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Multiple Courses

A sampling of niche courses to help you fall in love with SAIC all over again.


Illustration by Sacha Lusk.

As I trudged through Self-Service during registration last semester, I wondered just how many courses and departments there are that I have never heard about. I knew that the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers a multitude of rigorous courses covering distinctive topics of interest across, around, and between every department. I also knew that as a student studying to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), I’d be enrolled in (and hopefully complete) at least 126 credit hours before graduating. So, I began a search through the course catalog (which can be found in Self-Service) and let me tell you, there is something for everyone.

I could spend days digging through the course and department catalog, uncovering what I believe to be exciting studies. I encourage all students — prospective or current — and parents to take time to explore all of SAIC’s departments and courses.

Here are a few courses that can put an end to your educational suffering. And there are many more!


Bio Robotecture, ARCH/INARCH/DES OB 3925

Bio Robotecture is a course offered in the Fall semester through the Architecture, Interior architecture, and Designed Objects Department (AIADO). Students enrolled in the course study design responsive and interactive architecture through biomimetic processes (a.k.a. human-made objects imitating nature). Student work reflects a combination of next-generation sustainable architecture and the topics examined in the course.


Manifest /Space, ARCH/INARCH/DES OB 4920

Space: the final frontier. Manifest/Space is another course in the AIADO Department that centers around the development of  work that is sustainable in exterior environments. This course operates with the department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. Manifest/ Space is typically offered during Spring semester.


Mixed Reality Architecture, ARCH/INARCH/DES OB 3927

Students enrolled in this studio-seminar course will study and create work that addresses synthetic ecology and proactive environments in a virtual and physical space. In other words, life on mars? The course is offered during Fall semesters.


Black Rage, ARTTHER 3015

This course in the Art Therapy department investigates nineteenth century drawing from anti-slavery culture, biblical imagery, literature, print media, performance, visual art, and the moral motivations of historical people. Students in the course question modern ideas in helping relationships through understanding the role of cultural materials in preserving the history of violence. The course will be available for enrollment in the Fall 2018 semester.  


Digital Scrapbooking, COMPUTER 528

Calling all moms! Digital Scrapbooking is a course in the Adult Continuing Education program at SAIC, which includes a variety of classes that provide technology based instruction. The course provides step by step instruction on all of the ins and outs of digital scrapbooking for experienced and beginner scrapbookers. Enrollment in this course can be accessed through the special programs department at SAIC.


Next to Skin, FASH 515

Save yourself from spending an ungodly amount of money on that special something you wear for that special someone. Next to Skin investigates the sensuality and design of lingerie making in historical and contemporary terms through the use of linen, lace, silk, satin, chiffon, and ribbons. Student work includes the production of one garment in muslin and their choice of fabric to be fit on a live model. The course is offered during the Summer semester.


Hacking the Assembly Line, FIBER 2030

This summer semester course investigates the history of industry and production through the politics of labor. Students in the course will learn how to operate industrial and home sewing machines, computerized embroidery machines, knitting machines, and many more industrial art-making equipment.


Art Games, FVNM 4862

This course in the Film, Video, and New Media (FVNM) Department considers art as a game-like system. Computer based games constitute an important form of cultural activity and new media. Students enrolled in the course will play, discuss, and develop their own art games. In addition, the course will teach students to hack, modify, and critique existing games. Art Games is an undergrad course offered during spring semesters.


While all courses listed have been offered at SAIC during the stated semesters, Fnews cannot guarantee that they will be offered in the future.

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