Degree Classes

 

Classes and workshops at SAIC at Homan Square deliver core education in the visual arts, introduce contemporary artists, and help students build their technical skills in design and technology.

 

 

FALL 2021 COURSES

Ecology of Contested Spaces

SOCSCI3300

Charles Corwin
Tuesdays, 9 AM - 12 PM
Online 

 

In a moment of mass migration to cities, a global pandemic, social unrest and upheaval, and political turmoil worldwide, the acceleration of climate change attributed to human activity will only make living conditions worse for most of earth’s inhabitants. The dominant capitalist and neoliberal ideologies of the moment seem to offer some solutions but at the expense of too many.

Such turmoil is a call for fundamental shifts in how we think about and exist in this radically different landscape. From compost politics to considering the mushroom, we will traverse through various contested spaces with these alternative frameworks to explore what it means to be human and what it means to include the non-human.

The course is structured around class dialogues, critical readings, and community-based projects. The purpose of this class is to explore these new challenging modes of being, among other species and things, in a rapidly changing world. We will learn about existing political and economic structures, forms of governance, dominant ideologies, as well as responses from individuals, groups, and critters throughout the world.

SAIC Design @ Homan Square

AIADO 4101-001 (2094)
Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Eric Hotchkiss
Modfied-in-person

 

SAIC Design @ Homan Square combines professional practice design experience with community activism. Operating out of SAIC’s facility in the Nichols Tower at Homan Square, the course engages students in a focused dialogue on social project implementation in Chicago and provides the tools and frameworks to realize those projects. Functioning as a pro bono “design consultancy” where the residents, small businesses, and community groups of North Lawndale act as “clients,” each job is treated as a discrete project involving research, knowledge-sharing, and design action. The projects will cover a two-semester cycle with each semester being offered as an independent class. 

Design Action

HPRES 5115
Friday, 9AM- 4 PM
Lynette Stuhlmacher

 

This multidisciplinary studio builds upon previous analysis regarding housing developments in North Lawndale, including some in historic districts. Students will review newly proposed strategies for the production of affordable housing in underserved neighborhoods, and collaborate with community organizations, schools, and businesses to develop a supportive housing program. By working on the design and renovation of an existing building, the studio will aim to answer how designers can work with local agents, social activists, artists, artisans and contractors to enable youths, and help them take control of their own access to housing and family services.

 

Graphic design of text "North Lawndale"

AIADO 4101-001 (2094)

Eric Hotchkiss

Fall 2021

Spring 2021 

Fall 2020 

Spring 2019

SAIC Design @ Homan Square combines professional practice design experience with community activism. Operating out of SAIC’s facility in the Nichols Tower at Homan Square, the course engages students in a focused dialogue on social project implementation in Chicago and provides the tools and frameworks to realize those projects. Functioning as a pro bono “design consultancy” where the residents, small businesses, and community groups of North Lawndale act as “clients,” each job is treated as a discrete project involving research, knowledge-sharing, and design action. The projects cover a two-semester cycle with each semester being offered as an independent class. The projects will cover a two-semester cycle with each semester being offered as an independent class. The fall semester focuses on contextualizing the issues and problems and issues brought by the community. Students will perform a deep dive into the culture, politics, and geography of the community, revealing the larger structural issues that are often the rood cause of specific problems. The deliverable for the first semester class is a solid design brief that provides a research deck and a set of design directions. The course running in spring semester will emphasize the last three stages of the design thinking process: ideation, prototyping, and testing.

HPRES 5115

Odile Compagnon / Lynette Stuhlmacher

Fall 2021

Fall 2019

Fall 2018

This multidisciplinary studio builds upon previous analysis regarding housing developments in North Lawndale, including some in historic districts. Students will review newly proposed strategies for the production of affordable housing in underserved neighborhoods, and collaborate with community organizations, schools, and businesses to develop a supportive housing program. By working on the design and renovation of an existing building, the studio will aim to answer how designers can work with local agents, social activists, artists, artisans and contractors to enable youths, and help them take control of their own access to housing and family services.

People standing in the balcony of a room at Nichols Tower looking out the window. A man stands near the rail orating.

ARTTHER 4015

Spring 2021: Asha Iman Veal

Fall 2020: shawné michaelain holloway

Fall 2019: Asha Iman Veal & Haman Cross

Spring 2019: Leah Gipson and Eva Marxen

This course is an introduction to self-reflexivity and research in community settings. Students will learn how to question personal and institutional motivations for working in particular contexts, examining issues of power, multiculturalism, urban environments, mythmaking, and spatial imaginaries and realities. From a position of equity and creative citizenship, students will explore the shape and politics of cultural encounters among people, neighborhoods, and institutions. This class will be based at Homan Square, on the West Side of Chicago.

ARTTHER 4135
Thursdays, 1 to 4 p.m.
Leah Ra’Chel Gipson, Pascale Ife Williams
All online

This interdisciplinary course critically examines and activates the spaces in and between social practice and research justice, arts and cultural curation, and community care. Through introduction to an ecological approach, learners will engage various creative healing praxes (reflection + action) to deepen self-reflexivity while working alongside community: social practice artists, organizers, and wellness practitioners. Off-campus experiential research and collaborative community practice, predominantly in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood, are key aspects of this course. 

Arts Administration 4135-001
Ife Williams, Leah Gipson

This interdisciplinary course critically examines and activates the spaces in and between social practice and research justice, arts and cultural curation, and community care. Through introduction to an ecological approach, learners will engage various creative healing praxes (reflection + action) to deepen self-reflexivity while alongside community: social practice artists, organizers, and wellness practitioners. Off-campus experiential research and collaborative community practice, predominantly in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood, are key aspects of this course.

Arts Administration 4055-001
Kate Dumbleton, Jan Tichy

This course invites artists and cultural producers to critically consider core principles, methodologies, and values involved in ethical social practice. Students will develop skills in analyzing complex systems of power across sector, to include housing, education, food systems, cultural production and more, and learn to critically assess their own social practice. 

VCS /PHOTO Photo 3005 VCS 3090

Danny Giles, Ruby Thorkelson

Considers recent instances of police brutality within the historical context of systemic violence against communities of color,  the monitoring of protest movements and contemporary subversive photographic practices. This course will explore photography's utility as a means to control and regulate bodies as well as a means to testify to experiences of injustice. This class considers contemporary issues of image making and how it can turn toward and uncover oppressive authoritarianism or be used by the police themselves (surveillance, body cams, facial recognition) to create new panoptic systems of databasing. Students will engage with course material through making, research, discussion, field trips, and guests who concern themselves with both art making and social justice.

 
Runners in the rain
Fall 2017/Spring 2018 – 
ARTED 4025
Miguel Aguilar, Art Education

This socially engaged project was highlighted as part of the 2017 DCASE year of public art. The course brought together students, North Lawndale youth from DRW High School, Collins and North Lawndale Prep. Students' collaboration aims is to build deep community and informed understanding of Chicago's Westside through the perspective of running through the area while training for a half marathon and studying street art in the landscape.  

ARTTHER 2501
Leah Gipson

 

This course explores expanded modes of practice for artists working with communities. Various approaches and strategies of engagement are explored. Off-campus experiential opportunities and service learning are key aspects of this course.

 
AIADO/HPRES 4938
Odile Compagnon and Lynette Stuhlmacher

This multidisciplinary studio will build 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. Working on the design and renovation of an existing building, the studio will aim at answering the following question: how can designers work with local agents, social activists, artists, artisans and contractors to enable youths and help them take control of their own access to housing and family services.

Norman Teague, Contemporary Practices

Urban landscapes have so much to offer when it comes to inhabiting new spaces and exploring old spaces.   As designers, doctors and scientists human instincts ask that we do GOOD design where good design is needed.  Social engagement has forever been a tactic that allows a deeper understanding of our next-door neighbor, be it block parties, apple pie offerings or rent parties.  This design class (collective) acts as incubators for developing new relationships with design as a conduit to grow a sustainable business in and around the south side of Chicago.

 

Various tools

 

AIADO 4954 002
Douglas Pancoast
Make a tool of inquiry to explore an urban place or condition, then help teach someone how to use it, modify it or extend it to consider and communicate ideas of “safe”.  The course develops tools of inquiry and instructional modules for exploring space and place. Focusing on data collection technology and environmental media as a process for iterative inquiry on the complex issue of “safety” and its formation, the class will create a series of tools, and ways to use them, that encourage people to investigate their environment and share their findings as public visualizations and materializations. The course is underwritten by a grant from the Motorola Foundation and will host a guest teacher and researcher from the MIT Center for Civic Media.
Aerial view of city
AIADO 4911 001 
Jonathan Solomon and Adelheid Mers

This studio explores 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 is taught as an act of intentional abstraction. Mapmaking and map-reading are framed as activist disciplines and students must take a position in both. The studio focuses on the Chicago loop and requires students to perform site research and engage selected populations while developing their mapping practice.

 
Fall 2016 ARTED 4025
Lavie Ravin, Art Education

This course examines existing hip-hop programs and empowerment initiatives in the global hip-hop diaspora, creating a communication channel with existing practitioners and examining the work of programs throughout the seven continents. Through action and research, participants work in solidarity with local hip-hop activists to support and activate existing and new hip-hop community projects in Chicago.

Students under grow lights
Summer 2016 
Summer 2016 AIADO 4937
Iker Gil and Petra Bachmaier, AIADO

This course explores how art, architecture, and technology can fuse to create a flourishing environment that engages and connects with communities. Students will learn how nature inspires and reacts to design, while developing design proposals for horticultural grow-light pavilions. The course is a platform for interdisciplinary design approaches and envisions how design can transform and activate sites into fertile ground for creativity, innovation, and social interaction.

Street art
Spring 2016 
Spring 2016 ARTED 5106
Drea Howenstein, Art Education

This course examines collaborations, which is a direct application of the theory and conceptual framework for community-based art programming. Participants investigate models for making art with community partners. Collaborative art endeavors include indoor site-specific work, installations, environments, performances, exhibitions, and special projects. Discussions reflect on ethics, aesthetics, and challenges of public art in community.