American University of Sharjah

Foundations Program of CAAD

Foundations Program of CAAD

Foundations is the first step toward a degree from CAAD.

The Foundations Program is an autonomous one-year program that supports the common educational requirements for all fields of study within the College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD). Our program provides the basic design education that will enable students to function on appropriate critical, theoretical and practical levels in their sophomore (second) year. All students in CAAD are required to successfully complete this first year in order to be considered for advancement to the second year of their chosen major.

Our program aims to provide students with a sufficient knowledge in design and representation to compete for limited places in the second year of our degree programs. In order to achieve these aims, the program focuses on the following objectives:

  • Students will apply knowledge and skills of the fundamental components of graphic representational drawing, analytical drawing, two- and three-dimensional design and making.
  • Students will demonstrate problem solving techniques and methods enabling them to integrate, organize and explore complex compositions of ideas, materials, tools and media towards the material realization of two and three dimensional design concepts.
  • Students will demonstrate familiarity with the historical and contemporary implications of material culture and develop the ability to critically discuss and analyze the religious and social forces that shaped these works.
  • Students will demonstrate a basic proficiency in the use of input/output devices, creation of document and spreadsheet layouts, and the creation and manipulation of vector and pixel-based graphics.

Within the program, students are encouraged to develop a basic critical and practical understanding of design principles. Experimentation and exploration with materials, tools and techniques are fostered in the realization of two- and three-dimensional concepts and ideas.

Foundations courses are taught by professors from both the Department of Architecture and the Department of Design. This cross-disciplinary collaboration at the foundation level initiates a healthy influx of cross-disciplinary expertise and discourse, which results in continual discussion regarding the relevance and content of foundation courses to upper years.