The Department of Design and Crafts, divided into the Design Major and Crafts Major, focuses on the study of the applied formative arts. While there are separate curricula for each course, what makes this department unique is the emphasis placed on the relevance of traditional Okinawan arts in these fields, thus tying the design and crafts together in a unique fashion.
In the Design Major, the curriculum aims to cultivate individuals who can contribute to society by providing broad knowledge and skills in varied design specializations: living, industrial, environmental, graphic, editorial, and image design. Built upon the fundamental knowledge and skills in formative arts and design, the curriculum includes a practical internship program to nurture students to become independent artists and designers.
Crafts Major seeks individuals who have a strong passion for traditional crafts and regional culture and aims to provide a learning and training environment for future craft artists, educators, and researchers and to nurture individuals who can contribute to the development and succession of traditional crafts.
After the first three semesters, devoted to the acquisition of basic formative techniques in a variety of crafts, each student starts to explore further the field of their choice in one of the four specializations below.
The students specializing in Dyeing focus on an acquisition of traditional techniques such as Okinawan bingata, and study a variety of materials used in paper making and indigo dying. In four years, students strive to develop techniques and sensibilities that can be applied to their artistic creativity.
In the weaving specialization, students are exposed to various techniques such as kasuri and learn the methods of creating yarns from natural fibers found in Okinawa. Having acquired professional techniques and a deep understanding of materials, students are expected to enrich their creativity and also to contribute to the preservation of culture and the environment.
The ceramics program is built upon the study of Okinawa’s distinctive culture and regional characteristics, and furthermore students are nurtured to become cosmopolitan individuals aware of the true significance of ceramic art. The curriculum is established upon three core elements: the study of materials, the development of concepts, and the sophistication of techniques.
Students specializing in lacquering study fundamental techniques and expressions using Ryukyuan urushi and further explore Japanese urushi lacquering traditions. Cultivating the knowledge of materials, techniques and expressions, students are encouraged to pay attention to the significance of urushi arts in history, science and society.