Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects: Graduate Overview
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (AIADO) offers six graduate-level degrees: Master of Architecture (MArch), MArch with an Emphasis in Interior Architecture, Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Interior Architecture, Master of Design (MDes) in Designed Objects, MFA in Designed Objects, and MFA in Design for Emerging Technologies. At the culmination of their studies, graduate students in AIADO participate in the annual SAIC Graduate Thesis Exhibition or AIADO Thesis Exhibition.
Master of Architecture
The MArch program begins with a foundation of required skills and grounding in the histories and theories specific to architecture. Its thematic cluster of courses is integrated around a common intellectual theme, while each component class approaches the theme from a particular vantage point that reinforces the development of comprehensive understanding.
Collaborative studios in the second year offer a chance to develop the interdisciplinary approach demanded by many of today's problems. The third year culminates in work with artists in the wider SAIC community, with teams of artists and designers placing work in the public realm.
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MArch with an Emphasis in Interior Architecture
SAIC's MArch with an Emphasis in Interior Architecture experiments with definitions of space and social ideas through digital explorations, drawn and modeled work, and work built at a range of scales. Students become experts at integrating relationships between the body, objects, events, and environments—reconceptualizing the entire habitable realm to sustain the art of living.
The SAIC Interior Architecture program is unique in positioning the designer with the artist, allowing for development of disciplinary strengths while demanding interdisciplinary research, thinking and practice, and material explorations. The AIADO department offers graduate tutorials, studios, seminars, and labs that address current cultural issues. Artists, designers, and architects share in critical seminars and work together. Art, architecture, and design history courses complement studio work, and students may elect fine art and design courses from across other departments at SAIC as well.
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Master of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture
Master of Design in Designed Objects
The MDes in Designed Objects is a two-year, carefully sequenced, course-based curriculum for students who require immersion in the critical and technical skills specific to the practice of object design. Providing a creative and intellectual context in which the nature and potentiality of designed things can be closely examined, the MDes in Designed Objects is focused on the critical and experimental rethinking of the given norms of objects and products. The program encourages deep exploration into the relationship between objects, ideas, users, and contexts. Students are free to pursue commercial, responsible, critical, speculative, or experimental projects, products, and systems.
The AIADO department's distinguished faculty traverse the field with broad experience in the designing, making, and critically analyzing of designed objects. MDes students also draw on the knowledge and skills of faculty working in adjacent and complementary fields such as Architecture, Interior Architecture, Design for Emerging Technologies, Visual Communication Design, and Art and Technology Studies.
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Master of Fine Arts in Designed Objects
The two-year MFA in Designed Objects is for students with previous experience in 3D design such as product, furniture, packaging, or exhibit design. The program’s tutorial structure allows students to work with advisors one-on-one and pursue independent projects negotiating commercial, responsible, discursive, and experimental approaches to the design of projects, products, and systems.
Master of Fine Arts in Design for Emerging Technologies
The MFA in Design for Emerging Technologies addresses how the rapid pace of technological change has transformed the conceptual boundaries between design disciplines. AIADO faculty, in long-standing collaboration with faculty in SAIC's Art and Technology Studies department, provide instruction in new design areas such as human-computer interface design, physical interaction design, information architecture, physical computing, software-based optimization and analysis, and design for embedded control and robotic activation.
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Interested in learning more?
Continue to explore the AIADO website to learn more about our curricular offerings, faculty, students, alumni, and more or visit the Master of Architecture, Master of Architecture with an Emphasis in Interior Architecture, Master of Design in Designed Objects, or Master of Fine Arts degree program pages for detailed information or schedule a tour.