Fundamentals of Design Through Art

Family Consumer Science- Secondary level


Lesson Overview:

Students will be exposed to the following general elements and principles of design: line, color, texture, balance, emphasis, and rhythm.

To further enhance student learning, the Museum of Nebraska Art will introduce artwork to further illustrate the concepts and increase student knowledge about art and how art affects life as related to interior design.

Lesson Objectives:

Students will expand their knowledge of design by analyzing art and how artists use the principles and elements of design to impact a viewer’s experience. Through the illustration of art, students will evaluate the possible psychological impacts of the art in its relationship to interior design.

Exposing students to MONA and its offerings is another way to help students understand, and use, interpretive action.

MONA personnel are introduced as another career option for students who are interested in the arts.

Instructional Procedures/Sequence:

  1. Introduce students to elements and principles of design through reading, notes and examples.
  2. Students will complete a short project for each element and principle studied;
Line –
Create a line drawing illustrating vertical, horizontal, diagonal, and curved lines.
Color –
Create a color wheel using only the primary colors mixing to include the tertiary colors.
Create a set of rooms illustrating understanding of monochromatic, complementary, triadic, neutral, accented neutral and analogous color schemes.
Texture –
Create an illustration of smooth texture versus rough texture to illustrate your understanding of textures.
Balance –
Create an illustration, using only shape, to illustrate the understanding of formal and informal balance.
Emphasis –
Create an illustration creating a point of interest (emphasis) using a variety of objects, cut from magazines.
Rhythm –
Create an illustration of rhythm including repetition, gradation, radiation, opposition, and transition to illustrate the understanding of the different kinds of rhythm.



primary colors
secondary colors
tertiary colors

color scheme
accented neutral



Materials Needed:

Check sheet for students to mark during presentation as they see elements presented.

Reaction paper rubric to evaluate students understanding of MONA lesson as it relates to the elements presented.

Standards Addressed:

  • 1 Analyze career paths within the housing, interiors, and furnishing industry.
  • 2 Evaluate housing design concepts in relation to available resources and options.
    • 2.1 Apply the principles and elements of design.
    • 2.2 Analyze the psychological impact that the principles and elements of design have on the individual.
    • 2.3 Analyze the effects the principles and elements of design have on aesthetics and function.


Students with special needs should be evaluated by their teachers as to the accommodations that will work best for them.

The number of elements on the check sheet can be lessened.

Written work may be given verbally, more time given for completion, or shortened for the appropriateness of the student’s abilities.

Methods of Assessment:

Each project will be graded using a rubric designed for the project.

Students will fill out a check sheet recognizing the elements and principles of design as art is presented.

Students will write a reaction paper outlining their thoughts on the lesson as it relates to their understanding of design and how art can become part of a rooms design or even dictate the design of a room.

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