Wayne State University

Core Studio


  • Lauren Kalman (MFA) Assistant Professor, Core Studio Area Coordinator
  • Eric Troffkin (MFA) Associate Professor, Sculpture
  • Katie MacDonald (MFA) Lecturer
  • Jennifer Belair (MFA) Lecturer

Recent Part-Time Faculty

  • Troy Hoffman, Cooper Holoweski, Anthony Marcellini, Michael Neville, Kathyrose Pizzo

Program description

Core Studio is a dynamic introduction to contemporary studio art and design practices. Core Studio provides a base of knowledge that students will use in all disciplines of art and design; such as the use and discussion of formal elements and principles of design, composition skills, research and ideation methods, material handling, craftsmanship, and visual language.

Core Studio is comprised of Surface, Space, and Time Studio courses. Surface Studio focuses on 2-dimensional concepts and composition through analog and digital projects. Space Studio focuses on 3-dimensional space including concepts and techniques like installation, wearable objects, digital fabrication, and wood shop techniques. Time Studio covers time-based media like sound, video, performance, and serial design. In all the courses students engage in concepts and techniques through rigorous hands-on projects and exercises.

What will I study?

Surface Studio

Core studio for visual communication in a spectrum of two-dimensional media and color theory. Explorations include elements and principles of design, basic digital technique, basic traditional material handling, creative thinking, critical discussion and problem solving

Space Studio

Core studio for visual communication in a spectrum of three-dimensional media and composition in the built environment. Explorations include elements and principles of design, basic digital techniques, material handling, shop experience, and creative problem solving

Time Studio

Core studio for visual communication in time-based media composition including elements and principles of design, basic time-based methods for audio/video production, performance, social practice, creative thinking, and critical discussion and problem solving.

What makes this program unique?


Core classes cover both analog and digital approaches. Analog techniques are taught in brightly lit studios and digital techniques are taught in well-equipped computer labs.

Classroom equipment

  • Projectors
  • Light tables
  • Matt cutter
  • Paper cutters
  • Hand printing equipment
  • Hand tools
  • 10 Husqvarna Viking Emerald 118 sewing machines
  • Canon 5D SLR camera
  • Canon 7D SLR camera
  • Lighting equipment
  • Photographic equipment

Classroom mini lab

  • iMac computers
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • 2 Epson inkjet printers
  • Laser printer
  • Large format scanner
  • Vinyl cutter
  • 15 Canon SX160 available for checkout

Computer labs Shared with Digital Arts and Industrial Design

  • iMac computers
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • 15 Scanners
  • 3D printers
  • Canon EOS C100 Mark II Cinema
  • 30 Zoom H2n Audio Recorders available for checkout
  • 30 Canon VIXIA HF R700 Full HD Camcorders available for checkout

Art Department Woodshop

  • 18x18in Vac Former
  • 2 14in Bandsaws
  • 18in Bandsaw
  • Sm Drill Press
  • Lg Drill Press
  • 24in Vertical Belt sander
  • Spindle Sander
  •  16in Double Disk Sander
  • 12in Chop Saw
  • Vertical Panel Saw
  • 10in  SawStop Table Saw
  • Mini wood lathe
  • Lg Wood Lathe
  •  20in Planer
  • 8in Joiner
  •  5 Jig saws

Digital Fabrication Lab in Woodshop

  • 24x48in CNC
  • Z-Corp 3D Printer
  • 24x18in Laser Cutter

Student Work