EAGER (Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research) is a seed grant program for students working in research groups with faculty mentors. The grants support research in emerging art and design topics, and work to strengthen collaboration at SAIC. Student groups apply each spring semester to fund research for the following two semesters.

2016 Recipients

Phantom Limb El Coyote Cojo: Adela Goldbard and Emilio Rojas

Phantom Limb El Coyote Cojo

Adela Goldbard (MFA 2018)
Emilio Rojas (MFA 2017)

Phantom Limb is an artistic research-based project using the neurological notion of the phantom limb—a persistent image or memory of part of the body, usually a limb, for months or years after its loss. This acts a metaphor of the territory lost by Mexico during the Texas Revolution and the Mexican-American War. Phantom Limb will reflect on the glorification of nationalistic military narratives, US interventionism, and Chicano cultural reconquista and its consequences in the current binational contexts.

Art(x)ivers: Christian Ortiz, Cassandra Davis, and Nuria Montiel


Cassandra Davis (MFA 2017)
Nuria Montiel (MFA 2017)
Christian Ortiz (MFA 2017)

The research of Art(x)ivers questions fiber traditions in Oaxaca, Mexico, and investigates ethical modes of cultural exchange by examining the tradition of textile artist Anni Albers. The Art(x)ivers are building relationships between the Museo Textil in Oaxaca and the Textile Resource Center (TRC) at SAIC. Along with participating in a winter fiber residency in Teotitlán del Valle, they will generate an archive of video interviews with local fiber artists within Oaxaca to share with other artists and researchers. A copy of the archive will donated to the TRC and another to the Museo Textil for individuals to benefit from the research.

Fabricating Data: Dylan Fish and Jenna Boyles

Fabricating Data

Jenna Boyles (MFA 2018)
Dylan Fish (MFA 2017)

Through the context of cloth, Jenna Boyles and Dylan Fish question data collection, control, and consumption. How does data affect the way we interact with the world and how can it be deceiving? The initial phase of Fabricating Data involves workshops and hands-on research, including the expansion of the Textile Resource Center’s e-textiles collection. The second phase prototypes fabrics capable of either generating or representing data through the use of soft circuits and jacquard weaving. The prototypes will be used as part of phase three, an application to work toward scaled-up projects in the Netherlands through the TexteilLab.

Fertile Design: Erin Delaney, Jessica Gorse, and Soniya Khasgiwale

Fertile Design

Erin Delaney (BFA 2019)
Jessica Gorse (BFA 2018)
Soniya Khasgiwale (MDes 2017)

Fertile Design is a collection of objects designed to hold space through decay, and in their completion, reactivate, repurpose, and revitalize the space in which they were abandoned. Group research will explore sustainable design by developing a biodegradable polymer to act as compost. Partnering with agricultural and food industries in the Chicagoland area, Fertile Design will source waste runoffs to create a material that is load bearing and sanitary. This new material will be used to create biodegradable furniture embedded with the seeds of plants native to the Illinois prairie and used to host public dinners in participating arts spaces.