All program participants are required to reside in the Living ArtsEngine designated hallways in Bursley Residential Hall. Students will also have access to the Living ArtsEngine Creative suite and an equipment room with tools to use for hand-on creative making experiences.

students standing next to Block M

Required courses

Fall semester

All Living ArtsEngine Students must register for UARTS 150 “Writing and Interdisciplinary Collaborative Design” in the Fall semester. Engineering students will enroll in ENGIN 100.210)

In this course, instructors from five different disciplines will support your exploration of the creative process through a collaborative, semester-long project: a multimodal essay, in the form of a video game, that combines architecture, art & design, engineering, music and writing to make an argument. This project will lead you to explore fascinating processes and questions such as: how can writers, artists, architects, musicians and engineers work together to create interactive experiences? How do makers from all disciplines use research to inform creative work? How can interdisciplinary creative work convey arguments in fun, innovative and meaningful ways? Your work towards this final project will be supported by two additional essays, as well as creative exercises, tutorials, workshops, readings, discussions and research activities that will encourage you to hone existing skills and experiment with unfamiliar disciplines. This course fulfills the First Year Writing requirement with an emphasis on argument-based writing in a number of modalities and the Engineering 100 requirement for students in the College of Engineering.

First Year Writing Requirement courses prepare students for college-level writing across the disciplines. This Living Arts FYWR course emphasizes connections between writing and other forms of making. Like these other creative activities, writing is a process of inquiry; this class will encourage you to cultivate curiosity and ask good questions in order to make genuine discoveries in your written work.

Video created by University of Michigan College of Engineering
Videographer: Robert Coelius,   Producer: Krista Quinn

Winter Semester

All students must register for UARTS 175 “Collaborative Creative Projects” in the Winter Semester.

Collaborative Creative Projects is a 1 credit hour course. Teams of Living ArtsEngine students will plan, implement, execute, iterate, and deliver solutions and/or physical prototypes to open-ended interdisciplinary design challenges. Students will present their creative ideas to others and apply feedback they receive to improve their work. A portfolio-style documentation process will be used to log each team’s progress.

Co-Curricular Activities

Welcome Week

LAE Community Members are required to arrive on campus a few days early for our Welcome Week activities. We pack in a bunch of activities to help you get settled into Bursley, get to know your fellow community members and student leaders, get creative, and familiarize yourself with campus!

Community Meetings

Monthly gatherings of the entire community to work on special projects, explore challenges, and learn new skills.

Some past examples of Community Meetings:

  • Great Maker Race
  • Dance Class at SMTD
  • Costume Design Challenge
  • Board Game Pitch Competition
  • Avante Garde Music Composition


Weekly offerings on a wide variety of topics taught by U-M staff, instructors, students, and student orgs. LAE members are required to take two workshops per semester but there’s no limit – take as many as you like!

Each year we have new and exciting workshops. Here are a few examples of things we have done in the past:

  • How to build a microcontroller
  • Songwriting for beginners
  • Bob Ross Paint Along
  • D&D Character Building
  • Indoor gardening
  • Meditation


Makeathons are 24-hour team-based competitions with cash prizes! We hold one each semester with a specific theme. While Makeathons are not required, you will receive two workshop credits if you participate in one!

Examples of recent past Makeathon themes:

  • Transform
  • Art & AI
  • Community Event Planning
  • Social Justice