students interacting with art installation

New Media Art and Design

Navigate art and design as a way to effect change

two students looking at art

With the new media art and design (NMAD) major, students can become active participants in burgeoning new fields related to art and design. This degree helps build foundational tools to see design as a holistic and humanistic process and is a pathway to think openly and critically about the world that surrounds us.

A major built for the future

New media art and design students will be equipped for the important challenges ahead in our rapidly changing world. While society, cultures, and communities become increasingly technological, there is a rising need for designers equipped with the skills and tech understanding to shape our future.

With this major, students can make meaningful contributions through:

  • Graphic and web design
  • Time-based media
  • Virtual reality
  • 3-D modeling
  • Fabrication
  • Interactivity
  • Installation art
students looking at a book

Applied art

Our majors excel in professional fields that need design-centered solutions and critical skills. Students who have taken courses in these tracks have worked in editing houses, interactive design firms, museum display professions, graphic design firms, web design, engineering, architecture, and product design.

students in durand art institute

Humanistic design

The NMAD tracks for Art and Art History are connected pedagogically to humanistic design or human-centered design. A humanistic designer critically thinks of their role in the world and considers the social, ethical, economic, environmental, political, and cultural implications of their work. 

students walking in library

Social consciousness

Our courses invite students to learn about art and design concepts through meaningful, ethical, and sustainable practices. With the College's interdisciplinary edge, students are encouraged to think creatively and engage their work with the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences to unlock possibilities and gain new insights.

emily wachter portrait
I believe that art has the power to inspire change and bring people together. I have learned how to maximize my creativity not only for my art, but also for problem solving, which will help carry me through my future career. My goal is to make a positive impact through my art and to use my platform to raise awareness about important social and environmental issues.
Emily Wachter '23

What do new media art and design majors do?

We offer a foundation of core courses that cover the essentials for anyone interested in new media. Students will start with the elements and histories of design along with industry-standard illustration and image processing tools. As students advance in the program, they can expect to create 3-D digital models as well as interactive and electronic arts.

Depending on the track choice, we offer an in-depth set of courses that cover advanced video techniques, sound design, virtual reality and immersive space design, or digital publishing, advanced 3-D design, and prototyping and fabrication.

Exciting new tracks for new media art and design

color swatches art and design

2-D design

The 2-D design track is for students interested in two-dimensional art and design forms such as graphics and web design. This option prepares students for visual production in a wide gamut of career pathways.

an art installation featuring plastic waste and digital images

3-D design and fabrication

The 3-D design and fabrication track is for students who want to participate in three-dimensional ideation, design, product development, and prototype fabrication. The option is great for any student interested in future careers or further studies in materials fabrication, architecture, engineering, interactivity, and immersive experiences in both physical and virtual spaces.

student using a vr system

4-D time-based media

The 4-D time-based media track is for students interested in pursuing professional fields or graduate studies in time-based media. The field includes sound design, video and post production, effects, coloring, and interactive electronic art and design.

The liberal arts advantage in new media art and design

At Lake Forest College, we see design as a way to take on pressing issues in the world and effect tangible change. We use our strong humanities background to create art and design that is designed by humans for humans. We understand that creativity is the foundation for innovation. We give our students tools and skills they can bring to their lives beyond graduation to push normative boundaries, encourage critical thought, and express their place in the wide world around them.

We also value material consciousness in our approach, and that's why we include both digital and hand-created art in our program.

This is the future of new media art and design.

student presenting her research

Careers in new media art and design

A wealth of career options is available to our NMAD graduates. This program sets students up to succeed in a variety of fields:

  • Graphic design
  • UI/UX design
  • Architecture school graduate programs
  • App and web design
  • Product design
  • Virtual reality and augmented reality
  • Fabrication and production

Facilities and technology for NMAD students

  • CNC router mill and CNC laser cutter engraver
  • 3D printing hardware
  • Professional and intermediate video and photo gear, including 360 cameras, lighting, and audio
  • VR development equipment and hardware
  • Computer lab 18 stations
  • Exhibition and installation spaces
  • Audio lab
  • 3D lab and workshop
Nick Zazove portrait with mask
The current landscape of the music industry requires artists to have a multifaceted skill set and the mental fortitude to balance business acumen with artistic ingenuity. At Lake Forest, I learned listen to other peoples’ ideas and collaborate with the confidence in myself to professionally analyze situations and solve problems I encounter.
Nick Zazove '20, Musician and Audio Engineer


Related programs

Contact us

Tracy Taylor

Associate Professor of Art
Chair of Art and Art History
Durand Art Institute 205

Karla Finley

Department Assistant
Durand Art Institue 207