society.
The Painting department at Cranbrook stresses self-exploration and independent work in an atmosphere of ongoing critical discussion involving social, political, and artistic concerns. While existing in a continuum with centuries of painting, craft, styles and issues, elements of sculpture, photography, printmaking, collage, or writing may well be part of the painter’s craft.
Photography has never been one medium, but several adjacent media with roots in both the arts and sciences. Photography is foundational to our social and political lives. At Cranbrook, we embrace this history and use it as common ground for makers of all kinds to explore how technical images mediate our experience of the world.
The Print Media department is characterized by a perpetually expanding view of printmaking through interdisciplinary practice. At Cranbrook, our dynamic approach to print encourages experimentation and innovation within traditional and emerging print media. Practices from woodcuts to zines, commercial printing to the digital tools of mass media are all encouraged in our department.
Cranbrook’s Sculpture department cultivates an environment that prepares students to be translators of their culture by exposing and questioning its values. Students investigate work that might disrupt physical, cultural, or conceptual systems by creating site-specific installations, temporary performances, and endurance pieces.