Contemporary Practices Overview

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's (SAIC) Department of Contemporary Practices combines skill-based instruction with studio-based methods of conceptual exploration and artistic research. All of the courses in Contemporary Practices combine meaning with making. Students are asked to problem-solve through engagement with materials and research methods. The curriculum is designed to:

  • Immerse students in an environment in which studio practice is integrated with the history, theory, and criticism of art, architecture, and design
  • Promote and enact diverse definitions of artists and designers such as maker, critic, writer, intellectual, educator, collaborator, and engaged citizen
  • Integrate the development of each student’s individual voice with an awareness of the context in which that voice is expressed and heard

Coursework in this department is required for all of SAIC’s newest undergraduate students, and is taught by faculty who are practicing artists and designers internationally recognized in their fields.

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