Dordt Opens New Design Studio

Sioux Center, Iowa — This spring, Dordt University opened a new design studio for students studying art and design.

The space, which is set up in what was previously the drawing room, includes new Apple computers, desks, chairs, and furniture. It is home to 24 M1 chip 24-inch iMac models. The desks are hideaway desks, so the computers can be stored within the desk, which allows the room to function as a normal classroom as well.

Vaughn Donahue, instructor in graphic design says this new lab will serve students in a variety of ways. First, it will bring design classes into the art department for the first time, rather than in the digital media lab down the hall. Donahue says the hope is to establish a better connection between the fine arts and the applied arts by being in a shared space. Second, these new iMacs will prepare students for the workforce, using industry standard machines. Third, it will allow for both the art and design and digital media programs to grow now that we no longer share a physical space.

The lab will be home to classes like Design Theory, Graphic Design I, II, and III, photography courses, web design, and more. The iMacs will have the Adobe Suite installed, allowing students to learn programs they will utilize when serving in the industry.

Melissa Laarman, a senior studying graphic design says that it’s very exciting to have the opportunity to work in the new Mac lab. She’s enrolled in a photography independent study this semester, and she plans to stop in and use the new Macs as much as possible.

The project is funded by a unique partnership of donors, with a donor who stepped forward to give an initial gift and received a company match, and then reached out to include several other alumni who are passionate about the project. The group desired to provide students the opportunity to practice on the tools they will be using in the industry.



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