Our Future

The School of Art & Design at the University of Illinois is a thriving community of artists, designers, educators, and historians. The school is committed to excellence and innovation in the practice, study, and teaching of the visual arts and exemplifies the advantages of learning in professional programs administered in conjunction with the interdisciplinary resources of a Tier 1 research university.

Designer's rendering of proposed expansion of Art & Design Building

Designer’s rendering of the proposed Art & Design Building renovation & expansion

Enrollment is rising

Art & Design continues to see a dramatic increase in enrollment in our degree programs and growing interest in our courses from non-majors. This trend has persisted even during the pandemic and there are clear indications it will continue in the future due to our high-quality programs and ongoing recruitment efforts.


Freshman Enrollment Up


Overall Undergraduate Enrollment Up


Number of Art & Design Minors

Map of the proposed A&D addition, shown in relation to existing A&D Building and the new Siebel Center for Design

Facilities Capacity

Growth in the design programs in Art & Design, combined with the university’s focus on design thinking, iterative processes, and prototyping, will create the need for more hands-on making opportunities on our campus. These learning and research activities require updating resources to serve the current student body and to continue to attract strong freshmen.

Over the past several years, the school, college, and university have made a concerted effort to improve all of A&D’s spaces, but continued investment in adapted buildings nearing the end of their useful life will offer diminishing returns. Furthermore, building a cohesive and interdisciplinary student community will continue to be challenging as increasing numbers of students are spread among several locations.

The proposed addition and extensive renovation of the Art & Design Building will bring all activities in state-the-art instructional studios under one roof .

Map of the proposed A&D addition, shown in relation to existing A&D Building and the new Siebel Center for Design

The Opportunity

The School of Art & Design is currently housed in thirteen buildings scattered throughout campus. Facilities support over 900 registered users each semester, including Art & Design majors, faculty, and students from other majors enrolled in our classes.

The Art & Design Expansion and Renovation project has been identified as a strategic priority for both the College of Fine and Applied Arts and the university.

With Your Support, We Can Meet Our Goals

Consolidate and Centralize Art & Design
  • Bring together our diverse visual arts community of students, faculty and staff currently scattered across thirteen buildings
  • Reduce our carbon footprint
  • Improve communication
  • Enable interdisciplinary work
Expand and Improve the Physical Facility
  • Create suitable spaces that better reflect current curriculum and student needs
  • Raise level of accessibility
Position to School to Capitalize on Strengths
  • Situate the school in proximity to new Siebel Center for Design, placing it at a dynamic campus hub for design and innovation
  • Elevate faculty research and collaborative opportunities

Partner with Us

Your contribution will directly impact the student experience, our faculty and staff, and the future of the school. With you, we will propel the brightest minds in the visual arts, bolster faculty innovation and research, and position the School of Art & Design as a hub of innovation at the heart of Illinois.

For more information about our building plans or to become a donor, contact:
Brenda Nardi
Senior Director of Advancement, Art & Design
(217) 265-6966

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