The Media, Arts, and Design Center (also known as the MADD Center) at UChicago is one of the most unique places on campus to visit. Located inside of Crerar Library, it is home to some of the most exciting on-campus resources, including the following:
Weston Game Lab
The Weston Game Lab is the perfect place to go if you want to relax and play games. There’s a plethora of consoles and games to choose from, including a VR set, N64, Sega Dreamcast, and Playstation 4. The space also has different workspaces for game design and development. I enjoy coming here after class to play board games with my friends in the afternoon.
The Hack Arts Lab is a makerspace-like workshop that features 3D printers, laser cutters, workstations, and microcomputing tools. It’s a great place to work on prototyping, and you can use HAL resources for classes or personal projects. I’ve used the laser cutter for some of my previous art projects, and I definitely recommend trying it out!
Established in 1989 and now part of the MADD Center, the Computer Science Instructional Laboratory offers a variety of resources and services. CSIL holds multiple Mac and Linux labs, free minicourse sessions, and has a student help desk, which makes it a suitable space to work on programming assignments or media projects.
Kathleen A. Zar Room
Located at the back of the MADD Center, the Kathleen A. Zar room holds both the Research Computing Center Visualization Lab and the UChicago Library's GIS Hub. Usually this room is where various workshops and symposiums happen, as it houses data visualization and geospatial research technology.
While this isn't exactly a MADD resource, I thought I'd give a quick overview of the Media Arts and Design minor since the MADD Center is where many MAAD classes take place. Before you get confused, the minor is referred to as MAAD and the Media Arts, Data, and Design Center is abbreviated as MADD. The program offers courses in media theory, history, and design, so there's a wide range of topics to choose from. I've taken a few design classes, including Metamedia and Data and Algorithms in Art, but there's also others like AR Production, Critical Videogame Studies, and History of International Cinema. And even if you're not doing the minor, you can still take MAAD courses!
So, there you have it: a look into both UChicago's Media, Arts, and Design Center (and minor). Whether you're looking to relax, study, or learn new skills, MADD is a great place to check out!