University-Wide Art Studies (UWAS) offers all Aalto students and faculty an opportunity to explore art and design based practices and processes beyond disciplinary boundaries. Its course portfolio consists of thematically focused and carefully curated courses where art and design facilitate transdisciplinary encounters between students from various backgrounds. UWAS aims to ensure that Aalto University graduates understand how art and creative practices shape and define the world around us and have a wide range of skills and capacities to engage with complex issues both locally and globally.
Students can choose from circa 30 different UWAS courses each year and need no previous knowledge or skills in the arts to attend them. Since its initiation in 2016, UWAS has offered courses on topics such as sound technology, creative writing, site-specific art and design, visual culture theory, mathematical art, and arts-based material studies. All courses are specifically planned for UWAS and scheduled so that they are available for students in every Aalto school.
For 2020-2022, UWAS courses are organized under six transdisciplinary categories:
Anthropocene courses address issues such as global warming, sustainability, resources, and energy. They respond to and reflect on the great challenges related to our current geological era.
Actions courses deal with different aspects of making and creating in arts, design, and architecture, and explore their connections to practices in other fields.
Reflections courses offer theoretical and critical approaches to present human and non-human conditions. This might include explorations of futures and utopias, identity and identities, and global and local ecosystems.
Manifestations courses deal with communication, visualization, presentation, and representation of information, how is it applied, and how to understand its impacts.
Collaborations courses explore participatory and cooperative practices in arts, design, and architecture, and their links to other fields.
Tensions courses explore traditions, paradigms, and histories between disciplines, and how they are expressed and reflected upon today.
Registration for these courses is done via Oodi, where one can also find more information about the courses. You don't need to separately apply for a study right for these courses.