Through the Computation, Technology, and Culture concentration, students gain an understanding of the ideas and techniques of writing in programming languages, while engaging with critical analysis, history, and theory concerning software systems, computational platforms, and associated technologies shaping society. Students hone their ability to write source code, author software, and program machines for making works of art and design. While coding is certainly a core part of the concentration, it is important to recognize that the program’s engagement with code is not only technical, functional, or mathematical. In the CTC concentration, code is also approached as a body of text with significant aesthetic, philosophical, political, and social dimensions. Further, coding is ultimately located within the broader areas of study comprising the concentration’s title: computation, technology, and culture.
Artists and designers actively shape the use and potential for computation within our society by expressing, communicating, and implementing their ideas by writing in programming languages. Programming languages are mediums. Computation is ubiquitous in everyday life and contemporary culture. It is pervasive in present-day technology and underpins future advances. Computation spans the digital paradigm: the authorship of software, networking, human-machine interaction, solid-state electronics, and technological convergence.
Administered by the Division of Experimental and Foundation Studies, CTC has an inter-divisional structure that bridges Divisions and Departments. CTC provides students with focused investigations to augment the existing and ever-evolving digital methods inherent to their own major. CTC includes the arts, design, humanities, computer science, and social sciences in order to create new interdisciplinary potential at RISD.