A new dawn for the Arts

22 January 2020

2020 heralds in a new phase in the life of the Tshwane University of Technology’s former Faculty of the Arts with a new name, signature and Programme Qualification Mix (PQM) that is locally relevant and internationally competitive. 

The six new signature colours of the Faculty of Arts & Design represent the Faculty and its five new departments. Red has been chosen as the colour to represent the Faculty, with the five departmental colours being blue (Fine & Studio Arts), yellow (Interior Design), orange (Design Studies), teal (Visual Communication) and purple (Performing Arts).

From this year, the Faculty will be known as the Faculty of Arts & Design and will boast five new departments, namely Fine & Studio Arts, Interior Design, Design Studies, Visual Communication, and Performing Arts.

According to Prof Nalini Moodley-Diar, Executive Dean of the Faculty, who has led the Faculty’s transformation since she took office, the name change is informed by the Higher Education Qualification Sub-Framework (HEQSF) alignment process. “During this process, it became apparent that the current status quo of the Faculty is not aligned with the new curriculum. We thus undertook to look at strategies to repackage and rebrand the Faculty to reflect the new programme offerings,” Prof Moodley-Diar adds. She further commended staff for their exhaustive endevours to ensure that Arts students have the best possible PQM advantage in Africa.

All programmes have career-focused progression possibilities – from Diplomas at entry level to Advanced Diplomas, Postgraduate Diplomas, Master’s and Doctoral degrees. The Diploma programmes are focused on laying solid foundations for students to competently enter the world of work. The Advanced Diplomas are focused on giving students a deeper understanding of a specific area of specialisation in their chosen discipline, while the Postgraduate Diplomas are geared to prepare students for both a world of professionalism and academia towards Master’s and Doctoral level studies.

Prof Moodley-Diar says that inclusive consultation with students, industry and academics has made the decolonisation and Africanisation of education in the creative industries the central aim of the new programmes. She highlights that “Indigenous knowledge systems are now embedded in every programme. This purposeful focus on African Art, Design, Dance, Film, Music, Photography, Theatre and Performance locates programmes within Africa, while keeping abreast with international trends and global influences.” 

The Motion Picture Production programmes specialise in the Film disciplines, from Directing and Scriptwriting, to Cinematography and Producing. Jewellery Design & Manufacture and Fine & Studio Arts programmes merge from the Postgraduate Diploma level and have specialisation electives, while the Departments of Fashion Design & Technology and Visual Communication collaborate on Postgraduate Diploma level. All of these Arts and Design courses converge into the much-anticipated Master of Art and Design and Doctor of Art and Design.

There is excitement on the horizon for the three departments that currently offer programmes in Theatre and Performing Arts. The current programmes blend into an interartistic Performing Arts programme that offers elective specialisation in the discipline streams of Theatre Arts and Design, Dance, and Music. This manner of presenting such a combined programme mix has been internationally benchmarked and is best practice in performing arts education.

TUT’s interartistic mix remains unique and current to the needs of the performing arts industry, both nationally and internationally. This interartistic mix supports a multimodal learning environment to provide varied, life-long learning that focuses on African performance practice and reinforces its relevant training.

The multi-disciplinary vocational opportunities for students graduating from the programmes involve performance, as well as stage and studio technology. Students will be exposed to workplace practice with compulsory public productions and theatre-making. Elective specialisations within the discipline streams include Dance, Acting, Musical Theatre, Applied Theatre, Directing, Physical Theatre, Voice and Media, Opera, Jazz, Choral Studies and Conducting, as well as in the technical theatre and design aspects of Costumes, Stage Make-up, Lighting, Sound, Properties, Scenic Art, Design, and Management. All these elective areas remain relevant by being grounded within the interdisciplinary core modules, embracing African Performance Studies, Creative Industries, Analysis and Criticism, Stage and Studio Technology, and Multi-disciplinary Performance Practice.

The Department of Design Studies comprises Fashion Design & Technology and Jewellery Design & Manufacture. The Fashion Design & Technology programmes include History of African Fashion and a module on Intercultural Fashion Trends. The latter aims to provide a theoretically supported basis in intercultural design to apply throughout all aspects of the design process and fashion context. The Jewellery Design & Manufacture programme’s focus on the CAD/CAM technology increased because of its use in the jewellery design industry. The new focus on technology and a new module in entrepreneurship increase employment prospects for students completing this programme.

The Fine & Applied Arts programmes offer an extended choice of electives, including Ceramics, Fibre Arts, Glass, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Surface Design. Senior students have a choice of any two electives, fostering movement across disciplines, not available at other visual arts departments in South Africa.

The current Graphic Design and Multimedia programmes are merged into a “future-proofed” programme to integrate traditional print design with interaction and motion design. This transdisciplinary programme in Integrated Communication Design prepares students for the fast-paced changes brought about by the fourth industrial revolution. This programme is unique to TUT and is anticipated to set new standards for design education across the globe.The Interior Design programme will offer exciting new areas of specialisation that include Healthcare Design, ‘Green’ Design and Interactive Technologies used in interiors. 

The Photography programme is re-focused on the specialisation of Commercial Photography. TUT will be the only institution with photography programmes that focus solely on the commercial field. The programme keeps abreast of the myriad aspects within photography and aims to cultivate a holistic student, equipped with sound photography skills, entrepreneurial knowledge, industry experience and a grasp of photography in Africa and abroad. The newly renovated photography facilities boast some of the best-equipped training venues in South Africa.

The six new signature colours represent the Faculty and its five new departments. “In a global community colour is perhaps one of the key elements that is most unifiable when bridging diversity in multicultural spaces,” says Prof Moodley-Diar. 

Red has been chosen as the colour to represent the Faculty, with the five departmental colours being blue (Fine & Studio Arts), yellow (Interior Design), orange (Design Studies), teal (Visual Communication) and purple (Performing Arts).

This new signature portrays the colours in a cube-like design created by the Department of Visual Communication.

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Willa de Ruyter, Corporate Affairs and Marketing.
Tel: +27 12 382 5352   Email: deruyterw@tut.ac.za