Past Featured Courses

Contemporary Issues in Design: Smart Intersections: Connecting Communities Through Interventions

Students in "Reimagining Smart Interactions with Communities" will work through their practices to create interventions at street intersections around Chicago.

Read more about Smart Intersections here

External Partnerships: Sight Unseen Presents

This two-semester long course (Winter and Spring) engages select mid-and upper-level undergraduate and graduate students with the particular concerns and constraints of ‘real-world’ projects. Working with design influencer Sight Unseen, students will design and execute work to be exhibited in Sight Unseen Presents, an event that pairs designers with retailers, galleries, and restaurants throughout NYC as part of NY Design Week.

Read more about Sight Unseen Presents here

Go Fund Yourself!

Go Fund Yourself! is a two-semester multidisciplinary studio course that immerses you in business practices related to your creative future. Over the year-long course, you will develop your own ideas into crowdfunding campaigns in direct partnership with advisors from Kickstarter. You will earn your own money in this class! 

Read more about Go Fund Yourself! here

Pedways: Chicago Underground

Inviting students to explore the unique forms of study that occur below the surface, Pedways: Chicago Underground posits alternative narratives for the Pedway and the city through research, engagement, and art and design interventions on the space of the Pedway itself.

Read more about Pedways here

Designer Artist Citizen Site: Exploring Belonging

Designer Artist Citizen Site: Exploring Belonging will create an independent exhibition that responds to, expands, and challenges the U.S. Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, “Dimensions of Citizenship,” commissioned by SAIC and UChicago. 

Read more about Exploring Belonging here

Realizing Chambord

The Domaine National de Chambord, and the office of Dominique Perrault Architect who will curate the exhibit, is inviting twenty architecture schools, worldwide, to propose a speculative vision for the monument, utilizing the concept of Utopia, which was essential at the time of its development.  The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is responding to this invitation and proposes a 3 credit elective multidisiplinary summer studio.

Read more about Realizing Chambord here

Light and Space

Lighting is a powerful tool for creating space. As a material in architectural design, light is an ephemeral medium that can be both shaped and manipulated. Light can impart a spirit of place to both buildings and installations. This studio course prepares students to use light creatively through projects involving principles of light, natural and artificial lighting techniques, color and light, light sources, the lighting design process, and the control and measurement of light.

Read more about Light and Space here

Eco Design Riverworks: Cultural and Environmental Mapping

The class researches ecological urbanism, sustainable acoustic ecology, and public engagement with local water issues in riverwalk and soundscape settings. Readings and case studies in architecture, eco sensing, and data recording reinforce field trips.

Read more about Cultural and Environmental Mapping here

Design Storytelling

This studio introduces various techniques that will allow the articulation of ideas to be foregrounded. A comprehensive reading list of literature and film texts will be read and screened throughout the class alongside studio practice. Students will progress from research methods, 2D sketching and mapping, to exploring the use of physical models and time-based media; such as film and animation.

Read more about Design Storytelling here

Design Action: Homan Square

This multidisciplinary studio builds upon previous analysis of housing developments in North Lawndale, including some in historic districts, and newly proposed strategies for the production of affordable housing in underserved neighborhoods, to collaborate with community organizations, schools, and businesses on a supportive housing program.

Read more about Design Action: Homan Square here

Eco Design RiverWorks: Water is Essential for Life

Riverworks Chicago is an interactive transient sound mapping and community engagement series of classes that reimagines and visualizes the sustainable world above and beneath the surface of the Chicago River.

Read more about Water is Essential for Life here

North Lawndale: Housing, Otherwise

This course is for students in art and design interested in understanding the process in which affordable housing is delivered in the US and in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood, in particular. This course will analyze several housing developments in North Lawndale and propose new strategies for the production of affordable housing in under-served neighborhoods, taking advantage of local resources and collaboration with community organizations, schools, and businesses.

Read more about Housing, Otherwise here

Minifacture: Designer-driven Production and Distribution

Minifacture is a course designed for students who are interested in exploring the possibilities of a career as an independent designer who produces and distributes their own work. Recent developments including digital fabrication and online platforms have enabled independent designers to viably enter the marketplace with their own product offerings. 

Read more about Minifacture here

Post-Geographic City Workshop

This is an interdisciplinary studio about 'the future of the city,' in which we will use multimedia techniques to imagine new kinds of urban experience that arise from the collision of culture and emerging automation, computation and media technologies. 

Read more about Post-Geographic City Workshop here

Contemporary Issues in Design: Safety in Numbers

Working with community participants from the Homan Square / North Lawndale area of Chicago, the course developed tools of inquiry and instructional modules for exploring space and place. 

Read more about Safety in Numbers here

Contemporary Issues in Design: Future Documentary

Investigating and making media from alternative futures, this is a class about the worldbuilding required to imagine and immerse ourselves and others in possible universes.

Read more about Future Documentary here

Narrative Proximities: Art, Design, Politics of Maps

This studio explored mapping and diagramming as interdependent techniques. With an emphasis on representing spatial relationships as products of political, economic, or cultural constraints and interests, and vice-versa, the visual representation of locales and their associated narratives was taught as an act of intentional abstraction. 

Read more about Narrative Proximities here

Architecture/Interior Architecture Graduate Studio 2: Thick Skins

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Loop Post Office in Chicago provides an exemplary building for the study of skins in architecture. The building skin becomes a surface opened to investigations through the various strategies of material, perception, temporal and programmatic thickenings.

Read more about Architecture/Interior Architecture Graduate Studio 2 here

Interior Architecture Graduate Studio 4: Autonomous Intelligent Transportation System

Today, creating a readily multipliable form of brand identity ranks high on the list of the client’s goals and their desire for effective messaging. Contemporary issues of urban sprawl, environmental concerns, speed of communication and effectiveness of high-performance work ground the subject of the semester’s design studio.  

Read more about Interior Architecture Graduate Studio 4 here

Seems Real, On the Surface

Students enrolled in the seminar will work between digital and physical models and will be familiarized with various rendering softwares, 3D scanning technologies, and VR systems. We will use these tools to develop projects and interventions that address issues of surface, image, perception, and materiality and that highlight the seams of our constructed reality.

Read more about Seems Real, On the Surface here

Eco Design Riverworks: Taking the Waters

What do we know about water and what do we need to know about water? How is it relative to our practice as artists? How can we visualize water politics to engage the public? 

Read more about Taking the Waters here