Artt 479A - Code + Form

Prof. Morse

Tuesdays, Thursdays - 3:00-5:30pm

Art/Sociology Bldg. Rm 3311-E


La Voute de LeFevre - matterdesign


Art 479 is an examination of the uses and implications of digital technologies in contemporary artmaking practices. In this course, we will look at how digital processes can be utilized to create physical objects in a variety of media, and we will cover several prominent techniques in digital fabrication, such as 3-D modeling, procedural form creation through coding, and data visualization processes. In additon, we will explore methods to translate these virtual objects into a physical realm through the use of Rapid Prototyping (3-D printing), as well as the use of several other digital fabrication tools such as CNC milling machines, and laser cutting and engraving tools.



As an advanced-level studio art course, the primary goal of the course is the development of concepts and the manifestation of those concepts through whatever media and practices you deem necessary, whether they use the computer or not. We will however, be spending some time covering basic and intermediate approaches to digital fabrication - focusing primarily on 3-D modeling tools. In conjunction with the software, we will spend time covering several prominent methods for fabricating physical objects from our virtual forms. We will examine Rapid Prototyping( often referred to as 3-d printing), as well as methods of creating 3-d forms from flat materials. The semester will begin with quick excercises geared towards learning the basics of these techniques. Several assignments will be given, each will revolve around a particular theme, but these themes are geared to be open to a large degree of interperatation. As the semester progresses the structure of the course will open up to allow you the freedom to use whichever tools you choose in projects in which content is increasingly self-determined.Success in this course will come in your interperatation and sucessful completion of each project. As a marker of succesful work in this course, little emphasis will be placed on the technical complexity of your work -rather, it is the way the ideas and concepts are made manifest that will matter. You will need to cosider the choices you make in terms of media and techniques necessary to convey your ideas and concerns in the projects completed throughout the semester..




Your semester grade will be determined as follows:


70% of your grade is determined by the average of the practical (object -making) assignments.

20% of your grade is determined by the completion of the research assignments (1-2 of these)given throughout the semester.

10% of your grade is determined by attendance and in-class participation.


Late Work:

Late work is not accepted without making prior arrangement with me. If something comes up, and you don't feel you'll be able to complete the assignment by its due date, contact me prior to the due date to discuss options.


First and foremost: be in class. This is especially important on the days I will be covering new material as I will not go over that material again with you individually due to an unexcused absence. You are allowed 3 unexcused absence, each subsequent unexcused absence may drop your letter grade by one full letter.



To a large degree, the cost of materials in this course will be determined by the nature of your projects. Use of the Laser Cutter, and CNC machine is free, but you will be responsible for the cost of materials used in the machines. Use of the 3-D printers also comes with some materials costs. The department will make available several PLA filaments, but only in white, black and natural. If you wish to print with specific colors, you will be responsible for your own filament. Check the resources page for PLA filament sources. Our Stratasys Dimension printer is also available for use, but comes at a substantially higher cost per volume than does the Replicator 2.


The department will make available tools necessary for finishing your 3-d prints, as well as our standard array of tools in the wood and sculpture shops for finishing projects completed on the laser cutter or CNC machine.


It would be a good idea to purchase calipers as they will be useful in an assignment in the middle of the semester. You won't need anything digital or high accuracy, a simple $10 caliper from your local hardware store should suffice. Make sure it measures inmetric as well as imperial.




There are no required books for this course, but here are some recommendations:


Form + Code in Design, Art and Architecture - Casey Reas, et all.


Material Strategies in Digital Fabrication - Christopher Beorkrem




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Course Notes - Assignments - Resources.