UARTS courses

UARTS 150: Introduction to Creative Process

Introduction to Creative Process is a 4-credit project-based and writing course for first-year students who are residents of Living ArtsEngine. This course introduces students to creative process across disciplines, preparing them to master their own creative process for use not just in other courses and academic projects, but throughout their lives. Students gain historical, biographical, and theoretical understanding of creative process through readings; reflect on those readings in writing; and experiment with creative processes first-hand under the tutelage of experts. Other media (music, film, photography, television, etc.) is incorporated to further enrich and inspire discussions. Students also spend a bit of time in the freshman English trenches, reviewing grammatical fundamentals and rules for research and citation. One class session is also spent thinking about strategies for preparing, organizing, and composing coherent, effective in-class essays. Class time is regularly spent “workshopping” each other’s work — providing constructive criticism toward thoughtful revision and improvements.

UARTS 150 satisfies the First-year Writing Requirement (FYWR); and Intellectual Breadth or Professional or Creative Development Course requirements (for Engineering Students; and counts toward the Entrepreneurship minor. 

  • Jeremy Edwards, School of Music, Theatre & Dance 
  • Jono Sturt, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning
  • Katie Rubin, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design
  • Austin Yarger, College of Engineering
  • Allie Tova-Hirsch, College of Literature Science and Arts

In this 4-credit course sponsored by ArtsEngine, students explore the creative process through a structured sequence of exercises in four studio modules: sound, motion, visual images/objects, and verbal/symbolic language. Faculty from Art & Design; Music, Theatre & Dance; Architecture; and Engineering introduce a variety of creative strategies for generating problem solving ideas through hands-on projects – all to be completed online (and instructed online). Weekly online colloquia, discussions, and light readings supplement projects. Grading is based upon attendance, class participation, a journal, four mini-projects, evidence of intellectual and creative process development, and a final culminating project. This course is appropriate for U-M undergraduate and graduate students at all levels and in all disciplines. It is a fast paced, information-rich educational experience, offering insights that will make creativity and innovation an integral part of life and work. 

Students electing lab (102-105) will be auto-enrolled in LEC 100 & DIS 101 (meditation session, which is optional). Most of the class will be conducted synchronously online.

UARTS 250/550 satisfies the LSA Creative Expression requirement; and Intellectual Breadth or Professional or Creative Development Course requirements (for Engineering Students); and counts toward the Entrepreneurship minor.

FEAST teams invite students to engage with North Campus faculty around their research and creative production. Participants will:

  • Gain research and creative skills, improve collaborative and team interactions, and engage with meaningful hands-on learning opportunities
  • Be a contributing member of a dynamic and ongoing interdisciplinary student team
  • Register for and receive curriculum credit every participating semester
  • Be able to continue with the project or team over multiple semesters (with faculty permission)
  • Develop relationships with faculty and students from outside their school and disciplinary major

Students on FEAST projects may register for UARTS 260, 360, 460, or 560 as appropriate for their enrollment needs and receive 2 credits (additional credit options with faculty approval) for their work.

Applications due October 18; teams begin Winter 2021. Learn more about how to apply HERE.

  • Matthew Albert
  • Vadim Besprozvany
  • Dawn Gilpin
  • Eleni Gourgou
  • John Granzow
  • Michael Gurevich
  • Mark Guzdial
  • Mark Moldwin
  • Somangshu Mukherji
  • Stephen Rush
  • Matthew Thompson
  • Nick Tobier
  • Joseph Trumpey

For Faculty

Are you faculty at the University of Michigan interested in teaching a UARTS Course? ArtsEngine has resources to help adapt a current curriculum to fit the UARTS criteria or to help you find and collaborate with other faculty on campus to to develop a new UARTS course. Consultation, matchmaking, and financial resources may be available on a case by case basis. If you are interested in starting a conversation, please contact ArtsEngine.

other interdisciplinary courses

Ending Targeted Surveillance
of the Black Community in Detroit

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Law enforcement across Michigan now uses high-tech surveillance technology to track, identify, and arrest Black activists and other individuals. Digital surveillance tools are heavily relied on by police during investigations despite evidence that the technology is flawed and disparately impacts people of color. Surveillance of the Black community is not new; however, technology used today and the way it is implemented poses an even greater danger to privacy rights and further contributes to mass incarceration of Black people.

Student teams will explore how police target Black Lives Matter protestors and how Detroit police use surveillance technology to monitor the Black community. Students will learn and apply problem solving skills, meet key stakeholders, and apply insights from different disciplines to develop solutions to reduce targeted surveillance of Black Detroiters.

Meeting Time: Wednesdays 3:15-6:30 PM
Instructors: Bonsitu Kitaba (Law), Rei Fielder (Social Work)
Credits: 3.0

Acting on Climate Change

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Human-caused climate change is not only happening now, but it is projected to accelerate at an unprecedented pace. And while society should still pursue aggressive mitigation efforts such as reducing carbon emissions, the process of adaptation is already underway.

This class will address legal and practical issues that governments and private entities face as they attempt to adapt to climate change in ways that are informed by the most current scientific research, and there will be a particular emphasis placed on the importance of co-production of science and policy solutions.

Students will research and learn about the science and law of climate change and the special challenges presented by adaptation science and practice. Multi-disciplinary teams of students from SEAS, law, public health, engineering, public policy, business, and other fields, will seek input from real-world stakeholders and experts, apply problem solving tools, and work to develop responsive solutions.

Meeting Time: Tuesdays 3:15-6:30 PM
Instructors: Kyle Logue (Law), Maria Lemos (SEAS)
Credits: 3.0

Opportunity, Mobility, Access: Transportation Alternatives in Michigan

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Our infrastructure is crumbling, with our most vulnerable suffering disproportionately. Infrastructure, defined as “the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities needed for the operation of a society or enterprise” needs rethinking. Aging and waning public infrastructures are increasingly shifting responsibilities and burdens from collectives to individuals and from public to private sectors. This, in turn, affects access to opportunity, health outcomes, and family stability.

Teams comprised of students from architecture and urban planning, law, public health, information, business, public policy, and other disciplines will learn from stakeholders and experts, apply problem solving tools, study funding challenges and opportunities, and learn about changing mobility and transport infrastructures. Funding, policy, and programming mechanisms for repair, maintenance, access and innovation in mobility systems will be explored with a specific focus on lower income communities in Southeast Michigan, as students craft innovative solutions to these challenges.

Meeting Time: Wednesdays 3:15-6:30 PM
Instructors: Dana Thompson (Law), Marc Norman (Architecture and Urban Planning)
Credits: 3.0

Finding Genuine Design Opportunities

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In this experiential course, students learn the skills of socially engaged design during the winter semester, engage in hands-on practice with their teams, and then spend 6-8 weeks during the spring/summer immersed in a field site working with a community partner to identify potential design opportunities.

Instructors: Steven Skerlos
Credits: 6
Meeting Time: TBA
Location: TBA

Learn more and apply now!

+Impact Studio Course

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This award-winning course teaches you work skills in ethnography, ecosystem mapping, ideation, prototyping, and business model design, and all of it is focused on designing for resilience to help local small-businesses and nonprofit organizations navigate the pandemic. How can they build back better –  reimagine business and social life to be more rewarding, just, and democratic?

This is work that leads directly to the creation of new businesses and nonprofits, and you’re teamed up with other students from many other schools so the ideas are always engaging and diverse!  This class is offered in a hybrid format from 9-11:50am on Mondays with a team lab time later in the week. 

Instructor: Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks
Credits: 4.5
Meeting Time: Mondays, 9-11:50am
Location: TBA

Psychology of Creativity

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This discussion course attempts to define what we mean when we say, “creative.” What can scientific research tell us about creativity in terms of individual aptitude and personality, cognitive and brain processes, and social and cultural influences? We will explore the range of theories developed by psychologists and other researchers about the cognitive processes underlying the creative process, including problem definition, idea generation, fixation, incubation, iteration, evaluation, and reflection.

Instructor: Colleen Seifert (Psychology)
Credits: 3.0
Meeting Time: Tuesdays, 3:00-6:00pm
Location: 1060 East Hall, 530 Church Street

Creativity at Work

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*pre-requisite: BBA senior standing*

This course is designed to introduce the student to the practices necessary to stimulate and manage creativity in a business. Students will be given frameworks and methods for designing, developing, and implementing creativity in real work situations. The aim of the course is to provide students with the perspective and skill base necessary to manage creative projects, people and ventures. Each class will consist of two basic components: 1) a theatrical framework, and 2) a methodology or tool. Each segment of the course is designed to engage the student in a conceptual and experiential application of creativity practices that will be applied to a real challenge.

Instructor: Jeff Degraff (Ross)
Credits: 3.0
Meeting Times: Mondays, 9:00am-12:00pm
Location: B3560 Business School

Innovator’s Toolkit

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“What tools do I have in my toolbox and how can I use them to make an impact?” This is the central question of The Innovator’s Toolkit. By the end of this course, you will have worked in a team to implement an innovative approach to a complex social problem related to a preselected topic

Instructor: Kenneth Ludwig (CFE)
Credits: 3.0
Meeting Time: Mondays an Wednesdays, 4:00-5:30pm
Location: 1427 Mason Hall, 419 State Street

Interdisciplinary Collaboration II

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Interdisciplinary Collaboration II is a continuation of Interdisciplinary Collaboration I with an emphasis on large-scale multimedia interactive installations.

Instructor: Stephen Rush (SMTD)
Credits: 1.0 – 3.0
Meeting Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30am-12:30pm
Location: Dance Building, Studio B

Interdisciplinary Arts

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Special Topics courses in interdisciplinary arts allow student the flexibility to pursue discipline-specific or interdisciplinary study in-depth, led by a specialist instructor. The courses will differ thematically, dependent upon the teaching and research expertise of the instructor.

Instructor: Amy Chavasse (SMTD)
Credits: 1.0 – 3.0
Meeting Time: TBA
Location: TBA

Art, Science & Tech

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Art, Science, and Technology: The Human Body as an Experiment — This multimedia, interdisciplinary seminar is devoted to exploring the global history and present-day expressions of the relationship between art, science, and technology, and how they are integrated. To this end we will cultivate both a new visual literacy and a new literacy in science and technology.

Instructor: Jennifer Robertson (LS&A)
Credits: 3.0
Meeting Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00-11:30am
Location: 180 Tappan Hall, 855 South University Avenue

Entrepreneurial Creativity

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This course explores the relation between creativity, innovation, and problem-solving processes. We will consider the elements of creative thinking, explore insights from a variety of perspectives, and engage in projects designed to foster students’ own creativity and innovation. Is creative thinking somehow different from “normal” thinking? How do innovators frame problems and generate solutions? What is the relation between idea generation and collaborative team work? How do entrepreneurs in business, social goods, and technology develop and employ vital skills in persuasion, cooperation, communication as they bring ideas to life in the form of enterprises? This course will explore all these questions in order to ground students in both the theory and practice of creativity as it takes shape in entrepreneurial endeavors.

Instructor: Eric Fretz (Psychology)
Credits: 3.0
Meeting Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00-2:00pm, Friday discussions
Location: 140 Lorch Hall, 611 Tappan Street