Spring 2020 - CA 285 D100

Interdisciplinary Studio - Composition/Collaboration (3)

Class Number: 8612

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    GCA 4210, GOLDCORP

  • Prerequisites:

    One of CA (or FPA) 122, 130, 145, 150, 160, 170.



An introduction to the techniques of artistic composition as experienced in a collaborative interdisciplinary studio environment. The emphasis is on the creation, analysis and critique of new compositions created in collaborative groups by students in dance, music, theatre, film/video and visual art. Students with credit for FPA 285 may not take this course for further credit.


Course description

CA 285-3 is a studio course in artistic composition as experienced in a collaborative, interdisciplinary studio environment. Students will be introduced to the basics of composition through guided, structured explorations and acquire the skills required to work collaboratively in small groups to create a series of compositions. Compositional assignments will integrate movement, music, visual art, film, theatre and video among other forms.
Very important-you must be prepared to move in every class, preferably in bare feet, and participate actively in all aspects of the studio work. Discussions and critical analysis of the creative assignments will be an important component of the course, and studio work will be supplemented with video showings and selected readings. Short written assignments will be required (800-900 word paper).

Course content

Studio work: a variety of creative explorations aimed at developing both compositions skills and collaboration skills with students from different artistic disciplines.

Readings to support the experiential learning.

Lectures and video showings.

Opportunities to observe and analyze each other’s work.

Discussions in small and larger groups.


Acquire basic compositional skills in a collaborative context that can be applied to any artistic/performance discipline.
Demonstrate the ability to collaborate with peers in any artistic/performance discipline.
Create and present short works that demonstrate compositional skills and artistry.
Observe and critique the work of others in a positive and supportive way.


  • Active participation (not just attending class) in all aspects of the class work 20%
  • Three composition/collaboration assignments including written reflections for each work (comp #1 - 15%, comp #2 - 25%, comp #3 - 10%) 50%
  • Written analysis of another group’s work @ 10% per assignment 30%


Collaborative Assignments: Creative /written
There will be 3 composition assignments spread out over the duration of the semester. Each student will be assigned to a group composed of students from different disciplines with the task of creating a short composition. ***Please note that while there will be time given during class for preliminary work you are expected to schedule studio time outside of class time to work on the assignments.
Each group will have the opportunity to present an informal showing of the work in process to the instructor and Teaching Assistants for critical feedback.

Written assignments:
Following each composition assignment, you will submit two short essays:
1) A paper that includes an overview of your group’s collaborative and creative process, personal reflection about your contribution, and peer assessment of the individual members of your group. (2 pages)
2) A critical analysis of another group’s work. (2-3 pages)


Attendance is mandatory:
Since this is a studio course, you are expected to attend every class, be on time and participate actively in all aspects of course work including the practical work and discussions. The course work is cumulative by design and missed classes can’t be made up. Absences and tardiness will impede your progress and affect your final grade.

Please bring a notebook to every class.



A variety of readings and short videos will be available on Canvas. Each student is expected to complete the readings as assigned and be prepared to participate in-group discussions

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html