The Department of Art and Technology Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers the following equipment and facilities:

Bio Art Lab facilitates artistic research utilizing the tools and techniques of molecular biology including DNA extraction and amplification, PCR, culturing of bacteria, protein expression, and synthetic biology.

Kinetics Lab is fully equipped with a fabrication and machining facility, power supplies, extensive hand tools, and hundreds of electronic and mechanical components.

Electronics Lab contains all of the tools and electronic parts to quickly develop new hardware. We support a range of microcontrollers from Atmel (e.g., Arduino) to modern ARM processors (e.g., Raspberry Pi).

Surface-Mount Lab is outfitted with tools and equipment to produce circuit boards using surface-mount electronics. Students are able to design, mill, assemble, and prototype circuits in-house.

Digital Audio Lab features keyboards, samplers, analog and digital synthesizers, a surround-sound system, live recording capabilities, specialized audio software, as well as key support equipment.

I/O Lab runs a suite of 3D printers and desktop milling machines as well as a 3D scanner. The lab is adaptable and encourages experimentation within rapid-prototyping, part-making, and digital fabrication techniques.

Light Lab enables students to produce neon works, explore digital control of neon pieces, and experiment with additional light sources, such as LEDs.

The Black Box is a flexible studio/screening/project space with surround sound, light control, and video projection that is also equipped with a “C-Wall” or “Single Wall CAVE” using stereoscopic 3D video, motion tracking systems, head mount displays, and multichannel audio.

Flex Space is a communal space and multi-purpose facility that may host a wide range of activities, including exhibitions, lectures, performances, workshops, receptions—in addition to allowing the ATS community to come together in small groups and improvise according to need.

Retro Lab is a hybrid facility that can be used for teaching, art making and research. It features a growing collection of functional vintage computers, digital and analogue media, and electronic devices. One of the most prominent items is a newly acquired Paik/Abe Video Synthesizer (constructed from 1969-1971). The lab also features a 36-module Sandin Image Processor (designed between 1971-1974), a Commodore 64 and an Apple IIE.

Individual graduate studios create space for experimentation, conceptualization, and construction of individual and collaborative projects.


Resources Available to all SAIC Students Include:

Libraries and Special Collections

Unique access to important libraries and special collections including a world-class museum.

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Media Centers

The media centers provide audiovisual equipment and services to accommodate documentation, creation, instructional, and exhibition needs.

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Gallery Spaces

The SAIC campus showcases a diversity of student artwork across multiple exhibition venues. Students can propose to exhibit their work in a variety of formats and locations.

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Visiting Artist Program

Visiting Artists Program

Public lectures are presented by world-renowned visiting artists, designers, and scholars. Speakers meet with students through studio visits, roundtable discussions, seminars, and workshops.

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Metal Shops

Instructional Shops

From bedazzlers to sewing machines, from traditional wood/metalworking to CNC milling, the SAIC Instructional Shops are facilities that have the resources to help you realize your projects. The shops are equipped with a wide range of hand, power, and stationary tools.

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What the City of Chicago has to Offer:

World class museums and galleries

Since the late 19th century, when the museum collection of the Art Institute was established as a study center for the School of the Art Institute, students have used the museum's vast holdings to inspire and inform their creative and scholarly practices. No other school of art and design can claim such a major museum as part of their campus. 

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Unparalleled architecture

A living laboratory of the study of late 19th- and 20th-century architecture, landscapes, and interiors—the development of the Chicago school of commercial architecture, the flowering of the Prairie style house, the progression of the City Beautiful movement in urban planning.