Interdisciplinary Practices & Emerging Forms - University of Houston
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John Reed
Program Coordinator

Office: Fine Arts, 326

IPEF is a cross-disciplinary program focused on contemporary social practice and critical issues. We emphasize collaborative social engagement through individual & group research, fieldwork, and experiential site-based learning. In our program students explore art and social practice, site-specificity, ecology, public space, urban & land activism, and other sites of cultural inquiry. The 60 credit, three-year program focuses on progressive curriculum with core faculty, visiting artists/scholars, and community partners. IPEF students engage with the neighboring community of Houston’s historic Third Ward, the City of Houston and Gulf Coast region, greater Texas, and the world at large in an interdisciplinary and immersive context.

MFA in Interdisciplinary Practices and Emerging Forms

The MFA program in Interdisciplinary Practices and Emerging Forms (IPEF) is an Open Laboratory created for creative research, promoting experimentation in the widest range of cultural production. Recognizing that the influence of ubiquitous information, geopolitics, and technology has profoundly changed the ways in which we understand and engage the world, contemporary practice has expanded to respond to those influences with new languages, tools, and hybrid forms. Our graduates work collaboratively and individually in an intensive, critical environment. Students are encouraged to explore and combine systems of knowledge, to challenge conventions of production and presentation, to identify new fields of investigation as well as new media, and to embrace experimentation as an operating premise.  
Studio classes include focused workshops in community intervention, art/eco activism, place-making, soundart, and site-practice, among other topics. Seminars support the refinement of critical and contextual awareness – essential tools in the development of both art and artist.  
Admission to IPEF is based primarily on portfolio and statement of purpose. We encourage not only candidates holding degrees in new media or emerging fields, but also candidates from diverse backgrounds and disciplines who are motivated, enthusiastic, experimenters involved in original research. 

Student Work



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Image Credit, Top: Robert Legans-Johnson; Bottom: Sydney Parks.