3D4M / About

3D4M (3-Dimensional Forum) is a consortium that includes tracks in the study of Ceramics, Glass, and Sculpture. The mission of this group is to explore interdisciplinary exchanges that revolve around material study, concept, and critical dialog in a studio-based environment.

This new consortium offers a BFA geared to students who want to pursue a career in the arts. Students entering this program will choose to concentrate their studies in one on these three tracks while working alongside and in conjunction with students working in the other two. The senior year of this BFA is dedicated to independent and guided studio research culminating in a group exhibition in the Jacob Lawrence Gallery and a one or two person exhibition in the 3D4M galleries.

Classes are taught in the School of Art, and at the 3D4M Studio, located at the Ceramics and Metal Arts Building, where there are extensive facilities for ceramics, glass, wood and metal fabrication. The CMA also houses a foundry, digital imaging center and two galleries. As a complement to the basic course offerings, a number of extra-curricular opportunities are supported that greatly enhance the student experience including a 12-month schedule of student and visiting artist exhibitions and lectures.


Ceramics offers a distinct curriculum with an energetic extra-curricular program to best prepare students for a future in the arts. A large and flexible studio has been developed to encourage all aspects of ceramics. Undergraduate and graduate students work side by side with a strong sense of community and are encouraged to push the boundaries of the medium as befits the nature of a research university. The program benefits from a long history of innovative excellence and was recognized in 2005 with the UW Brotman Award for instructional excellence along with Distinguished Staff and Faculty Awards, and the graduate program has been consistently ranked in the top five nationally according to U.S. News and World Report.


Glass at the UW seeks to introduce students to a multidisciplinary, mixed media exploration of glass in its application to contemporary art. Development of technical expertise in support of personal vision informed by a critical sensibility will enable students to effectively explore the versatility and relevance of this material to their own artistic goals. Acknowledge tradition, venture beyond.


Sculpture enables students to develop a strong technical, visual, conceptual and aesthetic background. A wide range of professional studio practices are introduced as well as conceptual art issues dealing with non-traditional formats, idea oriented works and performance art. Within the context of contemporary issues, Sculpture cultivates the student’s visual and verbal articulation of their own work and ideas as well as the work of others.

Learning Goals

—Develop written, intellectual, and creative strength and plan for future careers within the specific academic context of the visual arts while benefiting from broad study across diverse learning communities at the University of Washington.

—Build technical proficiency, skill, and contextual knowledge of traditional and non-traditional areas of artistic practice, art history, visual culture, and criticism.

—Engage in and explore the diverse and influential issues raised via the study of visual literacy and the practice of the creative process.

—Understand and practice an experimental approach to problem solving.

—Build a strong awareness and knowledge of the power and transcendence of visual images and their ability to communicate ideas, excellence and understanding across gender and age boundaries, culture and language barriers.

—Learn to research, question, organize and synthesize information about existing ideas and practices, develop new ideas and areas of inquiry, write about and articulate issues to peers, faculty and the community at large.

—Combine critical thinking and problem solving with the development of ideas and conceptual skill.

—Understand working methods and develop the ability to translate a conceptual idea into a creative solution.

—Develop a close familiarity with the notion of ‘research’ and the blending of theoretical and material practice.

—Apply a self critical, articulate, and individual approach to finding aesthetic solutions to visual issues and challenges.

Assessment And Outcomes

Working closely with the 3D4M faculty, the BFA majors complete a senior year series of four 400 level capstone courses including a source presentation and portfolio development (images, resume, artist statement) and culminating in a public group exhibition of graduating student work in the Jacob Lawrence Gallery and a solo exhibition in one of the 3D4M galleries.

Alumni should be in a good position to further their artistic careers by establishing their own studios, and applying for residencies, grants and graduate school.

“I love the flexibility of the 3D4M program. I'm getting a foundation in clay, but the faculty really support the exploration of different materials.”

Anna, 3D4M BFA

“The CMA technicians are an amazing resource – I used to think of them as detectives. You can walk up to them with an idea and a sketch, and they will suggest what materials to use. They are materials librarians.”

Nate, 3D4M BFA