Emergent Digital Practices

The Emergent Digital Practices program (EDP) is a groundbreaking fusion of digital art, design, culture, and technology focused on building a better world.

In EDP, our visionary work combines creative making and critical thinking. Our faculty and students seek to better understand emerging technologies and their impacts on cultures and ecologies. We use those technologies in a hands-on, collaborative environment to contribute to more meaningful and equitable communities.

We thrive at the intersection of the liberal arts, humanities, and sciences. Our faculty and students bring together inclusive digital design, electronic and new media arts and technology, and creative coding to contribute to our investigations of culture and society, the arts and sciences, media philosophy, science fiction, trans-global politics, and social justice.

If you have a passion for digital arts and theory, and consider yourself a creative and critical thinker, you'll flourish in EDP, where we're dissolving the lines between artists, designers, scholars and inventors. The EDP program prepares you to work in innovative, undefined, and unfamiliar technological spaces. You will develop unique skill sets, vision and purpose, and a commitment to the public good that will prove valuable in a wide range of future opportunities.

 

EDP is for critical thinkers who want to expand the potential of technology in art, design and culture by:
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    creating interactive art and virtual worlds. 

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    engaging 3D world fabrication to create a call to social action. 

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    developing technological solutions for supporting creativity. 

Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate students explore new digital technologies to develop creative projects informed by critical thinking through the BA, BFA or minor in Emergent Digital Practices.

In the BA and minor, you'll learn about the ideas, cultures, and people that shape our current technological landscape alongside a second major or minor. You’ll work in a collaborative environment, creating complex and expressive works with digital tools such as data visualizations, virtual reality experiences and immersive installations. As a BFA student, you'll delve more deeply into these topics and extend your work into a fine arts-focused practice, developing works for public audiences in museums, galleries and other creative spaces.

Whatever paths you pursue after graduation—further academic study, professional careers, social activism or nonprofit service—our unique combination of applied critical thinking, creative technology and social engagement will help you thrive.

Explore Our Undergraduate Degrees

BA/Minor

BFA

Graduate Programs

As a graduate student, you'll imagine new possibilities for digital technologies through an MA or MFA degree in Emergent Digital Practices.

The MA degree offers opportunities for you to develop your critical, technical and artistic skills by creating new technological applications that build on your undergraduate field of study and professional experience. In the MFA degree, you'll focus on creating an art and design practice that is critically and socially engaged, preparing for a career of professional practice in media arts and design.

Our graduate degrees challenge you to think and create with purpose—to become new leaders in the development and application of the emerging, the previously untried, and the otherwise unimagined new media that will shape our future.

Explore Our Graduate Degrees

MA

MFA

EDP student project

4+1 BA & MA

If you're seeking a comprehensive degree that brings together our undergraduate and graduate curriculum, consider our 4+1 BA & MA program. In this program, you'll delve deeply into your coursework and develop a final thesis that demonstrates your knowledge and practices to your committee and future employers. 

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Students in Action

Our students connect art, technology and design through critical research practices and creative projects. BA student Ashley Kneemueller is an environmental scientist and digital artist whose work combines her two passions and criticizes the impacts of the Anthropocene on both ecological and human longevity. Kneemueller’s BA Capstone project, “Newscape,” explored the emotional impact of the 24-hour news cycle. MFA student Cherish Marquez created an exploratory game, Slot of the Odds, which was featured at Redline Contemporary Art Center. Marquez's project, a piece of interactive art which applies knowledge of game design and creative coding, investigates important social and historical contexts of border towns and immigration. In this immersive experience, players cross a desert and then play the odds of a slot machine in an attempt to cross the border.

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Learn More About Student Projects

Community Connections

We foster numerous community connections that allow us to draw from the ingenuity and perspectives of a wider community while making major contributions of our own.

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Alumni

Our alumni go on to careers in a vast array of different fields, from game design to interactive media to teaching in art and design. Our alumni are artists and educators, including Morehshin Allahyari, MA '09. Allahyari creates art in multiple media, including sculpture, installation, 3D printing and sound. Allahyari's art and teaching explore technology "as a philosophical toolset to reflect on objects and as a poetic means to document our personal and collective lives and struggles."

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Our Mission

In Emergent Digital Practices, we are dedicated to creative and research practices at the leading edges of knowledge, art and technology for the public good. We are committed to practices that enable new strategies for dialogue and collaboration across a wide range of techno-cultural forms and disciplines. Interdisciplinary fluidity prompted us to create the Emergent Digital Practices program, merging the University's former Digital Media Studies and Electronic Media Arts & Design programs.

Our 20-plus year foundation of robust and dynamic presence in technology, art and academia ranges from the institutional and local to the national and international. We are dedicated to delivering innovative curriculum built around the virtues of creativity, critical thinking and collaboration. We regard the stewardship of these values as the measure of our students’ well-being, and we foster them by engaging locally in service to the public good as well as through national and international partnerships in service to a sustainable, global future.

EDP is driven by three principles:

Creativity: our approach to artistic & scholarly praxis encourages experimentation, innovation and the cultivation of new experiences for the public good. 

Critical Thinking: our culturally oriented art, research & scholarship is driven by inclusive ethics, equal access to equitable technologies, environmental sustainability and global perspectives.

Collaboration: our model of working together inspires collegial interdisciplinarity, community-engagement, and long-term and sustainable partnerships from the local to the global. 

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