Strategic Areas of Focus

Design, Arts, and Performance

Creativity and ingenuity are at the very heart of advancing communication, industries, environments, performance and systems designs, and critical for all aspects of industry and community. Encompassing cross-cutting research with the arts, humanities and social sciences, the Design, Arts, and Performance initiative is intended to be integrative: Where overlap exists, this initiative is complementary, catalyzing, or both.

In addition to the Bio by Design initiative, the Design, Arts and Performance initiative encompasses concepts such as universal design involving that of buildings, products or environments to make them accessible to all or others, such as design for manufacturing, which is a general engineering practice to develop products so that that they are more efficiently and easily manufacturable. Arts and performance cover the visual arts, music, dance and theatre, mass communication involving new media or social media, and sports performance and management. Each of these design areas is separable, but they are collectively supported by an education steeped in creative exploration and experimentation. The interdisciplinary nature of art and design addresses issues of equity and representation through evolving fields of user experience, information technology, multimedia exploration and the interactive experience,
which help to convey a broad range of stories. This particular initiative makes clear the vital role of the arts supporting several of the other initiatives including, but not limited to, social justice, environment and the creation of livable/sustainable communities.

Given the prominence of the Tampa Bay region’s economic activity, affinity for sports, destination for entertainment, its numerous museums, and other cultural institutions infused with arts and innovation, this initiative draws upon existing strengths that are unique to USF’s communities in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota-Manatee. Through contributions to the revitalized arts and culture scene throughout the Tampa Bay area, specifically through Graphicstudio/Institute for Research in Art and the School of Music’s multiple ensembles as
well as other programs in the College of The Arts, USF can build upon many assets. The Florida Center for Community Design and Research—an integral part of USF’s School of Architecture and Community Design—is a statewide research center working with over 100 communities in Florida. Further, the Center for Analytics and Creativity, the Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and the Center for Urban Transportation Research demonstrate how design, art and performance channel curiosity and enable boundary-breaking collaborations. Moreover, USF’s
campuses in St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee have centered their thriving and expanding arts communities as anchors in engagement and enhancement initiatives as ways of embedding USF into their respective design districts.