The Future of Art + Design

Art and Design architectural rendering from above

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 affirms the advantages of professional programs taught in conjunction with the interdisciplinary resources of a Research 1 university.

Fall 2014–Fall 2017 Record Growth


Art + Design has seen a dramatic increase in enrollment in the past few years and a growing interest in our courses from non-majors. There are strong indications that this trend will continue in the future based on our high-quality programs and ongoing aggressive recruitment efforts.

Facilities Capacity

siteMapGrowth in the design areas at Art + Design, and the university’s focus on design thinking, iterative processes, and prototyping will create more hands-on, making opportunities across campus. These learning and research activities require updated resources to serve the current student body and to continue to attract strong freshmen.

Over the past several years, the school, the college, and the university have made a concerted effort to improve all of the spaces, but continued investment in adapted buildings nearing the end of their useful life will offer diminishing returns. Building a cohesive and interdisciplinary student community will continue to be difficult as students are spread across several locations.

An addition and extensive renovation of the Art + Design Building will bring all activities under one roof.

Art + Design Rendering

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 students, faculty, and students from across campus in non-major classes.

The Opportunity

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 these goals:

Consolidate and Centralize Art + Design

• Brings together our diverse visual arts community of students, faculty and staff currently scattered across thirteen buildings
• Reduces our building footprint and energy consumption
• Enables improved communication and interdisciplinary work

Build on and Improve the Physical Facility

• Creates suitable spaces that better reflect current curriculum and student needs
• Raises level of accessibility

Position School to Capitalize on Strengths

• Situates the school in proximity to new Siebel Center for Design, placing it at a dynamic campus hub for design and innovation
• Elevates 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 situate 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
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